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OU Developers of MACBETH Serious Video Game Awarded “Best Business Game” and “Best Adaptive Force Game” During Serious Games Showcase & Challenge

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

1-17-14

CONTACT: Jana Smith, Strategic Communications for R&D, (405) 325-1322, jana.smith@ou.edu

NORMAN – The University of Oklahoma team of developers of the serious video game, MACBETH, was awarded the “Best Business Game” during the Eighth Annual Serious Games Showcase & Challenge at the Inter-Service/Industry Training Simulation and Education Conference in Orlando, Fla. The award was based on recommendations from a panel of more than 100 game developers and serious game researchers. MACBETH also received the “Adaptive Force” award, which is an award recommended by the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

“Winning in this category as the ‘Best Business Developed Serious Game’ according to an esteemed panel of judges opens the door for the OU team,” says Norah Dunbar, associate professor in the OU Department of Communication and the Center for Applied Social Research. MACBETH was one of 17 games selected from over 50 submissions for the showcase at the conference. The Serious Games Showcase & Challenge is the premiere venue for recognition of excellence in the field of serious games development.

MACBETH, which also won in the “Adaptive Force” category, allows the player to make sound decisions with the information provided, while non-player character mentors guide a player with insight as to what a player did wrong. Adaptive Force games are those that improve an individual’s ability to repeatedly try new or different strategies to solve problems, while considering feedback with the purpose of improving overall success.

MACBETH was funded by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity via the Air Force Research Laboratory and was designed to train intelligence analysts about three specific cognitive biases: the fundamental attribution error, the confirmation bias and the bias blind spot. Dunbar and her team have recently tested the first version of MACBETH 2, which builds on the lessons they learned while developing the first MACBETH. They are seeking additional funding to adapt MACBETH to other contexts besides the intelligence community.

OU collaborated with Judee Burgoon’s team at the University of Arizona when testing the game.  The OU team included Dunbar; Scott Wilson and Javier Elizondo, OU K20 Center; Matthew Jensen, Michael F. Price College of Business; Claude Miller, OU Department of Communication; and a dozen other scientists.  For more information about MACBETH, contact Norah Dunbar at 405-325-1588 or ndunbar@ou.edu.

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