IT Thesis of the Year is an International Hit
It's about video games that can adapt to fit your individual abilities and needs. Christopher Pedersen's thesis on adaptive games spawned articles and discussions in major international media. On Friday, he receives the KMD Prize for the best IT thesis of 2010.
It is rare that a thesis sets the agenda in major international media like Le Monde and the reputable magazine New Scientist. Nevertheless, this is what Christopher Pedersen has achieved with his thesis, "Modeling Player Experience through Super Mario Bros." in which he investigates how to make games that adapt to each individual player. A jury of researchers at the IT University has now chosen to honor the thesis with the annual KMD Prize of DKK 20,000. Christopher Pedersen will be presented with the prize on Friday.
- Christopher Pedersen's thesis is an impressive contribution to the development of computer games, and his results are already being used by researchers and developers. It is an amazing achievement from a Master student, says director at KMD, Karen Nielsen, who will award the prize to the 24-year old graduate from the IT-University’s study programme Media, Technology and Games.
Christopher Pedersen's supervisor, assistant professor Georgios N. Yannakakis and co-supervisor Julian Togelius of the IT University are not surprised that Christopher Pedersen's thesis has created so much publicity. He explains that the thesis will be a great tool for game developers and that Christopher's work also has served as a springboard for new research in this area.
It is not only young game enthusiasts who can benefit from this new type of game. Georgios Yannakakis predicts that in the future the adaptive games will be used for both education and rehabilitation. Actually Nintendo Wii is already being used for rehabilitation on an experimental basis, and the staff at the rehabilitation centre has requested games that take into account patients' individual needs and abilities.
To Christopher Pedersen the KMD Prize is an approval of the usability of his work. He hopes that the thesis is just the beginning of a career as a game developer. In this context the KMD Prize looks good on the CV.
- Of course I am proud and I’m still astonished about it, "said Christopher Pedersen, who currently works as a software developer.
- Right now I would like to learn more about the software, but in the future I could well imagine that I will write a doctoral. The question is whether this can be developed and used for something larger, for example how to use it to develop new games where the gameplay is better.
About the thesis
In the thesis "Modeling Player Experience through Super Mario Bros." Christopher Pedersen investigates how the computer players' emotional experiences relate to their actions while they are playing. By observing the players' actions and to find out what types of games they prefer, Christopher Pedersen uncovers the possibility of modifying computer games, so they are continually adapted to the individual player. Read more at http://bluenight.dk/wordpress/thesis3 and about the Game AI Group at the IT University http://gameai.itu.dk/index.php/Main_Page4
About the IT University
The IT University is an independent educational and research institution. The Cand.it. program is the largest graduate program in IT in Denmark. The university also has a strong research environment including a comprehensive PhD programme and offers a variety of research based study programmes, part time and also single subject studies within the field of IT. Read more at www.itu.dk 5.
About KMD A/S
KMD is among the largest IT companies in Denmark and has been working with the development, operation and maintenance of some of Denmark's largest IT systems for more than 35 years.KMD's more than 3000 employees develop and deliver today's IT solutions and service solutions to municipalities, citizen services and business. KMD plays an active role as sponsor and partner for a number of universities - including the IT University. Read more at www.kmd.dk 6.
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