mercredi 29 novembre 2017

Unproven Role Playing Therapy Efficiency for Sexual Harrassment and Assault [newspaper article]

Carey, Benedict. 2017. “Therapy for Sexual Misconduct? It’s Mostly Unproven.” The New York Times, November 27, 2017, sec. Health. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/27/health/sexual-harassment-addiction-treatment.html.  

« (...) The evidence is weak for empathy training in offenders, through techniques like role-playing and taking a potential victim’s point of view, said Michael Seto, director of forensic rehabilitation research at the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group.
“It’s hard to teach empathy,” he said. “Accepting responsibility is often done confrontationally instead of collaboratively.”
(...) But only if the harasser is willing, committed and genuinely humbled is therapy likely to be anything more than a ruse to buy some sympathy — and worse, perhaps an eventual return to the field. (...) »

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Suggested readings

  • Students role-play adolescent interpersonal interactions: No change in empathy measures. Experimential. Master Thesis.
  • Sex offenders complete role-play paradigms: Improved recognition of consequences for victims. Experimential. Peer Reviewed Journal.
    • Webster, Stephen D., Louise E. Bowers, Ruth E. Mann, and William L. Marshall. 2005. “Developing Empathy in Sexual Offenders: The Value of Offence Re-Enactments.” Sexual Abuse 17 (1):63–77. https://doi.org/10.1177/107906320501700107.

mercredi 22 novembre 2017

Why People Play Table-Top Role-Playing Games: A Grounded Theory of Becoming as Motivation [OA peer-reviewed article]

Coe, Darrin F. 2017. “Why People Play Table-Top Role-Playing Games: A Grounded Theory of Becoming as Motivation.” Qualitative Report 22 (11):2844–63.

This qualitative research is based on the interviews of (n=16) TRPG players. The author used the grounded theory, a known qualitative methodology used for conducting, coding and analysing interviews. This methodology is supposed to reduce experimenter bias and pre-experiment hypothesis in order to let the data speak by themselves.
The author found out that « participants of TRPGs are motivated to begin playing because they recognize either consciously or subconsciously the opportunity to engage in a process that will help facilitate them developing their identity or their state of existence to a more idealized state, or the process of becoming. »
The author didn't found external achievements as motivators (learning something, developing a skill,...).
Figure 3: Graphical Depiction of the Theory of Becoming as Motivation

lundi 13 novembre 2017

Computers Play Chess, Computers Play Go; Humans Play Dungeons & Dragons [prospective]

Simon Ellis shares his long term goal: making a computer AI able to play D&D. He talks about it very shortly in the magazine article (2017) and in the lightning talk.

At the end of his PhD thesis (2016), he gives more details about "Ariel", an AI agent able to play D&D:
« Such plot and character-driven games require players to have a large amount of specialised knowledge, to draw new inferences and regularly reevaluate existing ones; players must ideally have a 'sense of "self"' regarding the fictional character they are playing and how they would react in given circumstances, and also be able to function as a member of a party. I believe that developing an artificial character to role-play well represents a supreme challenge in the field of AI research; I further believe that, when created, it would by necessity be perhaps the closest to an artificial generally intelligent system ever developed (p.120) [follows a short list of different types of complex interrelated systems]»