Proceedings of the 9th Workshop on Games and Natural Language Processing within the 13th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Chris Madge (Editor)

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Marseille, France
European Language Resources Association
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Proceedings of the 9th Workshop on Games and Natural Language Processing within the 13th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference
Chris Madge

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An Analysis of Abusive Language Data Collected through a Game with a Purpose
Federico Bonetti | Sara Tonelli

In this work we present an analysis of abusive language annotations collected through a 3D video game. With this approach, we are able to involve in the annotation teenagers, i.e. typical targets of cyberbullying, whose data are usually not available for research purposes. Using the game in the framework of educational activities to empower teenagers against online abuse we are able to obtain insights into how teenagers communicate, and what kind of messages they consider more offensive. While players produced interesting annotations and the distributions of classes between players and experts are similar, we obtained a significant number of mismatching judgements between experts and players.

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Applying Gamification Incentives in the Revita Language-learning System
Jue Hou | Ilmari Kylliäinen | Anisia Katinskaia | Giacomo Furlan | Roman Yangarber

We explore the importance of gamification features in a language-learning platform designed for intermediate-to-advanced learners. Our main thesis is: learning toward advanced levels requires a massive investment of time. If the learner engages in more practice sessions, and if the practice sessions are longer, we can expect the results to be better. This principle appears to be tautologically self-evident. Yet, keeping the learner engaged in general—and building gamification features in particular—requires substantial efforts on the part of developers. Our goal is to keep the learner engaged in long practice sessions over many months—rather than for the short-term. This creates a conflict: In academic research on language learning, resources are typically scarce, and gamification usually is not considered an essential priority for allocating resources. We argue in favor of giving serious consideration to gamification in the language-learning setting—as a means of enabling in-depth research. In this paper, we introduce several gamification incentives in the Revita language-learning platform. We discuss the problems in obtaining quantitative measures of the effectiveness of gamification features.

Less Text, More Visuals: Evaluating the Onboarding Phase in a GWAP for NLP
Fatima Althani | Chris Madge | Massimo Poesio

Games-with-a-purpose find attracting players a challenge. To improve player recruitment, we explored two game design elements that can increase player engagement during the onboarding phase; a narrative and a tutorial. In a qualitative study with 12 players of linguistic and language learning games, we examined the effect of presentation format on players’ engagement. Our reflexive thematic analysis found that in the onboarding phase of a GWAP for NLP, presenting players with visuals is expected and pre- senting too much text overwhelms them. Furthermore, players found that the instructions they were presented with lacked linguistic context. Additionally, the tutorial and game interface required refinement as the feedback is unsupportive and the graphics were not clear.

NLU for Game-based Learning in Real: Initial Evaluations
Eda Okur | Saurav Sahay | Lama Nachman

Intelligent systems designed for play-based interactions should be contextually aware of the users and their surroundings. Spoken Dialogue Systems (SDS) are critical for these interactive agents to carry out effective goal-oriented communication with users in real-time. For the real-world (i.e., in-the-wild) deployment of such conversational agents, improving the Natural Language Understanding (NLU) module of the goal-oriented SDS pipeline is crucial, especially with limited task-specific datasets. This study explores the potential benefits of a recently proposed transformer-based multi-task NLU architecture, mainly to perform Intent Recognition on small-size domain-specific educational game datasets. The evaluation datasets were collected from children practicing basic math concepts via play-based interactions in game-based learning settings. We investigate the NLU performances on the initial proof-of-concept game datasets versus the real-world deployment datasets and observe anticipated performance drops in-the-wild. We have shown that compared to the more straightforward baseline approaches, Dual Intent and Entity Transformer (DIET) architecture is robust enough to handle real-world data to a large extent for the Intent Recognition task on these domain-specific in-the-wild game datasets.

How NLP Can Strengthen Digital Game Based Language Learning Resources for Less Resourced Languages
Monica Ward | Liang Xu | Elaine Uí Dhonnchadha

This paper provides an overview of the Cipher engine which enables the development of a Digital Educational Game (DEG) based on noticing ciphers or patterns in texts. The Cipher engine was used to develop the Cipher: Faoi Gheasa, a digital educational game for Irish, which incorporates NLP resources and is informed by Digital Game-Based Language Learning (DGBLL) and Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) research. The paper outlines six phases where NLP has strengthened the Cipher: Faoi Gheasa game. It shows how the Cipher engine can be used to build a Cipher game for other languages, particularly low-resourced and endangered languages in which NLP resources are under-developed or few in number.

The “Actors Challenge” Project: Collecting Data on Intonation Profiles via a Web Game
Natallia Chaiko | Sia Sepanta | Roberto Zamparelli

This paper describes ”Actors Challenge”, a soon-to-go-public web game where the players alternate in the double role of actors and judges of other players’ acted-out utterances, and in the process create an oral dataset of prosodic contours that can disambiguate textually identical utterances in different contexts. The game is undergoing alpha testing and should be deployed within a few months. We discuss the need, the core mechanism and the challenges ahead.

Generating Descriptive and Rules-Adhering Spells for Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition
Pax Newman | Yudong Liu

We examine the task of generating unique content for the spell system of the tabletop roleplaying game Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition using several generative language models. Due to the descriptive nature of the game Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition, it presents a number of interesting avenues for generation and analysis of text. In particular, the “spell” system of the game has interesting and unique characteristics as it is primarily made up of high level and descriptive text but has many of the game’s main rules embedded with that text. Thus, we examine the capabilities of several models on the task of generating new content for this game, evaluating the performance through the use of both score-based methods and a survey on the best performing model to determine how the generated content conforms to the rules of the game and how well they might be used in the game.