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SBG2013-ACE Call for Papers

The Social Believability in Games Workshop intends to be a point of interaction for researchers and game developers interested in different aspects of modeling, discussing, and developing believable social agents and Non-Player Characters (NPC). This can include discussions around behavior based on social and behavioral science theories and models, social affordances when interacting with game worlds and more. The intention is to invite participants from a multitude of disciplines in order to create a broad spectrum of approaches to the area.

From the beginning of digital games, AI has been part of the main idea of games containing acting entities, which is to provide the player with “worthy” opponents (NPCs). The development of multiplayer games has increased the demands put on the NPCs as believable characters, especially if they are to cooperate with human players. However, the social aspect of intelligent behavior has been neglected compared to the development and use AI for other domains (e.g. route planning). In particular, the interplay between intelligent behavior that is task-related, the emotions that may be attached to the events in the game world, and the social positioning and interaction of deliberating entities is underdeveloped. This workshop aims to address this deficiency by putting forward demonstrations of work in the integration of these three aspects of intelligent behavior, as well as models and theories that can be used for the emotional and social aspects, and for the integration between the three aspects.

For this workshop, we invite participants to bring both their research questions and the demonstrations or initial prototypes built to address them. Additionally, we welcome contributions from research on social ontology, social simulation, the social impact of believable agents, intelligent virtual agents, and other related areas. The day will be dedicated to demonstration and discussion, with ample time for collaboration and comparison of theory, method, practice and results.

The purpose of this workshop is to allow discussion on the theories and models for NPC social behavior and social affordances in industry as well as between different but related academic disciplines. The expected outcome is a better understanding of the overlaps and differences within and between these communities. We also aim to document the workshop in a journal article or journal special issue.

Social believability is of key interest to many parts of ACE, in particular to game design and development. Believable game characters are of essence for player enjoyment and immersion. Thus, discussing elements of immersion from a research and a design perspective may contribute to developing more entertaining computer games.

The workshop will take place at the Conference for Advances in Computer Entertainment 2013 (ACE2013).

List of accepted papers.


- NPC design created to explore hypotheses

- realized prototypes, demos, and applications

- social science reaction to modeled social behavior

- philosophical approaches to sociality, NPCs, and believable agents

- trade-off between autonomous NPCs and control over story lines

- provocative ideas

- authoring social behavior for NPCs and agents

Important dates

September 9: Paper submission Time extension!

September 23: Paper Submission

October 7: Notification to authors

October 28: Camera ready submissions

November 12: Workshop, whole day

Workshop layout

The workshop will consist of two main activities: paper presentations and group discussion. The morning session will be set aside for the paper presentations. This time will also provide for discussion and debate that will result from the paper presentations.

A hands-on session will be organized to recover from lunch where participants’ sample approaches to social behavior and believability. Laptops will be set up with prototypes and commercial games (such as PromWeek, the Pataphysic Institute, Versu, Black & White, and the Sims 3) that can inspire further discussions. 

The afternoon session will be continued presentations, concluding with a panel discussion concerning future work and collaborations in the area.


Discussion papers or extended abstract, send in via EasyChair link papers should follow the Springer LNCS format and have a length of 4 to 16 pages.

The accepted papers will be published online before the workshop. We aim for postproceedings of selected full papers in a relevant journal. 

We also encourage the submission of demonstrations of research prototypes. Demonstrations should be accompanied by a single page (excluding references) description and an optional video.


Mirjam Eladhari (Malta University)

Harko Verhagen (Stockholm University)

Josh McCoy (Univ. of California, Santa Cruz)

Magnus Johansson (Stockholm University)

Programme Committee

Julian Togelius, IT University Copenhagen

Ian Horswill, Northwestern University

Mike Sellers, Kabaam

Ben Samuel, University of California Santa Cruz

Brian Schwab, Blizzard