Awkward Annie: Game-based assessment of english pragmatic skills

G. Tanner Jackson, Lindsay Grace, Patricia Inglese, Jennifer Wain, Robert Hone

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


This paper describes efforts related to the design, development, and evaluation of a game-based assessment called Awkward Annie. The Awkward Annie game focuses on English language pragmatic skills and represents a novel design that asks players to violate social norms by intentionally selecting the most inappropriate things to say to virtual colleagues. Awkward Annie was evaluated through two studies. Study 1 was a small-scale lab-based study with predominantly non-native English speakers (n = 36). Study 2 was a scaled up extension of the same design but with native English speakers on Amazon Mechanical Turk (n = 328). Both studies explored potential relations between user experience, understanding the play mechanics (i.e., being inappropriate), game performance, and English pragmatic ability. The studies also indicate cultural differences in players comfort with acting inappropriately. The results of these studies benefit both cross-cultural game design and the assessment of socio-pragmatics and pragmalinguistics. Additionally, this research advances the current state of assessment practices by investigating how games could potentially provide an alternative to traditional selected response testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Computer Entertainment Technology - 14th International Conference, ACE 2017, Proceedings
EditorsMasahiko Inami, Teresa Romao, Adrian David Cheok, Adrian David Cheok
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9783319762692
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event14th International Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology, ACE 2017 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: Dec 14 2017Dec 16 2017

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume10714 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference14th International Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology, ACE 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Educational games
  • English pragmatics
  • User experience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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