All posts by Emily Johnson

BeadED Adventures

BeadED Adventures:
A STEM-ed game with tangible learning artifacts

BeadED Adventures introduces the tangible aspect of tabletop games into a video game. BeadED Adventures is an interactive narrative where players solve STEM-based puzzles and make choices affecting the narrative plot by creating a tangible learning artifact: a string of beads that can be worn as a bracelet or used as a keychain, bookmark, etc.

Drawing inspiration from Loominary (Sullivan et al., 2018), BeadED Adventures treats STEM subjects in a way intended to be appealing to underrepresented youth who may be uninterested in these fields due to the way they are traditionally presented and represented in American culture. Following constructivist philosophies of learning and emphasizing player autonomy, the design of BeadED Adventures followed four main goals: to be engaging, to generate tangible learning artifacts, to encourage creativity, and to foster autonomy. Future studies are planned to investigate the impact of this learning artifact as a comprehension and recall tool for the STEM concepts embedded within the game.

You can check out the proof-of-concept Twine here. Rather than using the bead apparatus (below), you can click on the links in the story or use the number keys on your computer’s keyboard as follows:  magenta- 1; bronze- 2; gold- 3; green- 4; purple- 5; silver- 6.

Current version

Functionality of current version

BeadED Adventures 1.0


Johnson, E.K. and Sullivan, A. (2018). BeadED Adventures: Using Tangible Game Artifacts to Assist STEM Learning. Presented by E.K. Johnson at International Academic Conference on Meaningful Play, East Lansing, Michigan, October 12, 2018.

Johnson, E.K. and Sullivan, A. (2018). BeadED Adventures: An Origin Story. Games and Interactive Media Research Group Meeting, UCF. August 10, 2018.

Emily K. Johnson  |  Anne Sullivan

Meeting 04.04.18

Games Research Group Meeting Minutes for April 4, 2018


  • Eric: finishing dissertation, piece with Laura has been accepted (Twine game and reflective essays), got feedback from Pokemon Go collection and is doing revisions, planning to send chapters of dissertation out to journals
  • Amanda: has recently restructured dissertation, filling in/rewriting chapters, has offers from St Mary’s in San Antonio, Dakota State near Sioux Falls, presenting at a conference on Friday in St. Pete
  • Sara: accepted an offer in English as a VAP, finishing dissertation revisions this week, started an article with Mark for Games and Culture on mods in Doki Doki Literature Club
  • Mel: book going into production (woo!) working on revise and resubmit of article with Mark, organized a roundtable on fans of color + femslash for TWC special issue, invited to be part of a roundtable on toxic fandom. Henry Jenkins “state of fan studies” piece coming out soon (was supposed to be 26th but who knows?) also writing a book w/ Anastasia (somewhat)
  • Amy: was in DC two weeks ago to present digitization of St. Augustine National Cemetery to the VA Deputy Undersecretary, it went well; then the Undersecretary was coming to Florida anyway and showed him in live with the AR/tombstone trigger, it worked, he was thrilled and are going to get the PR people to write it up; article to demonstrate that existing “unknown” soldiers can be matched to historical wooden markers in an old photo, has found 43 so far who are there but not names on tombstones
  • Brenda: Assistant Prof in English, teaches creative writing/screenwriting, does/publishes creative writing, sent out book proposal, creative writing craft book, working on worldbuilding teaching project, teaching a fantasy writing and worldbuilding class in Fall, will be looking for partners to help create multimedia works to go with the world students build (like AR dragons in student union)
  • Anastasia: Kairos came back on comics as scholarship revisions by 12th, adventure game book proposal with Murray and Reed has been accepted, paper on comparing Github open source collaborative labor to fandom, special issue proposal based on deepfakes, paper in queerbaiting collection with Blodgett on Adventure Time, revisions sent on edited collection on death of Charlie and fangirls in Supernatural

Reminder: Moulthrop coming to GRG 4/16 3pm 107 VAB as part of T&T visit, be there if you can!


  • Summer meetings? Yes
  • Summer writing challenge? Yes
  • Book proposal workshop for beginning of summer? Yes
  • Name change: Games and Interactive Media Research Group?
  • Going forward, ideas?

Meeting 01.29.18

Games Research Group Meeting Minutes for January 29, 2018

Anastasia called the meeting to order at exactly 11:00am. Nobody joined Emily’s hangout.



  • National Cemetery Association – drum surveys in St. Augustine
  • IR scan to make it a 3D model, prototype done in Unity – 37 grave section
  • IR scan was awesome, wants them to do the rest of the cemetery
  • Recap360 – free through Autudesk. Free license if you’re an educator
  • Looking for grants for stuff
  • Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson’s Commonplace books – tracking different versions
  • NEH grant on this one
  • Plan: keep on keepin’ on


  • Working on DiGRA submission
  • Writing about the Listeners, art piece but selling it as a game, ludic interaction
  • Got feedback from Eric
  • Send draft to Anastasia


  • Working on dissertation
  • UCF formatting guidelines
  • History workshop with Connie Lester
  • Job search – skype interviews


  • DiGRA submission is in
  • Edited collection Pokemon Go paper
  • Format review back
  • Revisions worked into dissertation
  • Defense scheduled (Feb 26th, 2p)
  • Job search – applying to open til filled positions
  • Anastasia – suggests to keep an eye open for emergency hires


  • Had the flu
  • Working on the CPE
  • Mend with WPI
  • Sloan grant with Natalie and Emily
  • Re-doing lectures
  • Submitted a panel to ELO
  • Submitted a art piece to ELO


  • Pitched 3 new projects to the CS students
  • Trying to get server space for two current CS groups
  • Submitting to I/ITSEC
  • IRB paperwork has been updated
  • 2 grants – SLOAN (waiting to hear back from Osceola Arts)
  • Super Jam grant – re-submitting, but waiting to hear back from the foundation on a question
  • Trying for the QEP grant for ELLE the EndLess LEarner game
  • 2 job applications out


  • Article about Twitter accepted
  • Got the article submitted with Mark
  • CPE-ing
  • Re-doing lectures
  • Submitting to the fan studies network
  • Submitting to association of internet researchers
  • Edited first half of the book!!


  • Waiting to hear back two journal articles
  • Revise & resubmit for another journal – due middle of next month
  • Working on a book chapter on games & dementia
  • Working on a book with Rudy
  • Meaningful Play – Michigan, May 28th papers due


  • Heard back from a journal that wanted revisions right away
  • Submitting to DiGRA
  • Submitted two things to ELO
  • On review board to ELO
    • 250 submissions
    • 66 art installation pieces
    • 150 papers
    • Rest are performances and workshops
  • Book going to review board
  • Working on an AIR paper
  • CHI Play deadline heads up
  • FDG is coming up
  • NEH Summer institute coming up – Feb 1st application


  • Work
  • Classes

Next meeting:

  • Sara will be doing a practice talk

Next next meeting after that:

  • Eric will be doing a practice defense

Examples of Dissertation Defense Presentations:

ELLE the EndLess LEarner

ELLE, The EndLess LEarner: An interdisciplinary digital humanities collaboration

ELLE the EndLess LEarner a suite of language learning games for Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), mobile, and PC created in collaboration with faculty and staff members from the Office of Instructional Resources, the Center for Humanities and Digital Research, and Modern Languages, Games and Interactive Media, as well as groups of Computer Science students. Designed with the dual purpose of education and research, each game is linked to a database that stores terms and definitions and allows the player to select the level of difficulty and terms, ideal for a midterm review as well as an isolated research study.

We were awarded internal Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) funding to add a professionalization pack to the game—Portuguese language students researched job interview questions common to Brazil and Portugal that were then incorporated into the database. Players can then choose to add this group of questions to their game, augmenting language learning with important professionalization skill practice.

This endless-runner-style language learning game sprung up from a Games Research Group meeting where we watched a demo of the endless-runner in Unreal. After our research team received the honor of first runner-up for an internal grant (but no funding), we pitched the idea to a Computer Science Capstone course and got a top-notch group of students to make it a reality.

The first iteration of the project won Best Computer Science Project at the College of Engineering and Computer Science’s Fall 2017 Senior Design Showcase!

This endless-runner-style language learning game sprung up from a Games Research Group meeting where we watched a demo of the endless-runner in Unreal. After our research team received the honor of first runner-up for an internal grant (and $0 in funding), we pitched the idea to a Computer Science Capstone course and got a top-notch group of students to make it a reality.

In fact, the project won Best Computer Science Project at the College of Engineering and Computer Science’s Fall 2017 Senior Design Showcase!

Capstone project “sponsor” team:

Computer Science capstone teams

ELLE 1.0:

  • Georg Anemogiannis (BS Computer Science, 2017)
  • Eric Butt (BS Computer Science, 2017)
  • Tyler Chauhan (BS Computer Science, 2017)
  • Megan Chipman (BS Computer Science, 2017)


  • Christopher Ward (BA, Digital Media-Game Design Track, 2017)
  • Lily (Lark) Nghi (BA, Digital Media, 2018)
  • James Distel (BA, Digital Media, in progress)

ELLE 2.0:

  • Mark Behler
  • Phillio Da Silva
  • Ian Holdeman
  • Santiago Perez Arrubla

ELLE Mobile:

  • Christian Acosta – Database Developer
  • Kyle Hendricks – Android Developer
  • James Jachcinski – iOS Developer
  • Mustapha Moore – Website Developer
  • Dominic Rama – Android Developer

Research Support: 

UCF QEP (Quality Enhancement Plan) grant to improve game aesthetics, include professionalization module, and implement game into Spring 2019 Portuguese language courses.


iLRN 2018

Johnson, E., Giroux, A. L., and Merritt, D. ELLE the EndLess LEarner:
A Second Language Acquisition Virtual Reality Game. Demonstration. (2018). Proceedings from Immersive Learning Research Network Conference, Missoula, Montana, June 24-29, 2018. Graz University of Technology (Austria).

DH 2017

Merritt, D. F., Johnson, E. K., Giroux, A. L. (2017). ELLE the EndLess LEarner: Exploring Second Language Acquisition Through an Endless Runner-style Video Game. Paper presented by A. Giroux at Digital Humanities 2017 in Montreal, Canada, August 9, 2017.


Giroux, A.L., Johnson, E.K., Merritt, D., Vitanova, G., Sousa, S. ELLE, The EndLess LEarner Videogame: An interdisciplinary digital humanities collaboration. Presented by all authors at Humanities Arts Science Technology Alliance Consortium (HASTAC), Orlando, Florida, November 2-4, 2017.

Anemogiannis, G., Butt, E., Chauhan, T., & Chipman, M. ELLE, The EndLess LEarner Videogame: Language Acquisition Through Interactive Technology. Demonstration at Humanities Arts Science Technology Alliance Consortium (HASTAC), Orlando, Florida, November 2-4, 2017.

College of Engineering and Computer Science Fall 2017 Senior Design Showcase

Anemogiannis, G., Butt, E., Chauhan, T., & Chipman, M. ELLE (EndLess LEarner): Learn a Second Language with Virtual Reality Video Game. Presented at UCF College of Engineering and Computer Science Fall 2017 Senior Design Showcase November 30, 2017. *Awarded Best Computer Science Project


We’d love to hear from you! Contact us!

Meeting 10.30.17

Games Research Group Meeting Minutes

October 30th, 2017: 1:00 PM

Attendees: Joey, Amanda, Sara, Emily, Mel, and Anastasia. Taylor tried to attend virtually but was denied access to a Google Hangout link. Sorry, Taylor.

Note: We are all doing better than Anastasia today.


  • Joey- halfway done with Dementia & games chapter, needs do something with the book. Which book…did not get recorded by the minute-taker.
  • Amanda- submitted 3 conference proposals! Finished first draft of 2nd chapter of dissertation, working on JOB APPS! Fingers crossed.
  • Sara- ½ of ch 3 drafted, hoping to finish, but HASTAC. Accepted to National Council of Public Historians for History Harvest workshop, JOB APPS. Good luck!
  • Emily- 2 grants due this week, HASTAC. So much HASTAC.  ***Officially Golf Cart Certified!!!***
  • Mel- submitted book proposal with Anastasia yesterday. Giving 4 talks in the next 2 weeks. And lots of grading.
  • Anastasia- book proposal 2 of 3 in! One to go. Enjoying the perks of administration and radio buttons. Day long workshop at Anthroconn coming up. Insert gif here.

The rest of the meeting was spent workshopping job application materials. Examples from hired professional academians are still up and available.

Doodle poll for next meeting is out! Participate now!

Meeting 10.17.17

Thanks everyone who made it to our meeting this week! We did some great materials workshopping in addition to our usual reporting-in. Some of those who couldn’t make it asked for a video recording which we did try to do — however, since we broke into small groups, the audio from the video is terrible. Sample materials from Anastasia and Mel are in the Google Drive.

Next meeting is Monday, October 30 at 1pm in OTC 500.


Meeting 10.04.17

Games Research Group Meeting Minutes

October 4th, 2017: 2:00 PM

Everyone is punch-drunk from the semester smacking us around. The Lost Weeks of September were broached as a rejected Don Henley song

  • Taylor: Submitting to the Games & Culture Casual / Hardcore CFP; presenting in Savannah this weekend. Preparing for Qualifying Exams.
  • Amanda: finalizing prospectus to send to committee by the end of the week, starting videos for HASTAC, making paper bag or sock puppets (but not from kits. She doesn’t support that monetization.) Applying for tenure track / postdoc positions.
  • Sara: Job applications, HASTAC and getting abstract videos ready for that.
  • Eric: finished chapter 3 draft, application in at SCMS, PCA South this weekend, HASTAC, more publications, change chapter just written into Twine for Kairos,
  • Mark: job search, doing video game course, making progress on diss, mod article with Mel is progressing
  • Anne: (making us all look bad…)
    • Survived the summer!
    • Loominary @ Smithsonian
    • FDG – presented paper
    • AISL submission in
    • TEI paper – submitted
    • HASTAC – prep
    • Synth project
    • Heirloom project
    • 4 quilts in PIQF!

COOKIES PLS? The cookies stopped going around again. D:

  • Mike: went to Seattle that was fun
  • Mel: mod article with Mark; book revisions coming back any day now; book proposal with Anastasia; still thinks Anne should do a Harry Potter fanfic loom scarf game – hecccccck yes
  • Anastasia: (making us all look bad…) Working on book proposal with Mel; working on book proposal w/ adventure game crew; working on book proposal with Stuart. Very into book proposals right now. Proofs come back on Toxic Geek Masculinity 10/10. Looking at CFP for Future of Fandom. Revising Eliza + Andromeda for HASTAC. Revising Kairos article on alternative scholarly forms.

We have determined that “a little window thing in the top of the car” is called a sun roof

  • Anastasia is going to write a book proposal on that now. (Thank you google for offering the auto-assign for this task.)
  • Jon: Introduction; teaching digital video and interactive design. Does game art: can potentially collaborate on projects. Has an Acer dev kit and has invited people to crash the office.

Upcoming Events:

  • CV / Web presence workshop
  • Job talks
  • Abstract jam

Google Drive: CVs / statements / etc from professors

Meeting 07.07.17

GRG Meeting Notes


Attendees: Emily, Anastasia, Mel, Amy, Donnie, Sara, on Skype: Taylor and Eric. Anne is recovering from surgery (get well soon, Anne!). Natalie and Peter are recovering from Australia. The few, the proud, the people who are hanging out in Orlando for the summer.

Since Anastasia will be in Portugal for 2 weeks, there won’t be another July meeting. We’ll reconvene in August.

CFPs that are out:

  • SCMS call is out, due August 31. Putting together a session is a good call for this one. Be warned: acceptance is hit and miss, and there’s no feedback. But it’s mid-sized, great for networking.
  • Games and Culture: casual games and gaming, edited by Shira Chess (who is super awesome!), everybody we know is submitting and it will be competitive. October 10 for 6000 word full essay, Shira is looking at abstracts in advance to talk about fit

Talking circle

  • Mel: book, camera obscura R&R is sent, modding games law/ethics (w/ Mark)
  • Amy: is in the midst of a HASTAC scheduling nightmare, cemetery project website needs to be demo-able by Wednesday
  • Donnie: much office work, boo; at HCI international on Peter’s panel next week, accessibility research; got a revision request for a chapter from like a year ago with an unreasonable deadline
  • Sara: working on drafting first chapter, aiming for 2 by end of August; finished IRB proposal, Emily is giving advice about how to work the IRB office for maximum success; had paper accepted to Popular Culture Studies and did revisions, will be published in fall; got accepted to FDG, deciding whether to do poster session
  • Eric: has Pokemon Go abstract mapped out’; has draft of photo journal; got the Well Played article out on time; data collection will be done by the 14th and then can do FDG poster and start to write dissertation
  • Taylor: finished well played paper; working on summer class; submitted abstract to PCA South; hasn’t submitted to Journal of Popular Culture yet but it’s in good shape; got accepted at HASTAC; casual and hardcore CFP for Games and Culture; finished 4 of 6 exams books
  • Emily: History game grant is almost ready; doing another pilot study with less common words for language learning game; waiting on IRB to see if they can do formal questionnaire with Limbitless kids; got R&R on 2 grants; HCII presentation about design for wheelchair users and DiGRA one (Peter presented but collaborative work)
  • Anastasia: Toxic Geek Masculinity has book cover; about to go to ELO with a Twine thing but also a modified version of the ELIZA bot; giving a talk at ELO about VR adventure games and why there aren’t any; sent in article (for Media and the Extreme Right issue) on Ghostbusters

Game camp report back:

It happened! They were younger than advertised: 6th-9th grade. They don’t play games, didn’t have favorites. Art went the best. Programming less so. In the end they were happy and the parents were happy so overall success. Amy thinks they enjoyed it and got a lot out of it. For next time: they were more comfortable with women, and not having any people of color was a drawback.

Meeting 06.14.17

Games Research Group Minutes

June 14, 2017

Present: Anastasia, Emily, Mel, Anne, Eric, Taylor, Peter


  • Anne:  working on an article for that Well-Played CFP on Time Stories. In May and June: FDG camera ready paper, prep work to do for ELO. Preparing for a summer camp (should really do more.) Prepping for TV show in June. (yes, this is copy and paste.) Loominary accepted at indiearcade (Smithsonian!) and two quilts accepted at QuiltWeek (yay!) Citizen Curator exhibit is up. Workshop organized. Doctoral Consortium grant accepted!
  • Eric: currently doing data collection (technically work on the FDG poster) and on track to meet June 15th deadline for dissertation timetable. Working on photojournal in Twine, working with Taylor on Well Played and putting finishing touches on the article now. CFP on Pokemon Go collection coming up, cluster criticism to look at game resources.
  • Mel: four chapter re-re-revised, consulted with peers at ICA. Moving this week. Was in top 10 tweeters at ICA, great conference. Project on reactionary fandom / right wing micro celebrity to think about current events and attachments coming together, and new project on LGBTQ representations / tv writers engagement with fan for Journal of Film and Video: queer production studies issue coming up. Working on revise and resubmit for Camera Obscura. Starting a project on American Gladiator / American Ninja Warrior and masculinity.
  • Taylor: working and taking a class this summer; working on article with Eric. Putting together an abstract for PCA south in October from same paper. Submitting to Journal of Popular Culture by end of summer. Starting on reading comp exam list.
  • Emily: still pending a good amount of things, but did a pilot study with 12 participants (6 walk-ins!) formal revisions of an ITSEC paper due Friday. Learned a lot from the pre-test and study design, particularly regarding having room to improve from the experiment. Future project involving comparison with a VR version of the game. Submitting long distance huggable light-up bear concept for a Comcast wi-fi grant with Anne. Working on another grant to build a history course game with riddles / Sherlock style gameplay to explore cognitive dissonance, wants to showcase prototype in August. Have to make slides for DH presentation because Rudy won’t send her to Canada 🙁
  • Peter: been working a lot on hardware stuff, arm games (IndieCade) and a new version of Pencil Pushers.


Dec 1:

Aug 13:

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Meeting 05.24.17

Games Research Group Minutes

May 24, 2017

Present: Anastasia, Anne, Mel, Joey, Amy, Emily, John, Joey, Eric, John. Peter took a cupcake but didn’t stay. Matt did not take a cupcake but also didn’t stay.


  • Emily: like the world, has given up on the NEH grant. Waiting to hear back on 2 grants in June, one in July, one in October, and one other sometime in the middle. Eight projects pending collaborator action (Anne says sorry. Others refuse to comment.) Real study with humans (unfunded) with 6 participants so far. Bugging Rudy as much as possible this summer (update: one email reply received.) Not attending many conferences, but name on presentations. Finally submitted grant, looking at Comcast grant with Anne and Matt, and working on Sloane Foundation grant.
  • Eric: into the FDG doctoral consortium (yay!) and will be working on poster session. Going to be doing interviews, so starting the IRB process. Will be investigating Emily’s lending library for qualitative methods books. Working on a Well-Played article with Taylor, due July 1st, writing about M:TG. Shopping for CFPs, so send him cool ones.
  • Anne: working on an article for that Well-Played CFP on Time Stories. In May and June: FDG camera ready paper, prep work to do for ELO. Preparing for a summer camp (should really do more.) Prepping for TV show in June. Two exhibits approved: Citizen Curator, wrote article for the catalog. Submitted a game to the Smithsonian SAM arcade: IndieArcade show. Have not heard back from HASTAC (middle of June) and worked on a grant proposal for artificial intelligence, co-organizing, should hear back soon. Also many papers to review.
  • Mel: submitted book (yay!) but the press has been reorganized, so working on revisions. Got an article out the door: manifesto on safe spaces, de-manifestoed and submitted. Revise and resubmit for Camera Obscura for work on queerness in comics, hoping to turn around revisions on June. Leaving tomorrow for ICA. Conference in Boston awesome, generative for next book on IP and creativity. Hoping to apply for grants, assuming grants still exist.
  • Joey: got a book contract with Routledge (yay!) on digital badging. Got accepted to Replay Japan. Book chapter on educational methods in Overwatch accepted. Wants to return to games in education article, and start working on the book. Also writing a Faculty Focus article, possibly with Anne’s help.
  • Kevin: applying for internships, preparing to start graduate school in the fall. Recommended to look for Unreal developer positions in Research Park.
  • Amy: HASTAC: those of you who have reviews pending, do them!!! (by Monday) looking to do acceptances mid-June. Working on the IDL class this summer, helping with the summer camp, so will be learning Construct 2. Presented well-received 4 lectures at a conference on Raleigh. Proquest wants to talk about the algorithm (!!!). Revise and resubmit for digital scholarship in the humanities, Florida article accepted without revisions (!). Working on HASTAC stuff and design for cemetery project. Needs advice regarding contrast in AR / Viewphoria.
  • John: Working on creativity in Minecraft. Test of creativity that is easy to administer, but has the flaw of being only in-person, online prototype attempted but Pearson refused to allow. Looking for suggestions for testing / publishing.