12 February 2013
Stockholm University
Harko Verhagen

For the past 15 years, Harko Verhagen has been working on models for social coordination and cooperation combining social theories and computational models of these theories, combining his background in social science (MSc in Sociology) and computer science (PhD). Other recent research interests include globalization of the ICT industry as an example of reverse globalization, rhetoric and discourse in scientific communication within computer science, and platforms for online discussion promoting microdemocratic processes.
Starting with simulations of organizational behaviour in the early 1990s, continuing with normative agents in the late 1990s and agent-based social simulation in general, amongst others starting the NorMAS workshop series, he has now moved on to study computer games. More in particular, the normative relations between players in so-called guilds and most of all social believability for computer game agents (called nonplayer characters or NPCs for short).
Building upon the work on a conceptual model of agency such as the metamodels Model Social Agent (Carley & Newell 1995) and the Consumat architecture (Jager 2000, Jager and Janssen 2012) combined with work on emotional (Eladhari 20xx), the Model Social Game Agent (MSGA) was developed. This framework has been used to investigate the hopes and fears of game designers and researchers and to analyse the current NPC behaviour with respect to their social believability. The talk will present some examples of NPC behaviour that breaks the illusion of “real” characters and propose how NPC developed based on the MSGA might fare better as well as the remaining challenges to turn from conceptual model to implementation.