This Article 
   
 Share 
   
 Bibliographic References 
   
 Add to: 
 
Digg
Furl
Spurl
Blink
Simpy
Google
Del.icio.us
Y!MyWeb
 
 Search 
   
Repairing Games at Runtime or, How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Emergence
September/October 2011 (vol. 28 no. 5)
pp. 53-59
Chris Lewis, University of California, Santa Cruz
Jim Whitehead, University of California, Santa Cruz
Games must be emergent, constantly surprising players by the possibilities they offer. However, emergence creates unpredictability, preventing developers from verifying that their games won't lead to undesirable states. Worse still, even when a bug is found, finding out how it occurred can be a significant challenge. The authors present Mayet, a system for monitoring software at runtime, and use it to repair a game as it executes. This capability lets developers focus on creating excellent gaming experiences and not worry about edge cases and untraceable bugs.

1. H. Haken, "The Challenge of Complex Systems," Information and Self-Organization, Springer, 2006, chap. 1, pp. 1–35.
2. K. Salen and E. Zimmerman, Rules of Play, MIT Press, 2004, pp. 350–353.
3. K. Starr, "Testing Video Games Can't Possibly Be Harder Than an Afternoon With Xbox, Right?" Seattle Weekly,11 July 2007; www.seattleweekly.com/2007-07-11/newstesting-video-games-can-t-possibly-be-harder-than-an-afternoon-with-xbox-right.php .
4. J.C. Mogul, "Emergent (Mis)Behavior vs. Complex Software Systems," SIGOPS Operating Systems Rev., vol. 40, no. 4, Apr. 2006, pp. 293–304.
5. A. Avižienis et al., "Basic Concepts and Taxonomy of Dependable and Secure Computing," IEEE Trans. Dependable and Secure Computing, vol. 1, no. 1, 2004, pp. 11–33.
6. J. Blow, "Game Development: Harder Than You Think," ACM Queue, vol. 1, no. 10, 2004, pp. 28–37.
7. D. Garlan, B. Schmerl, and S.-W. Cheng, "Software Architecture-Based Self-Adaptation," Autonomic Computing and Networking, Springer, 2009, chap. 2, pp. 31–55.
8. J.H. Perkins et al., "Automatically Patching Errors in Deployed Software," Proc. ACM SIGOPS 22nd Symp. Operating Systems Principles (SOSP 2009), ACM Press, 2009, pp. 87–102.
9. "Liveness Manifestos," Apr. 2004; www.cs.nyu.edu/acsys/beyond-safetyliveness.htm .
1. C. Lewis, J. Whitehead, and N. Wardrip-Fruin, "What Went Wrong: A Taxonomy of Video Game Bugs," Proc. 5th Int'l Conf. Foundations of Digital Games (FDG 2010), ACM Press, 2010, pp. 108–115.

Index Terms:
games, reliability, error handling and recovery
Citation:
Chris Lewis, Jim Whitehead, "Repairing Games at Runtime or, How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Emergence," IEEE Software, vol. 28, no. 5, pp. 53-59, Sept.-Oct. 2011, doi:10.1109/MS.2011.87
Usage of this product signifies your acceptance of the Terms of Use.