Multi-sensory Game Interface Improves Player Satisfaction but not Performance

Nesbitt, K. and Hoskens, I.

    Players of computer games tend to be discerning about game quality. So, to be successful, game designers need to ensure that players receive the best possible experience. A growing trend in the design of game interfaces is the use of multi-sensory (visual, auditory and haptic) interfaces to broaden the experience for players. The assumption is that, by displaying different information to different senses, it is possible to increase the amount of information available to players and so assist their performance. To test this assumption, the first-person shooter game, 'Quake 3: Arena', was evaluated in four modes: with only visual cues; with both visual and auditory cues; with both visual and haptic cues; and with visual, auditory and haptic cues. Players reported improved 'immersion', 'confidence' and 'satisfaction' when additional sensory cues were included, the multisensory game interface seemed to improve the player's experience, but there was no statistically significant improvement in their performance. We suspect that a better design of the information being displayed for each sense may be required if multi-sensory displays are to significantly improve the player's performance on specific game tasks.
Cite as: Nesbitt, K. and Hoskens, I. (2008). Multi-sensory Game Interface Improves Player Satisfaction but not Performance. In Proc. Ninth Australasian User Interface Conference (AUIC 2008), Wollongong, NSW, Australia. CRPIT, 76. Plimmer, B. and Weber, G., Eds. ACS. 13-18.
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