University of Hamburg, 5-6 July 2013
Daniel Pietschmann, Chemnitz University of Technology
Spatial Mapping of Input and Output Spaces in Video Games
Contemporary video games allow for intense experiences with their possibilities to provide visually authentic, life-like 3D environments and interaction with the game world itself and other players. Additionally, stereoscopic representation can be used to further enhance this experience. Since the release of the Nintendo Wii in 2005 and later Sony Move as well as Microsoft Kinect (both 2010), modern console games use motion control in addition to the classic gamepad. Both the use of these natural user interfaces (NUIs) and stereoscopic representation determine the user experience (UX) with the system. The rise in popularity of these technologies has led to high expectations regarding an added value in entertainment, immersion, and excitement—especially of 3D games—as both technologies are employed to establish a better sense of spatiality in games and allow the players to immerse themselves in the game world. For commercial success of these technologies, the resulting UX has to be enjoyable and strain-free. Because this is not always the case, we have to understand the factors underlying the UX of stereoscopic entertainment media and natural user interfaces to improve it further. Previous research primarily concentrated on direct effects of stereoscopic representation without considering interaction processes between input and output modalities. More specific, UX should only be enriched, if games enable users to meaningfully map mental representations of input (NUIs) and output (stereoscopic representation) space. Based on the process model of spatial presence formation (Wirth et al., 2007), mental models (more precisely: spatial situation models; SSM) are constructed during the reception process. The quality of a player’s SSM determines the resulting UX. The talk will discuss the spatial mapping of input and output spaces in stereoscopic video games based on the concept of spatial situation models.
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Daniel Pietschmann is Junior Lecturer at the Institute for Media Research, Chair of Media Psychology, Chemnitz University of Technology and Research Associate at the graduate program Crossworlds – Connecting virtual and real social worlds of the German Science Foundation, Chemnitz University of Technology. He has received a Master’s degree in media communication in 2008 and is currently working on his dissertation thesis Effects of Sensomotoric Interfaces on User Experience. His research interests include psychological and physical aspects of experiencing digital media, virtual reality environments, computer game studies, TV studies and Transmedia Storytelling.