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An Investigation of Visual Attention in FPS Computer Gameplay

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2 Author(s)
Sennersten, C.C. ; Game & Media Arts Lab. (GAMALab), Blekinge Inst. of Technol., Karlshamn ; Lindley, C.A.

Cognitive science provides a useful approach to studying computer gameplay, especially from the perspective of determining the cognitive skills that players learn during play. Computer games are highly visual medium and game interaction involves continuous visual cognition. A system integrating an eyetracker with a 3D computer game engine has been developed to provide real time gaze object logging, a fast and convenient way of collecting gaze object data for analysis. This system has been used to test three hypotheses concerning visual attention in close combat tactics as simulated by a first-person shooter (FPS) computer game. Firstly, the cuing effect of the playerpsilas gun graphic on visual attention was tested, but no evidence was found to support this. Data supported the second hypothesis, that a player attends to the target opponent while shooting at them, in most cases, while in a small percentage of cases this is achieved in peripheral vision. Finally, in most cases, a player targets the nearest opponent. These results provide a baseline for further investigations in which the stimulus game design may be modified to provide more detailed models of the visual cognitive processes involved in gameplay. These models document the learning outcomes of game interaction and provide a basis for improvements, such as the optimization of combat survival tactics.

Published in:

Games and Virtual Worlds for Serious Applications, 2009. VS-GAMES '09. Conference in

Date of Conference:

23-24 March 2009