PLEY 2020 – Accepted Papers

Using the Uncalibrated Eye Tracker Signal in the Gaming Environment

Pawel Kasprowski, Silesian University of Technology, Poland
Katarzyna Harezlak, Silesian University of Technology, Poland

It seems that controlling games with the eyes should be very intuitive and obvious. However, eye-controlled games have not become very popular yet. One of the reasons is — in our opinion — the necessity of eye tracker calibration before its every usage. This process is not very long, but it is inconvenient and requires focusing on the particular task. Moreover, sometimes the calibration fails and must be repeated.

According to our observations, even when the eye tracker is not calibrated for the specific user, there is some information in the registered signal that may be used to control a game. Of course, without the calibration, the eye tracker signal lacks accuracy and precision. However, it is acceptable for some types of games.

The main contribution of the paper is checking to what extent an uncalibrated eye tracker signal may be used in a gaming environment. At first, a simple experiment was prepared to verify if the gaze location and eye movement direction may be estimated, having only the uncalibrated signal. Then the idea was tested in the field study involving several hundred participants.

https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/3379156.3391837


Visual Analysis of Eye Movements During Game Play

Michael Burch, Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands
Kuno Kurzhals, ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Eye movements indicate visual attention and strategies during game play, regardless of whether in board, sports, or computer games. Additional factors such as individual vs. group play and active playing vs. observing game play further differentiate application scenarios for eye movement analysis. Visual analysis has proven to be an effective means to investigate and interpret such highly dynamic spatio-temporal data. In this paper, we contribute a classification strategy for different scenarios for the visual analysis of gaze data during game play. Based on an initial sample of related work, we derive multiple aspects comprising data sources, game mode, player number, player state, analysis mode, and analysis goal. We apply this classification strategy to describe typical analysis scenarios and research questions as they can be found in related work. We further discuss open challenges and research directions for new application scenarios of eye movements in game play.

https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/3379156.3391839


Gazing at Pac-Man: Lessons learned from an Eye-Tracking Study Focusing on Game Difficulty

Michael Lankes, University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, Austria
Andreas Stöckl, University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, Austria

This paper investigates the players’ gaze behavior in different game difficulty settings to explore potential use cases of gaze-informed design interventions for future research activities. A comparative study was set up where subjects played the game Pac-Man in three difficulty settings while their gaze behavior was recorded via an eye-tracking device. Several measures were employed, such as the current position of the players’ gaze, the current position of the Pac-Man character, and the currently attended game object. While some game aspects did not show any significant results (e.g., the distance between Pac-Man and the gaze point), the time spent looking at one of Pac-Man’s enemies revealed a highly significant effect for the difficulty level. With the findings, we aim at informing designers and researchers regarding the pitfalls of using gaze as an analysis tool in the field of challenge in games. Furthermore, the insights of our efforts provide the basis for our future research activities that will use the obtained data to provide player guidance and support players in challenging game situations through visually augmenting objects located in the peripheral visual field.

https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/3379156.3391840


Eye Caramba: Gaze-based Assistance for Virtual Reality Aiming and Throwing Tasks in Games

Martin Kocur, University of Regensburg, Germany
Martin Johannes Dechant, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
Michael Lankes, University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, Austria
Christian Wolff, University of Regensburg, Germany
Regan Mandryk, University of Saskatchewan, Canada

Gaze-based interaction in Virtual Reality (VR) has been attracting attention recently due to rapid advances in eye tracking technology in head-mounted displays. Since gazes are a natural and intuitive interaction modality for human beings, gaze-based interaction could enhance player experience in immersive VR games. Aiming assistance is a common feature in games to balance difficulty for different player skills. Previous work has investigated different aim assistance approaches and identified various shortcomings. We hypothesize that “bullet magnetism” is a promising technique for VR and could be enhanced by extending its functionality through players’ gazes. In this paper, we present a gaze-based aiming assistance approach and propose a study design to evaluate its performance and player experience in a “Mexican-style” VR first-person shooter game.

https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/3379156.3391841


Eye-Tracking in Educational Multi-Touch Games

Birte Heinemann, RWTH Aachen University, Germany
Matthias Ehlenz, RWTH Aachen University, Germany
Ulrik Schroeder, RWTH Aachen University, Germany

Collaborative learning with educational games on multi-touch tabletop devices opens chances, challenges and questions which make contemporary approaches in learning analytics meet their boundaries. Multi-modality might help here, and eye-tracking is a promising data source in the effort to a better understanding of the learners’ behaviour.
This article describes our previous work regarding serious games on large multi-touch tabletop displays, developed to teach computer science theory topics in a collaborative and entertaining way, our previous research efforts and challenges and obstacles we met on our way. Eye-tracking will improve our understanding of the learners’ behaviour while they are not interacting with the game, enhance the construction of coherent learner models and might even provide a subtle way of control on a medium of public interaction. The benefits of our work can be used to enhance the game mechanics and support shy or students with disabilities. We present our plan of action which follows a design-based research approach and includes the motivation for our work and our short- and long-term goals.

https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/3379156.3391838


Eye-tracking for Sense of Immersion and Linguistic Complexity in the Skyrim Game: Issues and Perspectives

Alessandro Cierro, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium
Thibault Philippette, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium
Thomas François, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium
Sébastien Nahon, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium
Patrick Watrin Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium

As part of an experimental study aimed at evaluating the linguistic and paralinguistic factors that can influence the sense of immersion in an open-world video game, we have partially opted for an eye-tracking data collection protocol. In doing so, various problems emerged in the course of the research and we therefore propose to report and analyze them in this article in order to provide useful feedback for further research. The first set of problems is of a technical nature and relates to the difficulty of collecting reliable eye tracking data in an open and complex game environment. Our second concern is about the difficulties that may appear depending on the morphological characteristics of the players. The third issue is about player’s familiarity with the game and the experimental parameters. And lastly, we discuss some post-processing issues for the analysis. The reflections raised from these few difficulties allow us to discuss some challenges for future oculometric research in complex video game environments.

https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/3379156.3391836


The full ETRA 2020 proceedings can be found here: https://dl.acm.org/doi/proceedings/10.1145/3379156

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