Three Dimensions of Video Games
by West Virginia University - Department of Communication Studies on Nov 26, 2012
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While not a new technology, advances in stereoscopic video displays have attempted to make more translucent the divide between video games and their players. Modern video game systems now support ...
While not a new technology, advances in stereoscopic video displays have attempted to make more translucent the divide between video games and their players. Modern video game systems now support native 3D display technology, as do many modern televisions. Indeed, the promise of 3D appears to be in line with the implicit promise of the video game: to allow the user a virtual space to escape, control, and challenge skills in an immersive fantasy environment. Assuming a complementarity between the goals of 3D displays and video games, we might assume 3D games by proxy to be more enjoyable and desired. Yet, one might also argue that the inclusion of a third dimension of attention may be a particularly taxing situation, especially for a video gamer already attending to the processing of complex narrative and control structures in many video games. Research has shown a curvilinear relationship between the cognitive load of a video game’s interface and both performance at and enjoyment of the game, and it remains open to empirical question whether the added cognitive load required to process a 3D environment would be beneficial or detrimental to performance and enjoyment when compared to a similarly-situated 2D environment. Moreover, as 3D games are designed with aesthetics as well as gameplay mechanics in mind, we wonder if audiences might enjoy the presentation as much as, if not more than, the players themselves – audiences not having to make the same cognitive resource commitment to gameplay as users. The current paper delineates arguments suggesting both positive and negative influences of 3D and proposes a series of experimental designs aimed at further understanding the relationship between agency, demand, and perspective on performance at, presence in and enjoyment of video games.
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