Oculus Rift (Virtual Reality) Kids Research

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Good news for Oculus VR and Facebook! New research from Dubit shows kids not only love to use Oculus Rift but they want to see it used in schools and other areas outside of gaming.

This document is a summary of the findings from a series of focus groups conducted with children on their experiences and expectations for Oculus Rift and virtual reality.

Oculus Rift (Virtual Reality) Kids Research

  1. 1. Dubit Virtual Reality User Testing: Kids/Tween Qualitative Research
  2. 2. Dubit - 2 User Testing Methodologies and Objectives
  3. 3. Dubit - 3 • Group size: 12 kids aged seven to 12 split into six groups using a pair of Oculus Rift’s. In this presentation we refer to all participants as ‘kids’. • Sessions were held in our Leeds office. • As usual we obtained parental permission for the kids to take part in the sessions. • We ensured no children had problems with epilepsy before playing. • We also gave parents a chance to try the virtual reality headset before the sessions began. • We reminded children at the start of the sessions that if they felt uncomfortable all they had to to was take the headset off. We also reminded them of this during the sessions. • Games played: Fairy Forest, Chicken Walk, Dragon, Dumpy, Rift Coaster, First Law, Titans of Space. User Testing Methodologies and Objectives
  4. 4. Dubit - 4 • We wanted to find out how Virtual Reality is different from other formats and what it can offer to a gaming experience. • We tested this with the Oculus Rift but we wanted to test the concept of virtual reality in general. • The sessions were split into several tasks: • Gaming Usage: The kids played several virtual reality games whilst we monitored their interaction. • Virtual Reality Game Design: We asked the kids to think about new types of virtual reality gaming genres. • Virtual Reality Branding: We asked the kids to think about the types of brands and companies that would sell such technology. • Device Pricing: We asked the kids to price various devices and the virtual reality headset alongside. User Testing Methodologies and Objectives
  5. 5. Dubit - 5 Usability Testing
  6. 6. Dubit - 6 • Headset • All the kids found the headset easy to put on and comfortable. Even with the seven-year-olds the headset fitted comfortably on their head and wasn’t too large. • Some kids, (the younger ones) commented that the headset felt slightly heavy. Comments about the headset being too heavy were more common when players had to put their head up and down frequently during a game. • The kids used the headset with confidence once they got used to wearing it. • Dizziness • None of the kids reporting any signs of dizziness during or after usage. • One parent (who wanted to try the headset before their child) felt slightly dizzy after a short demo. • Conclusions: They were happy to wear the headsets. The headset felt heavy in some games for the younger kids. Usability
  7. 7. Dubit - 7 • How easy is it to play? • They found the games very easy to pick up and play and were eager to try different games using the headset. • How long could they play? • The intensity of the virtual reality experience rather than the weight of the headset dictated how long the children could play for but none expressed any signs of fatigue. Kids expected to play with the headset for as long as they would typically play on a console but we found that changed with the intensity of the game being played. • What they like about the Oculus Rift • Many commented that the virtual reality made you (the player) feel as if you were ‘actually there’. They felt it gave the games a degree of realism - on the roller coaster it felt as if they were going to fall off. • The level of immersion they felt exceeded current gaming experiences. • Greater player immersion occurred on games that didn’t have them controlling the avatar, meaning they didn’t have to concentrate on the controls. • Conclusions: The best performing games had anchors in the real-world as opposed to abstract concepts and game mechanics, eg. Rollercoasters and Chicken Walk. Usability
  8. 8. Dubit - 8 • How long to orientate when playing a game? • Some of the kids needed prompting on some of the controls. For example, lifting their head up and down to pick up food in the chicken game and looking behind them on the roller-coaster. This is to be expected as these children had not seen the headset before and were unaware of how to use it. • Most kids took seconds to pick up the controls and used the headset with confidence. They took easily to looking all around them and all around the virtual environment • Some players had issues with games where the controls were difficult, often when the controls required headset movement and controller movement being used in in conjunction. This concept took longer than other control systems to pick up and it took them longer to orientate themselves. Often the players thought that when they had a controller that this would be the main point of control, but when it was not this caused confusion. • Conclusions: Keep the controls easy and provide clear instructions, or an orientation level. Usability
  9. 9. Dubit - 9 • Controllers • Specialist controllers for particular games: having a gun controller for a shooting game, or a wheel controller for driving games were popular options. They felt that this would help with player immersion and help them feel as if they were in the game. • The older kids identified wireless controllers as being important. • Using the Kinect in conjunction with the headset was also popular. Many children liked this as it would ‘copy your moves like the headset did’ with the head movements. They liked the idea of it mirroring moves so you could run around or jump. • Conclusions: Kids quickly recognised the importance of controllers and identified different uses/types of controllers. They thought that controllers with natural movement controls (like Playstation Move) would improve the level of immersion and gameplay. Usability
  10. 10. Dubit -10 Genres / Styles of Virtual Reality Games
  11. 11. Dubit -11 • What experiences are perfect for VR? • All the kids commented that first-person-shooters, like Call of Duty, would be perfect for virtual reality. They thought specialist controllers would help with games as it would be better for immersion. • Boys thought that games like Skyrim and other combat games would work well too, girls mentioned this too but they felt these were games for teenage boys. • The boys groups thought that a game like FIFA wouldn’t work on the virtual reality headset as it would be hard to control the players. However, they thought that solo sports games like golf, cricket or tennis would work well, or a penalty shoot-out mini game in a game like FIFA.. • Younger girls liked the idea of being able to play driving games like Mario Kart in virtual reality. • First-person games were deemed more suitable than third-person. • Conclusions: They quickly appreciated the essence of virtual reality and concluded a game like FIFA could not work, but they thought that first-person games would be great. Girls identified racing and Sims-like games. Both genders said Minecraft would work well. Games: Game Mechanics
  12. 12. Dubit -12 • What they would want to do in virtual reality: • The kids wanted the games they played using the headset to have more freedom. They wanted the freedom to move around the virtual environment and interact with it. • The desire for more freedom of movement was more typical with the older children. Younger children were happy with the experience and just observing the environment like the virtual roller coaster or flight simulator. • Both boys and girls wanted to have a game where they could build or create using the headset. They wanted to be able to build a structure and then explore it ‘like building a school or castle’. • It was important for kids to be able to see their avatar’s body when they looked down. They thought this would help make them feel as if they were actually there. Although some wanted to be able to see the whole avatar and not play as point of view. • Conclusions: The kids wanted to roam and freely explore the environments. They also wanted the entire experience to be as immersive and ‘realistic’ as possible - looking down and seeing their body was important. Games: Suitable Games
  13. 13. Dubit -13 VR as a Tool for Kids Creativity and Self-Expression
  14. 14. Dubit -14 • Unprompted, they identified Minecraft as a great virtual reality game/experience. • Most kids wanted to play a Minecraft-like game in virtual reality and this formed the basis for some of the games they created. • They liked the concept of being able to create their own world using the virtual reality headset. • They wanted a Minecraft virtual reality game so you could “see properly what it actually is like in a real world made out of blocks”. • It was this added immersion which excited them. Being able to ‘see Minecraft in real life’. • The game the kids designed would be very similar to Minecraft. They only made small differences such as using different monsters or environments. • Conclusions: UGC-type worlds were deemed to be great VR applications with Minecraft front of mind. Content Creation: Minecraft
  15. 15. Dubit -15 • The kids said they would like to have a game similar to the Sims where they could explore real buildings and walk around them. They wanted a game like the Sims where they could ‘go to the shops and build a house’. • A group of boys came up with a game idea where they worked in different jobs, like ‘working as a waiter or a taxi driver.’ They wanted to earn money and have mini games in the job, then they would ‘go back to their apartment in the city.’ • In these games they wanted the avatar to be more realistic looking and more like Sims characters. • The younger kids were happy just to be in the environment and explore whereas the older kids also wanted the added realism of having a job/role/duty (i.e. a purpose) in the virtual world (with their friends). • Conclusions: The girls (more than the boys) identified The Sims as a great application for virtual reality. The younger kids just wanted to roam around The Sims whereas the older kids wanted to be given roles and specific tasks. Content Creation: The Sims
  16. 16. Dubit -16 • Some children liked to mix with the idea of the Sims and playing the roller coaster game and thought virtual reality would be good for a theme park game. • One of the girls groups really liked the idea of being able to design their own theme park with the virtual reality headset. • In this game they could create their own virtual park with all their rides they wanted. • The game would allow them to share the theme park with their friends. They would be able to go on the rides with their fiends who would also use virtual reality headsets. They could earn coins on the arcades and build more rides. • Conclusions: The play mechanics of build, create, share and play (in the context of theme parks) was deemed as a cool idea. Content Creation: Theme Parks
  17. 17. Dubit -17 • We also asked the kids to come up with brand-new ideas for games and experiences in virtual reality. They came up with: • Virtual Teddie (girl aged 8): Scanning their real-world bear and then interacting with it in virtual reality. • Flying games (boys aged 9 and 11): Being able to fly around in virtual reality and play flying games with their friends. • Virtual homes: (girls aged 8 and 10, boy aged 10): Creating a virtual home that they could ‘keep’ and have friends in it for parties. • Movie set (boy aged 12): Being able to explore a virtual version of a set from Harry Potter. • Being an animal or fish (girl and boy aged 9): Becoming an animal and exploring their natural habitat. Also, playing games like tag. • Conclusions: Kids of all ages were able to come up ideas for new styles of games and experiences for virtual reality. Content Creation: Ideation
  18. 18. Dubit -18 Virtual Reality in Education
  19. 19. Dubit -19 • All groups identified VR as a great tool in the classroom - making lessons and learning more interesting. • In particular they identified the concept of ‘Virtual Field Trips’. • Touring and exploring locations was popular whether that was inside the human body, in the Titanic or in outer space. Whether the virtual environment was microscopic or on a galactic scale they wanted to experience the reality of ‘the place’. • They wanted freedom in these games to explore various locations. They felt that through exploring the locations they could be given information about what was going on around them, or what it was like in that environment. • Conclusions: Without prompting, the kids (all ages) identified the value of using virtual reality in the classroom. ‘Exploration’ was identified as a key theme. Education: Virtual Field Trips
  20. 20. Dubit -20 • We asked the kids to come up ideas for virtual field trips… • Jungle or Rainforest • Go into the rainforest and travel around on an elephant. • Do tasks to cross rivers and get through the forest. • Tudor House • Tour a Tudor house to see what it was like to live there. • The Normandy Beaches • Be a soldier and experience landing in Normandy during World War 2. • Human Body • Travel through the digestive system as a virtual piece of broccoli. • Be microscopic and see cells like in the Fantastic Voyage. Education: Virtual Field Trips Examples
  21. 21. Dubit -21 • One boys group had been learning about natural disasters in school. They wanted to be able to play through other disasters via virtual reality like the Titanic and the Bradford City Fire. • They came up with the concept of being on the Titanic as the driver or a passenger. They wanted to be able to experience history and feel the reality of the situation. • They didn’t want to change the outcome of the disaster. They wanted to be able to play from different perspectives, for example from the Captain or one of the passengers. • They also wanted to play as one of the survivors and try and survive on one of the icebergs in a way similar to Minecraft. In this instance the children didn’t want to change the story of the Titanic, they just wanted to extend it. Education: Historical Example
  22. 22. Dubit -22 • The kids quickly appreciated the role of virtual reality in education. They thought it could make learning more fun and interesting. They quickly came up with several ideas, many based around virtual field trips. • A game where players can build and create would work well with the virtual reality. Many wanted Minecraft to be available for the device. • They wanted games where the player has the freedom to explore an environment whether it’s one they crated or something created by someone else. • ‘Experiencing things from different perspectives would be interesting’. • They wanted the games to feel like experiences of different places and lives. They wanted to play with their friends too and showcase what they could make. This was a particular theme with older children. Education: Key Findings and Recommendations
  23. 23. Dubit -23 Pricing and Branding
  24. 24. Dubit -24 • How expensive should it be? • When asked about price the average estimate being £430! • Another group thought that the virtual reality headset was the most expensive because ‘it’s the best out of all the others’. They also said it was because ‘you can see everything and it’s better than any other game’. • The kids thought that the weight of the device needed improving as well as the graphics. They thought more games needed to be available before they would buy it. Pricing and Product £250 £500 £50 £100 £150 £200 £250 £300 £350 £400 £450 £500 £550 £600+
  25. 25. Dubit -25 • We gave all groups a large selection of company logos, ranging from game and software developers through to global technology manufacturers, toy companies and social networks. None of them were aware of the Facebook acquisition of Oculus VR. • We asked them to select a company they thought was most likely to launch a VR headset as well as comment (if they wanted to) on other company logos. The top four they identified were: • Microsoft: ‘Because they make games’. ‘A computer company.Because it runs on Microsoft’. ‘They make good games’. “They would be a good fit’, ‘Because they want to make more money’. • Sony: ‘They make good quality games’. ‘They’re a big company’. • Nintendo: ‘They make good games for kids’. ‘Because they do loads of games and they do building games and things and they do animal crossing’. • Hasbro: ‘They could make one just for kids’, ‘They could make one for boys and one for girls’. Brands
  26. 26. Dubit -26 • One older boy said that Facebook would be behind it because ‘it’s popular for loads of people’. • Other groups said Facebook wouldn’t work and wouldn’t make sense. This was because they ‘aren’t a game maker’ and are more internet focussed than games. • After being told Facebook owned it some respondents said they thought it was a bad move. • Earlier on these two 12 year olds had said that they would not pay as much for a virtual reality headset as and Xbox or PlayStation because they weren’t as popular. Distribution and Branding: Facebook
  27. 27. Dubit -27 Conclusions and Summary Findings
  28. 28. Dubit -28 • They were happy to wear the headsets. They were heavy in some games for the younger kids. • They thought they could easily play VR games for up to an hour, or as long as they would typically play a console game. • The most enjoyable games were based on real-world experiences and/or had easily understood game mechanics. • They quickly recognised the importance of controllers and identified different uses/types of controllers. They thought that controllers with natural movement controls (like Playstation Move) would improve the level of immersion and gameplay. • They quickly figured out which types of games would be suitable for VR. First person perspectives were deemed much better than third person or 2.5D. Conclusions and Summary Findings
  29. 29. Dubit -29 • Minecraft and The Sims were front on mind for all the kids. • Younger kids just wanted to look around whereas the older ones wanted to roam and freely explore. They also wanted the entire experience to be as immersive and ‘realistic’ as possible - looking down and seeing their body for example. • Greater immersion/presence occurred in game with limited avatar movement. • The play mechanics of build, create, share and play (in the context of theme parks) was deemed as a cool idea. • All ages of kids were able to come up ideas for new styles of games and experiences in virtual reality. • Without prompting, the kids (all ages) identified the value of using virtual reality in the classroom. ‘Exploration’ was identified as a key theme. Conclusions and Summary Findings
  30. 30. Dubit -30 • They wanted the games to feel like experiences of different places and lives. They wanted to play with their friends too and showcase what they could make. This was a particular theme with older children. • They thought the price would be over £150 ($250) and less than £300 ($500). • They thought that the weight of the device needed improving as well as the graphics (we used the Oculus Rift DK1). They thought more games needed to be available before they would want to buy it. • They identified (from a long list) Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo and Hasbro as the most likely companies to make a virtual reality headset. • When prompted, they could not see the benefit of Facebook launching a virtual reality headset. Conclusions and Summary Findings

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