As everyday and commonplace technology continues to move toward touch devices and virtual reality devices, more and more video games are using gestures as forms of gameplay. While there is much research focused on gestures as user interface navigation methods, we wanted to look into how gestures affect gameplay when used as a gameplay mechanic. In particular, we set out to determine how different ways of presenting gestures might affect the game's difficulty and flow. We designed two versions of a zombie game where the zombies are killed by drawing gestures. The first version of the game is a touchscreen-based game where the gestures are drawn in 2D space on the screen while the second version utilizes 3D space to draw gestures in virtual reality. We performed two studies comparing gestures presented as symbols and names, one study using the two-dimensional touchscreen game and one using the VR version. We found that presenting gestures by name increases the game's difficulty in the 2D version of the game. Flow was unchanged by gesture presentation but flow increased with difficulty in our 2D game. We were unable to affirm these same results with any significance in the VR version of the game. We discuss the implications of our results and provide insights to help game designers make more informed decisions about gesture implementations as gameplay elements in video games.
Laviola II, Joseph
Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Oakley, Jack, "The Effects of Gesture Presentation in Video Games" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 389.