How much control is enough? Optimizing fun with unreliable input

B.L.A. van de Laar, D. Plass - Oude Bos, B. Reuderink, Mannes Poel, Antinus Nijholt

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    Brain-computer interfaces (BCI) provide a valuable new input modality within human- computer interaction systems, but like other body-based inputs, the system recognition of input commands is far from perfect. This raises important questions, such as: What level of control should such an interface be able to provide? What is the relationship between actual and perceived control? And in the case of applications for entertainment in which fun is an important part of user experience, should we even aim for perfect control, or is the optimum elsewhere? In this experiment the user plays a simple game in which a hamster has to be guided to the exit of a maze, in which the amount of control the user has over the hamster is varied. The variation of control through confusion matrices makes it possible to simulate the experience of using a BCI, while using the traditional keyboard for input. After each session the user �lled out a short questionnaire on fun and perceived control. Analysis of the data showed that the perceived control of the user could largely be explained by the amount of control in the respective session. As expected, user frustration decreases with increasing control. Moreover, the results indicate that the relation between fun and control is not linear. Although in the beginning fun does increase with improved control, the level of fun drops again just before perfect control is reached. This poses new insights for developers of games wanting to incorporate some form of BCI in their game: for creating a fun game, unreliable input can be used to create a challenge for the user.
    Original languageUndefined
    Place of PublicationEnschede
    PublisherCentre for Telematics and Information Technology (CTIT)
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Publication series

    NameCTIT Technical Report Series
    PublisherUniversity of Twente, Centre for Telematics and Information Technology
    ISSN (Print)1381-3625


    • IR-79645
    • METIS-279673
    • Games
    • Fun
    • EWI-21469
    • Brain-Computer Interface (BCI)
    • Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)
    • User Experience

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