Eye tracking has — for quite a while — attracted game researchers to use this exciting technology to interact with new media, especially games, since from a viewpoint of game accessibility, it opens gaming up to people with severe motor disabilities. At the COGAIN conference in May, we have presented a paper with results from our 2007 study.
We have tested this exciting gaze interaction technology with a game mod created for the game Half-Life 2 (Valve Corporation), in which the players’ task was to successfully navigate through a labyrinthine boardwalk area. This was not just some fun and easy design, but we wanted to challenge players and use eye tracking as a successful game mechanic, which the later evaluation supported. About 30 players participated at Swedish computer game festival Dreamhack. Preferences of mouse or gaze interaction was checked as well as positive or negative gameplay experience. The results show low tension and negative affects scores as well as high positive challenge, immersion and flow ratings.
The correlation between spatial presence and immersion for gaze interaction was high and is something we are investigating further. Other gaze gaming researchers from the COGAIN conference presented a very promising approach to gaze gestures and the positive press coverage they receive shows that gaze gaming is definitely a growing trend to watch, be it for making games more accessible or to simply try out novel methods of interacting with a computer game, which Project Natal shows it something of interest for the game industry as well.
Nacke, L., Stellmach, S., Sasse, D., Lindley, C. A. (2009). Gameplay Experience in a Gaze Interaction Game. In The 5th Conference on Communication by Gaze Interaction – COGAIN 2009: Gaze Interaction For Those Who Want It Most (pp. 49–54). Lyngby, Denmark: The COGAIN Association.
Some more videos concerned with game accessibility
(Should have posted this a while ago, but since it is quite a busy summer, I thought better post it now than never.)