The Effects of Using On-Screen and Paper Maps on Navigation Efficiency in 3D Multi-User Virtual Environments

The Effects of Using On-Screen and Paper Maps on Navigation Efficiency in 3D Multi-User Virtual Environments

Hakan Tüzün (Hacettepe University, Turkey) and Dilek Doğan (Ankara University, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/IJGCMS.2019100102


This study aims to analyze the effects of using on-screen and paper maps on navigation efficiency in 3D MUVEs. There were 48 participants in the study, which has a randomized true experimental design. The researchers administered a demographics questionnaire and the spatial visualization test to the participants and formed three groups by checking a variety of independent variables, the On-Screen Map (OSM) group, the Paper Map (PM) group, and the Coordinate System (CS) group, which did not use any kind of map. The participants completed three tasks with increasing difficulty levels. There was a statistically significant difference between the methods for the completion times of the first task and aggregate tasks. This difference was between CS and PM as well as between CS and OSM. Participants got confused and lost the most in the CS group and the least in the OSM group. The CS group took longer to complete the tasks and got lost more frequently. Navigational aids that included visual tips about the environment increased the navigation efficiency of the participants using the MUVE.
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Relevant Literature And Theoretical Framework

3D MUVEs combine textual and audio transfer technologies and enable navigation in realistic three-dimensional virtual worlds. The origin of this kind of environment is the text-based and multi-user games such as Space War, which was a popular game in the UNIX operating system (Tüzün, 2010). For many years, virtual environments have been assigned many names such as Multi-User Dungeon (MUD), Object-Oriented MUD (MOO), Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) and Multi-User Virtual Environment (Mayrath, Traphagan, Jarmon, Trivedi, & Resta, 2010).

MUVEs have real-time and open world features. These features make them closer to reality (Fırat, 2008). Although many multi-user games also have real-time feature, players need to perform certain operations and tasks to make progress in these environments. However, MUVEs usually do not include planned tasks. When users enter the environment, their experiences are random. Another aspect of MUVEs is that they are available for creating environments with different levels of complexity, making measurements during interactive navigation and checking the spatial learning parameters (Peruch, Belingard, & Thinus-Blanc, 2000). Navigation in MUVEs refers to reaching a desired object or location by moving in these environments (Raees, Ullah & Rahman, 2019). Virtual environment navigation allows users to control their position and orientation of the virtual camera which they see the virtual world (Galyean, 1995) and to move around, manipulate and interact with virtual objects possible (Geszten et al., 2018).

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