Effects of Display Characteristics on Presence and Emotional Responses of Game Players

Effects of Display Characteristics on Presence and Emotional Responses of Game Players

Zhiming Wu (Sichuan University, China), Tao Lin (Sichuan University, China), Ningjiu Tang (Sichuan University, China) and Shaomei Wu (Sichuan University, China)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8450-8.ch006


Large displays are becoming ubiquitous and one important property of large displays is that they afford larger visual angles and physically larger screen sizes. However, there has been little investigation of the effects of large displays on users; furthermore, few studies have employed physiological measures, nor isolated the effects on presence and emotional responses of large visual angle and physically large screen size. This study, then, examines specifically the effects of these two properties of large displays on presence and emotional responses, using physiological as well as subjective methods. The results indicate that the larger visual angle offered by a large display can increase the sense of presence, engagement, and emotional responses when players are playing games. More interestingly, the physically larger sizes offered by a large display seem to also be able to affect these player experiences, even at identical visual angles with small displays.
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Recent advances in technology have made large displays ever more ubiquitous. There are various areas in which the use of a large display can be appealing or even critical, such as visual surveillance, air traffic control, design, visual analytics, presentations, collaboration work, and entertainment. Large displays possess two unique and potentially important properties: larger visual angle and physically larger screen size. However, the two characteristics of large displays are often ignored by HCI (human-computer interaction) researchers. Research on user response to media information is usually performed using screens of average size; the results are then generalized, perhaps unwittingly, to all screen sizes. This neglects the important possibility that different display characteristics may significantly affect the psychological importance of the information displayed (Ravaja, Turpeinen, Saari, Puttonen, & Keltikangas-Jarvinen, 2008; Liu, C., Chapuis, O., Beaudouin-Lafon, M., Lecolinet, E., & Mackay, W. E., 2014; Andrews, C., & North, C., 2013). Also, interaction design philosophies based on average screen size uniformly applied to newer displays may also lead to unintended consequences because screen size could augment or diminish expected effects (Ravaja et al., 2008). Recent studies (e.g., (Elliott & Hearst, 2002; Martinez, Jhala, & Yannakakis, 2009; Mary et al., 2006; D. S. Tan, Gergle, Scupelli, & Pausch, 2004; D. Tan, Gergle, Scupelli, & Pausch, 2006; Olsen, B. I., Laeng, B., Kristiansen, K. A., & Hartvigsen, G., 2013; Ichino, J., Isoda, K., Hanai, A., & Ueda, T. 2013)) have already begun to isolate certain interesting characteristics of large display, but most of them have assumed that larger display fill a greater percentage of the viewer's visual field, and physical size is often confused with visual angle. In fact, although researchers have studied the effects of display characteristics such as visual angle, resolution, brightness, contrast and color, little has been done to systematically isolate the effects of physical sizes and visual angles on user experiences.

The long-term goal of our research aims to isolate and study characteristics unique to large displays so that we form a theoretical basis for understanding how different display characteristics affect user experience. We believe that taking a bottom-up approach and understanding each of these fundamental characteristics in isolation rather than taking a top-down approach and studying how one display technology differs from another will be much more productive in the long term. Such an approach will allow us to build a general theory that explains effects induced by various display technologies simply by recombining our understanding of display characteristics and then studying their specific interactions(D. S. Tan, 2004).

The present study focuses specifically on game players; their presence, engagement, perceived challenge, emotional arousal, and emotional valence are measured. Based on previous empirical studies and theory from psychophysiology, we evaluate the following two main experimental hypotheses using subjective and physiological measures.

  • H1: Larger visual angles offered by large displays will induce greater presence, engagement, emotional arousal, and emotional valence as compared to small displays when game players are playing a 3-D game.

  • H2: Physically larger screen size offered by large displays will induce greater presence, engagement, emotional arousal, and emotional valence, even at identical visual angles with small displays, when game players are playing a 3-D game.

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