Stereoscopic depth axis interaction: A study of performance and engagement in stereoscopic 3D games.

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Game developers strive to maximize immersion and engagement, to emotionally involve the audience in their material. One technique used to increase engagement is the development of new technologies, such as Stereoscopic 3D. Stereoscopic 3D (S3D) creates the impression of depth (stereopsis) in at images by providing additional binocular depth cues, such as convergence and binocular disparity. In this thesis, we explore the effects that S3D has on the player experience in an attempt to uncover design methodologies that can help game developers develop more effective content. Three experiments were designed and conducted to examine the effects S3D has on player experience and game design: i) Engagement in Stereoscopic 3D Games, ii) S3D Depth- Axis Interaction for Video Games: Performance and Engagement, iii) Depth Representation and Player Performance with Depth-Axis Interactivity. We hypothesized that S3D technology would increase immersion and engagement, and new mechanics that exploit the depth axis would be effective. The results of these studies suggest that S3D does not increase user engagement, and is consistent with prior research that suggest the impact of S3D is dependent on the game. They also demonstrate that developers can design unique experiences in stereoscopic 3D, but there may be additional ways to represent depth. The results suggest developers need to adjust the difficulty of their game when including stereoscopic 3D, depending on the interactions of their game. It is our recommendation that developers continue to explore the affordances offered by stereoscopic 3D to create unique experiences, but its inclusion is dependent on their specific game.
Stereoscopic 3D, Depth cues, Game design, User experience, Engagement