Leveraging Game-Playing Skills, Expectations and Behaviors of Digital Natives to Improve Visual Analytic Tools

Theresa A. O'Connell, John D. Grantham, Kevin A. Workman, Wyatt Wong

Abstract


We report gaming research aimed at improving innovative visual analytic (VA) tools. Digital natives are entering the information analysis workplace. There are similarities between innovative visual analytic (VA) tools used by information analysts and the video games digital natives play. These similarities provide an opportunity to leverage the game-playing skills, expectations and behaviors of digital natives in the design of VA tools that will help them perform information analysis. To this end, we performed a user-centered usability engineering (UE) study of digital native video game players’ interactions with each other and with a collaborative virtual environment (CVE). We measured player success (in terms of efficiency and effectiveness) and satisfaction with PanelPuzzle, a puzzle-solving game. Players were digital natives, having grown up surrounded by technology. The study showed that roleplaying positively impacted their success and satisfaction. Despite an expectation for immediate feedback, digital natives found workarounds to mitigate impacts of delayed feedback. Teammate communication was essential to collaboration and thus to success. In particular, players used communication records to build collaborative knowledge. This work provided data for a future study on discourse during gameplay. Findings will provide user-centered feedback to improve the design of innovative visual analytic (VA) tools.

Keywords


avatar; collaboration; digital natives; immersion; virtual worlds; video game; visual analytic tools

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The full website for the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research can be found at: http://jvwresearch.org