Publication: The Effects of Navigation Assistance on Spatial Learning and Performance in a 3D Game

Navigation in 3D game environments is often difficult for novices, who may get lost and be unable to reach game objectives. Many games provide navigation assistance (e.g., mini-maps, directional markers, or glowing trails); however, there is a risk that players will become reliant on an aid and fail to develop a mental model of the map. To investigate, we carried out two online studies in which people carried out training tasks with varying navigation assistance. After training, they navigated the map with assistance turned off. In both studies, we found that assistance improved training performance, but found no harmful effect of assistance on performance after it was removed, even when comparing between those who received glowing trails to follow and those who received no assistance. We show that navigation assistance in 3D games is effective, and that it does not necessarily harm development of a novice's spatial learning.

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Participants

Colby Johanson
University of Saskatchewan
Carl Gutwin
University of Saskatchewan
Regan Mandryk
University of Saskatchewan

Citation

Johanson, C., Gutwin, C., Mandryk, R.L. 2017. The Effects of Navigation Assistance on Spatial Learning and Performance in a 3D Game. In Proceedings of the 2017 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play, Amsterdam, Netherlands. To appear. DOI=10.1145/3116595.3116602.

BibTeX

@inproceedings {499-Incidental_camera_submitted,
author= {Colby Johanson and Carl Gutwin and Regan Mandryk},
title= {The Effects of Navigation Assistance on Spatial Learning and Performance in a 3D Game},
booktitle= {Proceedings of the 2017 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play},
year= {2017},
address= {Amsterdam, Netherlands}
}