Interactive Media Systems, TU Wien

A Psychophysical Study of Fixation Behavior in a Computer Game

By Veronica Sundstedt, Efstathios Stavrakis, Michael Wimmer, and Erik Reinhard


Prediction of gaze behavior in gaming environments can be a tremendously useful asset to game designers, enabling them to improve gameplay, selectively increase visual fidelity, and optimize the distribution of computing resources. The use of saliency maps is currently being advocated as the method of choice for predicting visual attention, crucially under the assumption that no specific task is present. This is achieved by analyzing images for low-level features such as motion, contrast, luminance, etc. However, the majority of computer games are designed to be easily understood and pose a task readily apparent to most players. Our psychophysical experiment shows that in a task-oriented context such as gaming, the predictive power of saliency maps at design time can be weak. Thus, we argue that a more involved protocol utilizing eye tracking, as part of the computer game design cycle, can be sufficiently robust to succeed in predicting fixation behavior of players.


V. Sundstedt, E. Stavrakis, M. Wimmer, E. Reinhard: "A Psychophysical Study of Fixation Behavior in a Computer Game"; Talk: Symposium on Applied Perception in Graphics and Visualization, Los Angeles, California; 08-09-2008 - 08-10-2008; in: "Proceedings of the 5th symposium on Applied perception in graphics and visualization", S. Creem-Regehr, K. Myszkowski (ed.); (2008), ISBN: 978-1-59593-981-4; 43 - 50.


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