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Shoot to Thrill: Bio-Sensory Reactions to 3D Shooting Games

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"Shoot to Thrill: Bio-Sensory Reactions to 3D Shooting Games" is the title of a gamedeveloper magazine article by Tim Hong also posted at Gamasutra. http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3868/shoot_to_thrill_biosensory_.php The second paragraph states: "As part of our research activities at EmSense, a San Francisco-based company that uses proprietary brain monitoring EEG and bio-sensing technology to measure engagement and emotional and cognitive responses to content, we set out to understand exactly what defined the successful modern, next-gen shooter title." Discuss? [Edited by - Hypnotron on December 3, 2008 4:45:11 AM]

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I tend find these sorts of analytical discussions of what is/isn't "fun" to be a mixed bag. It's like the scientists who talk about the mathematical attributes of good musical compositions. Nevertheless they never go so far as succeeding in finding the perfect formula for creating music or games.
I suppose if you don't have naturally good taste or aesthetics and you need a more expressive and objective method to determine how you should design your gameplay, then these sorts of analysis are better than nothing.

There was a common theme in the article; good gameplay is sculpted (directed, scripted, engineered) and is not simply assumed that it will "emerge" from the code and the environments created by the programmers and world designers.

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Not sure if that kind of information is particularly useful for intelligent gamers. Basically, the audience for that kind of data is non-gamers, because gamers already know it via introspection. I mean, obviously F.E.A.R. is going to try to produce certain reactions - all the scientists are telling us is whether they were successful or not. Same goes for other games.

The utility for a big games company might be in screen-testing their games to try and produce the maximum player reaction of the type that they're looking for. But for us here I don't see much use.

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Quote:
Original post by Argus2
Not sure if that kind of information is particularly useful for intelligent gamers. Basically, the audience for that kind of data is non-gamers, because gamers already know it via introspection.


I got the same impression... that the audience is namely producers and designers who in lieu of talent, try to build games following a recipe. I think the Hollywood summer blockbuster has got this process nailed down (unfortunately).

The problem with gamers though is 1) they can't always articulate what it is they like or dislike about a game in a way that is actually helpful. 2) Because sometimes they can't quite "put their finger" on the issue, they unintentionally communicate something that is wrong or misleading.

A good designer should hear their audience but not listen to them because their conclusions are often wrong. Instead take it all in and try to understand what it is they are really trying to communicate and then draw your own conclusions. I suppose scanning their brainwaves is one way to get information out of them in a way that is not subject to mis-communication.

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