May 2008
Volume 8, Issue 6
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2008
More than meets the eye: Investigating expert and novice differences in action video games
Author Affiliations
  • Carl F. Smith
    Department of Psychology, George Mason University
  • Yi-Fang D. Tsai
    Department of Psychology, George Mason University
  • Jason H. Wong
    Department of Psychology, George Mason University
  • Daniel T. Brooks
    Department of Psychology, George Mason University
  • Matthew S. Peterson
    Department of Psychology, George Mason University
Journal of Vision May 2008, Vol.8, 105. doi:10.1167/8.6.105
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      Carl F. Smith, Yi-Fang D. Tsai, Jason H. Wong, Daniel T. Brooks, Matthew S. Peterson; More than meets the eye: Investigating expert and novice differences in action video games. Journal of Vision 2008;8(6):105. doi: 10.1167/8.6.105.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Prior studies have demonstrated that extended experience with action video games correlate with improved performance on a range of attentional tasks. This effect is commonly observed in functional field of view tasks, where video game players have shown enhancements in visual attention with increased gaming experience (Green & Bavelier, 2003). While these results have been replicated several times, no studies have assessed how improvements in visual attention might affect behavior in the game environment. Here we perform the first in-vivo investigation of the effects of gaming experience on eye movements. In this task, experts and novices performed a detection task in the context of an action video game. The current study asked experts (with more than 8 hours/week of video game playing) and novices (with less than 30 minutes/week of game playing) to perform a detection task using an action video game. Participants viewed a movie of the first person shooter “Quake 4”, where a series of 30 target figures were inserted at either 2 or 6 degrees of visual angle from the center of the screen. Participants were instructed to keep their eyes focused on the center of the screen and respond when they detected a target. Participants eye movements were recorded along with their manual responses. Performance results replicated earlier expertise studies, with experts responding significantly faster and more accurately than novices. Eye movement results indicated that experts fixated significantly less often than novices, but fixated for longer overall durations. This suggests that the improvements in performance are due in part to changes in visual attention, as experts may leverage their larger visual span to more efficiently detect the presence of targets onscreen.

Smith, C. F. Tsai, Y.-F. Wong, J. H. Brooks, D. T. Peterson, M. S. (2008). More than meets the eye: Investigating expert and novice differences in action video games [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 8(6):105, 105a, http://journalofvision.org/8/6/105/, doi:10.1167/8.6.105. [CrossRef]
Footnotes
 The authors would like to acknowledge the contributions of David L. Shain.
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