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Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

Making Video Games More Fun...for the Audience

Gamers often play in front of an "audience."

University of Melbourne professor Frank Vetere suggests video game design needs to consider the audience experience.

Credit: Antonio Fucito/FlickR

Video games need to be redesigned to include audience experience, according to University of Melbourne professor Frank Vetere. "Advances in gaming technology open up design possibilities for game makers to produce games that are more engaging for the audience," he notes.

University of Melbourne Ph.D. candidate John Downs has observed players and audience members in both a laboratory setting and in homes, and he says game makers do not really understand or cater to the experience of audience members.

Downs found the design of a video game and the way the player interacts with it affects the enjoyment of others waiting their turn or those tolerating the player's hobby. Games that involve more physicality, such as those played with Xbox Kinect, are more fun to watch. The use of second screens to augment the main game play is an innovation that is on the rise.

Downs suggests a parent, friend, girlfriend, or boyfriend might be more interested in contributing to the game through a mobile device, which they could use to control an enemy, some kind of obstacle, or assist the main player in some way.

From Melbourne Newsroom
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