Manipulating Attention in Computer Games

Matthias Bernhard, Le Zhang, Michael Wimmer
Manipulating Attention in Computer Games
In Proceedings of the IEEE IVMSP Workshop on Perception and Visual Signal Analysis, pages 153-158. June 2011.
[paper]

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Abstract

In computer games, a user’s attention is focused on the current task, and task-irrelevant details remain unnoticed. This behavior, known as inattentional blindness, is a main problem for the optimal placement of information or advertisements. We propose a guiding principle based on Wolfe’s theory of Guided Search, which predicts the saliency of objects during a visual search task. Assuming that computer games elicit visual search tasks frequently, we applied this model in a “reverse” direction: Given a target item (e.g., advertisement) which should be noticed by the user, we choose a frequently searched game item and modify it so that it shares some perceptual features (e.g., color or orientation) with the target item. A memory experiment with 36 participants showed that in an action video game, advertisements were more noticeable to users when this method is applied.

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BibTeX

@inproceedings{bernhard-2011-maicg,
  title =      "Manipulating Attention in Computer Games",
  author =     "Matthias Bernhard and Le Zhang and Michael Wimmer",
  year =       "2011",
  abstract =   "In computer games, a user’s attention is focused on the
               current task, and task-irrelevant details remain unnoticed.
               This behavior, known as inattentional blindness, is a main
               problem for the optimal placement of information or
               advertisements. We propose a guiding principle based on
               Wolfe’s theory of Guided Search, which predicts the
               saliency of objects during a visual search task. Assuming
               that computer games elicit visual search tasks frequently,
               we applied this model in a “reverse” direction: Given a
               target item (e.g., advertisement) which should be noticed by
               the user, we choose a frequently searched game item and
               modify it so that it shares some perceptual features (e.g.,
               color or orientation) with the target item. A memory
               experiment with 36 participants showed that in an action
               video game, advertisements were more noticeable to users
               when this method is applied.",
  month =      jun,
  booktitle =  "Proceedings of the IEEE IVMSP Workshop on Perception and
               Visual Signal Analysis",
  isbn =       "9781457712852",
  location =   "Ithaca, NY",
  publisher =  "IEEE",
  pages =      "153--158",
  keywords =   "saliency, attention guidance, inattentional blindness,
               in-game advertising, guided search",
  URL =        "https://www.cg.tuwien.ac.at/research/publications/2011/bernhard-2011-maicg/",
}