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SongJia Shen

Research Assistant, School of Software


Tan, C.T., Leong, T.W., Shen, S., Dubravs, C. & Si, C. 2015, 'Exploring Gameplay Experiences on the Oculus Rift', Proceedings of the 2015 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play, 2015 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play, ACM, London, UK, pp. 253-263.
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Compared to previous head-mounted displays, the compact and low-cost Oculus Rift has claimed to offer improved virtual reality experiences. However, how and what kinds of user experiences are encountered by people when using the Rift in actual gameplay has not been examined. We present an exploration of 10 participants' experiences of playing a first-person shooter game using the Rift. Despite cybersickness and a lack of control, participants experienced heightened experiences, a richer engagement with passive game elements, a higher degree of flow and a deeper immersion on the Rift than on a desktop setup. Overly demanding movements, such as the large range of head motion required to navigate the game environment were found to adversely affect gaming experiences. Based on these and other findings, we also present some insights for designing games for the Rift.
Tan, C., Leong, T. & Shen, S. 2014, 'Combining Think-aloud and Physiological Data to Understand Video Game Experiences', Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, ACM, Toronto, Canada, pp. 381-390.
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Think-aloud protocols are commonly used to evaluate player experiences of video games but suffer from a lack of objectivity and timeliness. On the other hand, quantitative captures of physiological data are effective; providing detailed, unbiased and continuous responses of players, but lack contexts for interpretation. This paper documents how both approaches could be used together in practice by comparing video-cued retrospective think-aloud data and physiological data collected during a video gameplay experiment. We observed that many interesting physiological responses did not feature in participants' think-aloud data, and conversely, reports of interesting experiences were sometimes not observed in the collected physiological data. Through learnings from our experiment, we present some of the challenges when combining these approaches and offer some guidelines as to how qualitative and quantitative data can be used together to gain deeper insights into player experiences.
Shen, S., Tan, C. & Leong, T. 2014, 'Towards Better Tools to Support Mixed Methods in Game User Research', CHI 2014 Games User Research Workshop on Mixed Methods and Reporting Results, ACM, Toronto, Canada, pp. 147-150.
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Journal articles

Si, C., Pisan, Y., Tan, C.T. & Shen, S. 2017, 'An initial understanding of how game users explore virtual environments', Entertainment Computing, vol. 19, pp. 13-27.
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© 2016 Elsevier B.V. Spatial exploration is a core component of play in a rich and diverse range of modern video games. However, there is insufficient research into understanding spatial exploration in order to design better gameplay experiences. In this paper, we investigate the gameplay behaviors of 25 players across three types of exploration games by collecting in-game data, think-aloud data, questionnaire responses and post-game interview data. We use thematic analysis to analyze the data and map out four player exploration archetypes (PEAs): Wanderers, Seers, Pathers and Targeters. Then, a lens analysis is conducted to investigate the behavioral traits of these four archetypes to highlight different aspects of exploration. Gender, weekly gameplay time and real-life navigation abilities are the three factors which have been found to significantly impact the archetypes. Finally, the relationships between the participants' preferences to the terrain features and their archetypes are also investigated. These results match the participants' traits.