Level-up! Identifying ways to make video games more accessible for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals
Granados, Jasmine A.
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This study examines the impact of using tactile, directional cues in a 3D, third-person shooter video game. Depending on the condition, the game used audio, visual, and haptic cues to provide information about when and where enemy characters appeared. Participants without hearing loss played the video game under all three cue conditions (visual, haptic, both) and in one of two audio conditions (audio, no audio). Hard-of-Hearing (HOH) participants played the video game under all three cue conditions but were only assigned to the no audio condition. Data were collected on participants’ performance, cue preference, and self-reported cue efficacy ratings. There were no differences in participants’ performance across the cue conditions and higher workload decreased participants’ performance. Adding visual cues acted as a redundant display and neither improved nor impaired participant performance. Participants’ efficacy ratings did not always align with their performance. Qualitative data indicated that hearing participants’ preferred cue condition included the visual and haptic combined condition. Their least favorite condition was the no cue condition. In contrast, HOH participants’ favorite cue condition was the no cue condition. HOH participants’ performance was similar to those of hearing participants’ performance. This research is the first step in examining directional cues as accessibility features in the context of a video game. The results can be applied to other fields that utilize cues to convey information – such as human perception – and as a method for designing cues for training people in the medical, aerospace, and education fields.
Thesis (Ph.D.)-- Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of Psychology