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Gaming Information

August 7, 2006

Video games are chock full of information–story lines, character traits, and maps, to name a few. But is it all getting across to players?


How video games tell you things. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

[Video game sounds]

You’re about to fight Onyxia the Brood Mother of the Black Dragonflight, but wait! Purdue graduate student April Savoy has some questions for you:

APRIL SAVOY (Purdue University):
Were you aware of the score while you were playing the game? Were you aware of the different weapons you could use or the different options?

Players often can’t answer such questions because of the poor quality of information in video and computer games. That’s why she and her colleagues are creating a new scientific questionnaire that "test players" would take during a game’s development. It would tell developers whether information is presented well on everything from installation to final score. With video games finding medical, military and educational uses, the research could become increasingly important. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.