Investigating Audio Cues As Navigation And Reaction Stimulus In Video Games

  • Saifuddeen Meer

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The purpose of this study was to confirm the double-branched hypothesis. It is hypothesised that exposure to sufficient stimuli will cause a chain reaction in one's navigational abilities and emotional state when playing a horror video game. An assortment of testing methodologies were used to gather data that
confirmed the hypothesis.

The hypothesis was tested in an environment created to test its robustness. An intuitive virtual environment helped incorporate a three-lane system. Ergo, an ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ format laid the way for the researcher to implement three tests to understand the test as a whole. By using the three-lane system, the testing
process was aided by varying factors involving (test) participants such as reactions, general movement patterns, and emotions.

Tracking the movement of participants was the first branch of the hypothesis. Data was collected to determine the effects of different factors and circumstances they may encounter. Obtained data also paved
the way for comparing the ‘A - B - C’ lanes in direct comparison with each other. Utilising the originality of each lane was key to understanding the amount of effect they had on (test) participants. The second branch of the hypothesis brought emotional data into the spotlight, aiming to find personalised explanations which drew evidence to the changes in (test) participants’ emotions. Testing strategies formulated and aided the extraction process of data before and after the commencing of this study. In the study, the primary objective was to find a piece of supporting evidence that would confirm or disprove a hypothesis .

Objective conclusions from this study were both qualitative and quantitative. Evaluations relied heavily on the data and the theories drawn from it. Testing methods focused on two specific factors: movement and emotions. Participant movement was tracked in terms of irregular and common paths taken. Qualitative feedback was collected from the participants during the test to gauge their emotions. Sequentially, this study concludes that audio/visual jump-scares incorporated in a horror environment create adverse effects to (test) participants’ movements, creating a change in the status quo and promoting periodic motion.
Following differing paths in apparent motion, this study also concluded that horror simulations (jumpscares) affected the emotions of (test) participants. There is empirical evidence demonstrating a change in emotion that occurred before and after the initiation of this study.

The following research sums and manifests this study.
Date of Award3 Aug 2022
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorDaryl Marples (Main Supervisor) & Duke Gledhill (Co-Supervisor)

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