Abstract

Exploration of virtual environments may be accomplished with different interface metaphors. Previous research suggests that vestibular and proprioceptive information provided by immersive interfaces facilitates spatial orientation on simple path-integration tasks. We examine whether these interface variables impact performance across paths of variable complexity. Our immersive interface provided all users the ability to conduct the search component of our task more efficiently. Our results, however, show that the immersive interface was no more effective than our nonimmersive one for maintaining orientation. In fact, the immersive interface had a negative impact on performance (absolute error) for individuals who had extensive experience with playing video games. When measured in terms of consistency of response, our results suggest that having extensive game-play experience will negatively impact orientation performance with both interfaces. We speculate that this is due to the conflicting nature of the skills that avid game players acquire in game-play versus those required to perform in our task.

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