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  • 2020RamirezGomezPhD

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Moving out from the focus: Exploring gaze interaction design in games

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Publication date2021
Number of pages221
Awarding Institution
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Eye trackers have become an aordable and compelling input device for game interaction that is targeting the PC gaming community. The number of games adopting gaze input for in-game interaction has rapidly increased over the years with examples in mainstream game franchises. However, games have focused on integrating gaze input on top of fully functional games, utilising gaze as a pointing device and a tool for eciency; e.g. for the faster selection of game objects the player looks at to improve their performance. We deem this is limiting because the use of gaze is obvious, it does not harvest the full potential and richness of the eyes, and only considers that players look at game elements to interact with them. Accordingly, this thesis investigates new opportunities for gaze in games by exploring gaze concepts that challenge the interaction metaphor "what you look at is what you get" to propose adopting "not looking" gaze interactions that reflect what we can do with our eyes. Three playful concepts stem out from this principle: (1) playing with tension; (2) playing with peripheral vision; and (3) playing without looking. We operationalise each concept with game prototypes that pose different challenges based on visual attention, perception in the wider visual eld, and the ability to move the eyes with the eyelids closed. These demonstrate that ideas tested playfully can lead to useful
solutions. Finally, we look across our work to distil guidelines to design with "not looking" interactions, the use of dramatisation to support the integration of gaze interaction in the game, and the exploration of interactive experiences only possible when taking input from the eyes. We aim to inspire the future of gaze-enabled games with new directions by proposing that there is more to the eyes than where players look.