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How Does In-Game Audio Affect Players?

April 18, 2012 Article Start Previous Page 2 of 3 Next


Game 1

Analysis of participant responses focused on heart rate and respiration rate as variables demonstrating arousal. Participants were divided into two groups based on testing conditions: audio and no-audio.

Illustration 4 shows a comparison of the groups' heart rate over the duration of playing the first game.

At the start of the game both groups had a heart rate around 75 beats per minute (bpm). The Audio group played the game for longer, but also demonstrates a consistently higher heart rate throughout, and had greater maximum and minimum heart rate values (audio group maximum 84bpm, minimum 68bpm; no-audio group maximum 78bpm and minimum 61bpm).

Further analysis found this difference in heart rate to be significant (Mann-Whitney, p<0.001).

Illustration 5 shows a comparison of groups' respiration rate during game play (maximum and Minimum respiration rate of 25bpm and 7bpm for audio group, respectively and 21bpm and 2bpm for no-audio group, respectively). Analysis showed, unlike heart rate, a significant difference was not found (Mann-Whitney, p=0.182).

[Ed. note: the Mann-Whitney test determines "whether one of two samples of independent observations tends to have larger values than the other", per Wikipedia.]

Illustration 4: Heart rate comparison of groups with and without audio

Illustration 5: Comparison of respiration rate of audio and no-audio groups

Game 2

Illustration 6 shows a comparison of audio and no-audio groups' heart rate while playing Game 2 (FlatOut). The graph shows a clear difference between the groups, with the audio group having a much higher heart rate throughout the game compared to the no-audio group (Audio group maximum 91bpm, minimum 57bpm and NO-audio group maximum 77bpm, minimum 64bpm). Further statistical analysis showed this to be a significant difference (Mann-Whitney, p<0.001).

Illustration 7 shows a comparison of the two groups' respiration rate throughout the game. During game play both group show fluctuation in respiration rates with the audio group having a slightly higher maximum and minimum respiration rate (audio group maximum 24bpm, minimum 14bpm, and no-audio group maximum 22bpm, minimum 12bpm). Statistical analysis found the difference between groups to be significant (Mann-Whitney, p<0.001).

Illustration 6: Comparison of heart rates

Illustration 7: Comparison of audio/no-audio groups' respiration rate for Game 2

Article Start Previous Page 2 of 3 Next

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