Skip to main content
Log in

Distraction as a measure of presence: using visual and tactile adjustable distraction as a measure to determine immersive presence of content in mediated environments

  • Original Article
  • Published:
Virtual Reality Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

To assess and improve the user experience in entertainment products, developers need results of evaluation methods, which in detail measure the relationship between the mediated content and the resulting media experience. This paper proposes a method applying adjustable distraction (AD) to determine presence as immersion (Lombard and Ditton in At the heart of it all: the concept of presence, Department of Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Mass Media, Temple University, 1997) at selectable events (approximated real-time). Two experiments were conducted to investigate its applicability in computer games and movies with respectively visual and tactile AD. The first experiment examined whether the experienced intensity in a survival-shooter game, measured through questionnaires, was proportional to results from the AD method. The intrusiveness of the AD method was also addressed in the experiment by comparing the immersive presence ratings in a between-groups design. The second experiment investigated whether heart rate measurements, intensity ratings and the results of the AD method with vibration as the distraction signal were proportional when test participants watched a movie clip. The outcome of the first experiment indicated that no significant intrusion is caused by the method. In addition, results showed no proportionality between the AD method and intensity ratings. However, as the AD measurements were supported by flow theory, it might be that the results from the AD method using visual distraction are giving a more comprehensive indication of presence as immersion (rather than just the intensity dimension). The second experiment revealed proportionality between the intensity ratings and the heart rate measurements, while the results from the tactile AD method were not proportional. We suspect that this was caused by the great variance found across the test participants’ thresholds of perceivable vibration. Because of this, it is suggested that a thorough screening process is conducted pre-test if the AD method should apply vibration as the distracting stimulus.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Adams E, Rollings A (2006) Fundamentals of game design, 1st edn. Pearson Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ

    Google Scholar 

  • Baren J, Ijsselsteijn W (2004) Measuring presence: a guide to current measurement approaches. Available via: http://www.informatik.umu.se/~jwworth/PresenceMeasurement.pdf. Accessed 30 Jan 2009

  • Bordwell D, Thompsen K (2004) Film art: an introduction, 7th edn. McGraw Hill Higher Education, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Brown E, Cairns P (2004) A grounded investigation of game immersion. CHI ‘04 extended abstracts on Human factors in computing systems. ACM, New York

  • Buchsbaum M, Callaway E (1965) Influence of respiratory cycle on simple RT. Percept Mot Skills 20:961–966

    Google Scholar 

  • Cameron P, Ballard M (2002) High versus low aggressive priming during video-game training: effects on violent action during game play, hostility, heart rate, and blood pressure. J Appl Soc Psychol 32(12):2458–2474

    Google Scholar 

  • Csikszentmihalyi M (1990) Flow: the psychology of optimal experience. Harper Perennial, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Darken R et al (1999) Quantitative measures of presence in virtual environments: the roles of attention and spatial comprehension. Cyberpsychol Behav 2(4):337–347

    Google Scholar 

  • Dane S, Erzurumluoglu A (2003) Sex and handedness differences in eye-hand visual reaction times in handball players. Int J Neurosci 113(7):923–929

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • del Toro G (2006) The Spanish movie “El laberinto del fauno”. Official site available via: http://www.panslabyrinth.com. Accessed 30 Jan 2009

  • Der G, Deary I (2006) Age and sex differences in reaction time in adulthood: results from the United Kingdom health and lifestyle survey. Psychol Aging 21(1):62–73

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ermi L, Mäyrä F (2005) Fundamental components of the gameplay experience: analysing immersion. Proceedings of the DiGRA conference 2005

  • Etnyre B, Kinugasa T (2002) Postcontraction influences on reaction time (motor control and learning). Res Q Exerc Sport 73(3):271–282

    Google Scholar 

  • Freeman J et al (2000) Using behavioral realism to estimate presence: a study of the utility of postural responses to motion stimuli. Presence 9(2):149–164

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ijsselsteijn W et al (2000) Presence: concept, determinants and measurement. Proceedings of the SPIE 3959, pp 520–529

  • ISPR (2000) International society for presence research. Available via: http://www.temple.edu/ispr/frame_measure_t.htm. Accessed 30 Jan 2009

  • Jang D et al (2002) Analysis of physiological response to two virtual environments: driving and flying simulation. Cyberpsychol Behav 5(1):11–18

    Google Scholar 

  • Klimmt C et al (2005) The value of reaction-time measures in presence research: empirical findings and future perspectives. Proceedings of the 8th international workshop on presence

  • Laarni J et al (2003) Using eye tracking and psychophysiological methods to study spatial presence, proceedings of the 6th international workshop on presence

  • Likert R (1932) A technique for the measurement of attitudes. Arch Psychol 22(140):1–55

    Google Scholar 

  • Lombard M et al (2000) Presence and television: the role of screen size, Hum Commun Res 26(1)

  • Lombard M, Ditton T (1997) At the heart of it all: the concept of presence. Department of Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Mass Media, Temple University

  • Luchies C et al (2002) Effects of age, step direction, and reaction condition on the ability to step quickly. J Gerontol 57A(4):M246–M249

    Google Scholar 

  • Nordahl R, Korsgaard D (2008) On the use of presence measurements to evaluate computer games. Proceedings of the 11th international workshop of presence, pp 174–177

  • Philip P et al (2004) Age, performance, and sleep deprivation. J Sleep Res 13(2):105–110

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Reeves B et al (1992) Faces on the screen: pictures or natural experience? Paper presented to the mass communication division of the international communication association, Miami, FL

  • Reeves B et al (1993) New televisions: the effects of big pictures and big sound on viewer responses to the screen. Paper presented at the information systems division of the conference of the international communication association, Washington, DC

  • Rose L (2006) Hollywood’s most expensive movies. Fobes.com. Available via: http://www.forbes.com/2006/12/18/movies-budget-expensive-tech-media-cx_lr_1214moviebudget.html. Accessed 29 Apr 2009

  • Rosmarin R (2006) Why gears of war costs $60. Fobes.com. Available via: http://www.forbes.com/technology/2006/12/19/ps3-xbox360-costs-tech-cx_rr_game06_1219expensivegames.html. Accessed 29 Apr 2009

  • Schlögl A et al (2002) Presence research and EEG. Proceedings of the 5th international workshop on presence

  • Slater M, Steed A (2000) A virtual presence counter. Presence Teleoper Virtual Environ 9(5):413–434

    Google Scholar 

  • Steed A et al (2005) Breaks in presence as usability criteria. Proceedings of HCI international 2005

  • Sweetser P, Wyeth P (2005) Gameflow: a model for evaluating player enjoyment in games. Comput Entertain 3(3):3

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tan E (1995) Film-induced affect as a witness emotion. Poetics 23(1–2):7–32

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Verrillo R (1962) Investigation of some parameters of the cutaneous threshold for vibration. J Acoust Soc Am 34(11):1768–1773

    Google Scholar 

  • Verrillo R, Bolanowski S (1986) The effects of skin temperature on the psychophysical responses to vibration on glabrous and hairy skin. J Acoust Soc Am 80(2):528–532

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Rolf Nordahl.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Nordahl, R., Korsgaard, D. Distraction as a measure of presence: using visual and tactile adjustable distraction as a measure to determine immersive presence of content in mediated environments. Virtual Reality 14, 27–42 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10055-009-0140-3

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10055-009-0140-3

Keywords

Navigation