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Journal on Multimodal User Interfaces

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 31–42 | Cite as

A comparative study of game mechanics and control laws for an adaptive physiological game

  • Avinash ParnandiEmail author
  • Ricardo Gutierrez-Osuna
Original Paper

Abstract

We present an adaptive biofeedback game that aims to maintain the player’s arousal by modifying game difficulty in response to the player’s physiological state, as measured with wearable sensors. Our approach models the interaction between human physiology and game difficulty during gameplay as a control problem, where game difficulty is the system input and player arousal its output. We validate the approach on a car-racing game with real-time adaptive game mechanics. Specifically, we use (1) car speed, road visibility, and steering jitter as three mechanisms to manipulate game difficulty, (2) electrodermal activity as physiological correlate of arousal, and (3) two types of control law: proportional (P) control, and proportional-integral-derivative (PID) control. We also propose quantitative measures to characterize the effectiveness of these game adaptations and controllers in manipulating the player’s arousal. Experimental trials with 25 subjects in both open-loop (no feedback) and closed-loop (negative feedback) conditions show statistically significant differences in effectiveness among the three game mechanics and also between the two control laws. Specifically, manipulating car speed provides higher control of arousal levels than changing road visibility or vehicle steering. Our results also confirm that PID control leads to lower error and reduced oscillations in the closed-loop response compared to proportional-only control. Finally, we discuss the theoretical and practical implications of our approach.

Keywords

Physiological games Dynamic game balancing Control theory 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This publication was made possible by NPRP Grant # 5-678-2-282 from the Qatar National Research Fund (a member of Qatar Foundation). The statements made herein are solely the responsibility of the authors.

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Copyright information

© OpenInterface Association 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer Science and EngineeringTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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