Eye Contact: Gaze as a Connector Between Spectators and Players in Online Games

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10507)


This paper proposes an experimental setting that investigates shared gaze integrations (constant gaze and eye contact) in games and their effects on the social presence perceived by different roles (players and spectators) in a remote scenario. In order to get insights, we conducted a study that is made up of 4 different conditions (2 roles and 2 gaze integrations). Results show, depending on the type of the gaze integration and the role, positive effects of gaze towards an increased awareness and engagement among participants. Through the inclusion of shared gaze information, a new nonverbal communication channel for players and spectators is created that presents an interesting design resource for future approaches of digital play. Designers should receive information on how to design gaze-based interfaces that do not distract players during play, and also give spectators the possibility to experience a game via the player’s eyes.


Gaze-based interaction Social presence Shared gaze 



We would like to thank all of our survey participants for their time and for the data they generously provided.


  1. 1.
    Biocca, F., Harms, C.: Networked minds social presence inventory: measures of co-presence, social presence, subjective symmetry, and intersubjective symmetry (2003).
  2. 2.
    Bowman, N.D., Weber, R., Tamborini, R., Sherry, J.: Facilitating game play: how others affect performance at and enjoyment of video games. Media Psychol. 16(1), 39–64 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    De Kort, Y.A., IJsselsteijn, W.A., Gajadhar, B.J.: People, places, and play: a research framework for digital game experience in a socio-spatial context. In: DiGRA 2007 Proceedings Situated Play, pp. 823–830 (2007)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hudson, M., Cairns, P.: Interrogating social presence in games with experiential vignettes. Entertain. Comput. 5(2), 101–114 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kendon, A.: Some functions of gaze-direction in social interaction. Acta Psychol. 26, 22–63 (1967)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kleinke, C.L.: Gaze and eye contact: a research review. Psychol. Bull. 100(1), 78 (1986)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lankes, M., Maurer, B., Stiglbauer, B.: An eye for an eye: gaze input in competitive online games and its effects on social presence. In: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology, ACE 2016, pp. 17:1–17:9. ACM, New York (2016). doi: 10.1145/3001773.3001774
  8. 8.
    Lee, K.M.: Presence, explicated. Commun. Theory 14(1), 27–50 (2004). doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2885.2004.tb00302.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Mansour, S.S., El-Said, M.: Building a bi-directional bridge between social presence and interaction in online games. In: 2012 17th International Conference on Computer Games (CGAMES), pp. 202–207. IEEE (2012)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Maurer, B., Aslan, I., Wuchse, M., Neureiter, K., Tscheligi, M.: Gaze-based onlooker integration: exploring the in-between of active player and passive spectator in co-located gaming. In: Proceedings of the 2015 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play, CHI PLAY 2015, pp. 163–173. ACM, New York (2015). doi: 10.1145/2793107.2793126
  11. 11.
    Maurer, B., Lankes, M., Stiglbauer, B., Tscheligi, M.: EyeCo: effects of shared gaze on social presence in an online cooperative game. In: Wallner, G., Kriglstein, S., Hlavacs, H., Malaka, R., Lugmayr, A., Yang, H.-S. (eds.) ICEC 2016. LNCS, vol. 9926, pp. 102–114. Springer, Cham (2016). doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-46100-7_9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Shahid, S., Krahmer, E., Swerts, M.: Video-mediated and co-present gameplay: effects of mutual gaze on game experience, expressiveness and perceived social presence. Interact. Comput. 24(4), 292–305 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Velloso, E., Carter, M.: The emergence of eyeplay: a survey of eye interaction in games. In: Proceedings of the 2016 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play, CHI PLAY 2016, pp. 171–185. ACM, New York (2016). doi: 10.1145/2967934.2968084
  14. 14.
    Vidal, M., Bismuth, R., Bulling, A., Gellersen, H.: The royal corgi: exploring social gaze interaction for immersive gameplay. In: Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2015, pp. 115–124. ACM, New York (2015). doi: 10.1145/2702123.2702163

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Digital MediaUniversity of Applied Sciences Upper AustriaHagenbergAustria
  2. 2.Center for Human-Computer InteractionUniversity of SalzburgSalzburgAustria

Personalised recommendations