Games User Research: A Case Study Approach

“Fundamentally, making games is designing with others, everyone contributing from different angles towards the best possible product. Conclusively, Garcia-Ruiz has chosen a collection of chapters that demonstrates several different aspects of working in gaming and working with others that stands to raise the level of expertise in the field.” -Veronica Zammitto, Senior Lead Games User Research, Electronic Arts, Inc., from the Foreword Usability is about making a product easy to use while meeting the requirements of target users. Applied to video games, this means making the game accessible and enjoyable to the player. Video games with high usability are generally played efficiently and frequently while enjoying higher sales volumes. The case studies in this book present the latest interdisciplinary research and applications of games user research in determining and developing usability to improve the video game user experience at the human-computer interface level. Some of the areas examined include practical and ethical concerns in conducting usability testing with children, audio experiences in games, tangible and graphical game interfaces, controller testing, and business models in mobile gaming. Games User Research: A Case Study Approach provides a highly useful resource for researchers, practitioners, lecturers, and students in developing and applying methods for testing player usability as well as for conducting games user research. It gives the necessary theoretical and practical background for designing and conducting a test for usability with an eye toward modifying software interfaces to improve human-computer interaction between the player and the game.

About the Author

Miguel A. Garcia-Ruiz is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Mathematics, Algoma University, Ontario, Canada. He earned his MSc in computer science from the University of Colima in Mexico and his PhD in computer science and artificial intelligence at the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom. He held a graphics techniques internship at the Madrid Polytechnic University in Spain. He has published scientific papers on usability and user experience in major journals, has written several books and book chapters, and has directed an introductory video on virtual reality. His research interests include educational virtual environments, usability of video games, and multimodal human-computer interaction.

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