History and alternative game input methods
Thorpe A., Ma M., Oikonomou A.
This paper reviews the history of input methods used for video games, in particular previous attempts at introducing alternative input methods and how successful they have been. It also aims to answer the questions: What are players perceptions of alternative input methods? and Can playing a game with an alter native input method increase players immersion and entertainment?' We created a simple two-player game Project Zion, which can be played with any one of a number of different input devices, both traditional and alternative, e.g. mouse, keyboard, Xbox 360 controller, Wii Remote, dance mat, Phantom Omni haptic device, SpacePilot Pro, and webcam. We then enlisted participants to play the game in pairs with one of the selection of input methods (each player in the pair can use a different input method to their opponent) and then asked them to fill in a questionnaire about their previous game playing experience, opinions on games that make use of alternative input methods. The project comes to the conclusion that alternative input methods can increase the immersion and fun players perceive, provided that the input method used fits the game mechanics. Players express negative feelings when playing a game with an input method that does not suit the game mechanics, feeling that it is merely a gimmick. The result also shows that players' perceptions of alternative input methods are tied to their previous experiences with that input method. © 2011 IEEE.