Violent video games in virtual reality : re-evaluating the impact and rating of interactive experiences

Wilson, Graham and McGill, Mark (2018) Violent video games in virtual reality : re-evaluating the impact and rating of interactive experiences. In: CHI PLAY '18 Proceedings of the 2018 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play. ACM, New York, pp. 535-548. ISBN 978-1-4503-5624-4

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    Abstract

    Bespoke Virtual Reality (VR) laboratory experiences can be differently affecting than traditional display experiences. With the proliferation of at-home VR headsets, these effects need to be explored in consumer media, to ensure the public are adequately informed. As yet, the organizations responsible for content descrip-tions and age-based ratings of consumer content do not rate VR games differently to those played on TV. This could lead to experiences that are more intense or subconsciously affecting than desired. To test whether VR and non-VR games are differently affecting, and so whether game ratings are appropriate, our research examined how participant (n=16) experience differed when playing the violent horror video game “Resident Evil 7”, viewed from a first-person perspective in PlayStation VR and on a 40” TV. The two formats led to meaningfully different experiences, suggesting that current game ratings may be unsuitable for capturing and conveying VR experiences.