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Calibration Games : Making Calibration Tasks Enjoyable by Adding Motivating Game Elements

David R. Flatla, Carl Gutwin, Lennart E. Nacke, Scott Bateman, and Regan L. Mandryk. 2011. Calibration Games : Making Calibration Tasks Enjoyable by Adding Motivating Game Elements. In Proceedings of ACM UIST 2011. Santa Barbara, CA, United States. ACM, 403-412. doi:10.1145/2047196.2047248

Abstract

Interactive systems often require calibration to ensure that input and output are optimally configured. Without calibration, user performance can degrade (e.g., if an input device is not adjusted for the user's abilities), errors can increase (e.g., if color spaces are not matched), and some interactions may not be possible (e.g., use of an eye tracker). The value of calibration is often lost, however, because many calibration processes are tedious and unenjoyable, and many users avoid them altogether. To address this problem, we propose calibration games that gather calibration data in an engaging and entertaining manner. To facilitate the creation of calibration games, we present design guidelines that map common types of calibration to core tasks, and then to well-known game mechanics. To evaluate the approach, we developed three calibration games and compared them to standard procedures. Users found the game versions significantly more enjoyable than regular calibration procedures, without compromising the quality of the data. Calibration games are a novel way to motivate users to carry out calibrations, thereby improving the performance and accuracy of many human-computer systems.