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The Impact of Health-Related User Interface Sounds on Player Experience

James Robb, Tom Garner, Karen Collins, and Lennart E. Nacke. 2017. The Impact of Health-Related User Interface Sounds on Player Experience. In Simulation & Gaming 48, 3: 402-427. SAGE. doi:10.1177/1046878116688236

Abstract

Background. Understanding how sound functions on informational and emotional levels within video games is critical to understanding player experience of games. User interface sounds, such as player-character health, are a pivotal component of gameplay across many video game genres, yet have not been studied in detail. Method. To address this research gap in user interface sounds, we present two studies: The first study examines the impact of the presence or absence of player-health sounds on player experience. The second study explores the impact of the types of sound used to indicate player health. We use mixed methods with qualitative and physiological measures. Results. Our results reveal that despite the presence of visual cues, sound is still important to game design for conveying health-related information and that the type of sound affects player experience.