Adaptive Textual Guidance using Specificity in Serious Virtual Reality Games
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Virtual Reality (VR) games have become increasingly more popular in the digital age. Educational games can benefit from this by making use of VR technologies and bestow an even better experience than previously. Having said that, certain elements can reduce the overall VR experience, such as being lost in a task finding game. This research assesses how adaptive textual guidance can be utilized for the purpose of reducing cognitive overload and enhancing engagement, presence, interest, and knowledge retention in virtual environments by adapting to the player's needs. The lostness measure system developed in this paper is applied to the PlayStation 4 Virtual Reality (PS4VR) game ”The Chantry” where the difficulty of finding items is adjusted in real-time, based on how the player is performing. Experiments were conducted comparing 2 groups where one played the normal version of the game, while the other played the version that includes the adaptive measure. 31 participants took place in the experiments, split into two groups of 17 and 14. Each participant filled out a questionnaire and a knowledge test after their play-through of the game, measuring their interest, presence, engagement, cognitive load, story knowledge, and spatial knowledge. Results show that the adaptive system worked as intended, reducing and increasing specificity only when deemed necessary. Results revealed that participants playing with the adaptive version scored higher on both story and spatial knowledge while having a reduced cognitive load. No differences were found in presence, interest, and engagement. Considering all this, ensuring a more overall intermediate experience for exploratory VR games will enhance the player's knowledge retention, spatial information retention and reduce their cognitive load.