Enhancing spatial perception and user experience in video games with volumetric shadows

Tuukka M. Takala*, Perttu Hämäläinen, Mikael Matveinen, Taru Simonen, Jari Takatalo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


In this paper, we investigate the use of volumetric shadows for enhancing three-dimensional perception and action in third-person motion games. They offer an alternative to previously studied cues and visual guides. Our preliminary survey revealed that from the games that require Kinect, 37% rely primarily on a third-person view and 9% on a first-person view. We conducted a user study where 30 participants performed object reaching, interception, and aiming tasks in six different graphical modes of a video game that was controlled using a Kinect sensor and PlayStation Move controllers. The study results indicate that different volumetric shadow cues can affect both the user experience and the gameplay performance positively or negatively, depending on the lighting setup. Qualitative user experience analysis shows that playing was found to be most easy and fluent in a typical virtual reality setting with stereo rendering and flat surface shadows.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputer-Human Interaction
Subtitle of host publicationCognitive Effects of Spatial Interaction, Learning, and Ability - 25th Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference, OzCHI 2013, Revised and Extended Papers
EditorsTheodor Wyeld, Paul Calder, Haifeng Shen
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventAustralian Conference on Human-Computer-Interaction - Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 25 Nov 201329 Nov 2013
Conference number: 25

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


ConferenceAustralian Conference on Human-Computer-Interaction
Abbreviated titleOzCHI


  • 3D user interface
  • Depth cues
  • Depth perception
  • Game experience
  • Games
  • Stereoscopy
  • Volumetric shadows


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