RETRO @ HFES 2012 Preview

Katelyn Procci, Research Update No Comments

Katelyn Procci | October 19, 2012

Both Shan and I are very excited about next week… We are both presenting something at the upcoming Human Factors and Ergonomics Society’s 56th Annual Meeting in Boston. I’m particulary excited for all of this year’s sessions that are dedicated to games! Expect notes and musings on the conference sometime in the next few weeks, but I’d like to take the time to first highlight what we’ll be bringing to the conference.

Me and my VE
Michael Clamann and David Kaber; Dwight Meglan; Katelyn Procci, Clint Bowers, and Anya Andrews; Jonathan Ericson and William H. Warren; Bimal Balakrishnan and Danielle Oprean; Loukas Kallisteris
Tuesday, October 22, VE1
Technical Group: Virtual Environments

We are participating in an alternative format session where a number of us will be showing off how different virtual environments can be used for research, training, and education. After brief introductions from all of the presenters, attendees will be able to actually interact with the VEs. We’ll be on-site discussing Walk in my Shoes and letting everyone play all seven of the resilience minigames that we developed for Novonics. Data from the recently-wrapped usability and validation study suggest that playing content-relevant minigames promotes more learning over playing through the simulation with content-irrelevant minigames. So incorporating practice with the content through these minigames improved the instructional efficacy of the simulation (and made it far more fun, according to actual user feedback).

The Effect of Realistic and Fantastical Narrative Context on Perceived Relevance and Self-Efficacy in Serious Games
Shan Lakhmani, Elaine M. Raybourn, and Alicia Sanchez
Wednesday, October 24, VE2 – Applications in Gaming, Training, and Decision Making
Technical Group: Virtual Environments

Context is an important part in establishing a virtual environment training program. What we did is look at contextual fidelity in training games. On the more high-fidelity side of the contextual fidelity scale, we used the game Select-a-Cell, which mirrored government selection procedure quite closely. On the low-fidelity side of the scale, we have CPI, a game that teaches continuous process improvement by way of alien invasion. The games are relatively similar, teach using similar methods, and were created by the same developer (which was RETRO, funded by DAU) We looked at the users’ Videogame Self-efficacy, the users’ belief in their ability to play games successfully, and Perceived Relevance, how useful the games seem to be in teaching the concept they are trying to teach, and we use Yi & Hwang’s modification of the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) to inform these results [1].

We found that people who played the more realistic game reported greater perceived relevance of the game and higher game self-efficacy than their counterparts who played the more fantastical counterpart. We theorize that the greater contextual fidelity allows users to better contextualize the information and lets users more easily make a parallel from the game to the potential real-world task being trained. According to the TAM, these two factors we discussed correspond with behavioral intention to use the training game and the actual use of said game.


1. Yi, M. Y. & Hwang, Y. (2003). Predicting the use of web-based information systems: Self-efficacy, enjoyment, learning goal orientation, and technology acceptance model. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 59 (431-449).

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