Use of Computer Games to Test Experimental Techniques and Cognitive Models
In design of computer systems, one attempts to match the interface to the needs of the users by a careful consideration of the mental representations and information processing strategies which will be effective for the various tasks of the users. In this effort, it is important to consider that the task repertoire will include familiar work routines as well as occasional requirements for problem solving and, in addition, that the system should be able to support a novice without frustrating the highly skilled users.
For this purpose, an experimental technique is needed which is less time consuming than, for instance, analysis of verbal protocols. The paper discusses the requirements to an experimental setup suited to study mental strategies, their evolution with training, and the related error mechanisms. It is concluded that computer games are well suited for this purpose due to their well structured, closed world and to the amount of data that can be collected from subjects while acquiring a high level of skill.
KeywordsComputer Game Verbal Protocol Error Mechanism Skilled User Information Processing Strategy
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