Removing the HUD: The Impact of Non-diegetic Game Elements and Expertise on Player Involvement

I Iacovides, Anna Cox, R Kennedy, Paul Cairns, Charlene Jennett
in CHI PLAY '15 Proceedings of the 2015 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play, Conference proceeding, New York, NY, USA

Abstract

Previous research has shown that player involvement can be influenced by a range of factors, from the controllers used to the perceived level of challenge provided by the game. However, little attention has been paid to the influence of the game interface. Game interfaces consist of both diegetic (that can be viewed by the player-character, e.g. the game world) and non-diegetic components (that are only viewed by the player, e.g. the heads-up display). In this paper we examine two versions of a first-person shooter game to investigate how immersion is influenced through interacting with a diegetic and non-diegetic interface. Our findings suggest that the removal of non-diegetic elements, such as the heads-up display, is able to influence immersion in expert players through increasing their cognitive involvement and sense of control. We argue that these results illustrate the importance of considering the role of expertise in relation to how particular design choices will influence the player experience.