Exploring unlikely errors using video games: An example in number entry research.

P Oladimeji, Harold Thimbleby, Paul Curzon, I Iacovides, Anna Cox
in Workshop on Safety-Critical Systems and Video Games: Contradictions and Commonalities, Fun and Games, (2012)., Conference paper (text)


A common and important feature of many safety critical interactive
devices is number entry. In hospitals, number entry
takes the form of setting drug parameters such as doses,
volumes, etc. There are several ways a number entry interface
can be designed - with different consequences for error
and speed. Nurses and healthcare practitioners usually have
to interact with different interfaces often under pressure and
stress of taking care of patients with different health conditions.
Error rates in practice are low, undetected error rates
are even lower and obtaining the context in which the errors
occur is often incredibly difficult due to poor logging systems
in many medical devices and high cost of planning and
conducting empirical studies. Laboratory based studies also
suffer similar limitations in that, without interventions, error
rates are also too low to study. This paper explores the benefits
of using a gaming context to study safety critical systems.
We argue that a game paradigm provides a way that
overcomes many of the problems of studying low error rates
in safety critical systems and specifically for number entry in
medical contexts.