Silhouette Games: An Interactive One-Way Mirror Approach to Watching Players in VR

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PubDate: Aug 2020

Teams: University of Duisburg-Essen

Writers: Andrey Krekhov, Daniel Preuß, Sebastian Cmentowski, Jens Krüger

PDF: Silhouette Games: An Interactive One-Way Mirror Approach to Watching Players in VR

Abstract

Watching others play is a key ingredient of digital games and an important aspect of games user research. However, spectatorship is not very popular in virtual reality, as such games strongly rely on one’s feelings of presence. In other words, the head-mounted display creates a barrier between the player and the audience. We contribute an alternative watching approach consisting of two major components: a dynamic view frustum that renders the game scene from the current spectator position and a one-way mirror in front of the screen. This mirror, together with our silhouetting algorithm, allows seeing the player’s reflection at the correct position in the virtual world. An exploratory survey emphasizes the overall positive experience of the viewers in our setup. In particular, the participants enjoyed their ability to explore the virtual surrounding via physical repositioning and to observe the blended player during object manipulations. Apart from requesting a larger screen, the participants expressed a strong need to interact with the player. Consequently, we suggest utilizing our technology as a foundation for novel playful experiences with the overarching goal to transform the passive spectator into a collocated player.

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