It seems clear that different video games require different skills. However, there has been no systematic way of assessing what these skills are or for assessing the extent to which particular skills are required by a particular game. This study used a psychometric approach to help identify these skills and profile particular games and genres of video games. Experienced gamers generated a list of 32 skills and then a diverse sample of participants rated a number of games on the extent to which they required the skills. Factor analysis revealed seven general components: perceptual-motor, role-playing, numerical reasoning, problem solving, focuspersistence, acceptance of uncertainty, and player interaction. Different genres of games differed significantly on a number of these components. The resulting instrument can be used by the game industry to profile games for review and evaluation.
The HCIL has a long, rich history of transforming the experience people have with new technologies. From understanding user needs, to developing and evaluating these technologies, the lab's faculty, staff, and students have been leading the way in HCI research and teaching.