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Står monstret bakom mig?: En kvalitativ undersökning av skräck i Virtual Reality
Karlstad University.
Karlstad University.
2017 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Is the Monster Standing Behind Me? : A Qualitative Study of Horror in Virtual Reality (English)
Abstract [sv]

Virtual Reality har existerat i olika former runt 80 år tillbaka, men i dess nuvarande form har den en mer signifikant plats på marknaden. Med detta behövs mer forskning på hur VR fungerar och hur människor påverkas av VR för att kunna utveckla produkter till detta växande medium. Forskningen är idag bristande, så för att bredda förståelsen om VR och framförallt VR som konsol för spel har den här kvalitativa studien undersökt hur skräckelement upplevs i en VR-miljö. Studien undersökte även vad som kan påverka “immersion”, fördjupning i miljön, samt om tidigare erfarenheter kan påverka upplevelser i en VR-miljö. Dessa frågor analyserades utifrån två speltest som gjordes på VR-konsolen HTC Vive. Första speltestet fokuserade på kontroller och “immersion” för att se hur pass lättförstådd och intuitiv konsolen är. Det andra testet undersökte skräckelement i VR och vad för slags element kunde bidra till en mer effektiv och intensiv skräckupplevelse.

Totalt deltog 16 personer mellan 19-26 år i speltesterna. Deltagarna var studenter vid Karlstad Universitet eller hade tidigare varit det. Deltagarna blev indelade i olika grupper baserade på tidigare erfarenhet inom spel (första testet) och skräck (andra testet).

Med hjälp av observation av videoinspelningar och intervjuer kunde den insamlade datan delas in i teman. De teman som användes för att analysera datan var kontroller, obehag/desorientering, “immersion” och skräckelement. Resultaten visade att HTC Vive har goda förutsättningar för “immersion”. Dock med några problematiska faktorer, utrustning exempelvis, som störde upplevelsen. Trots detta skapade konsolen en stark känsla av “immersion” då deltagarna upplevde sig närvarande i VR-miljön på grund av sådant som bakgrundsljud och naturligt perspektiv på VR-miljön i headsetet. Det som spelade störst roll för “immersion” var att miljön behövde agera verklighetstroget, alltså som spelaren förväntar sig. Den sortens närvaro bidrog positivt till skräckupplevelsen då spelarna tycktes uppleva sig hotade av skräckelementen som att det var riktat mot dem personligen och inte bara en karaktär i ett spel.

Gällande skillnader mellan grupperna i erfarenhet fanns det inte många substantiella skillnader. Det kunde märkas lite skillnad i hur kontrollerna hanterades mellan de spelerfarna och icke erfarna. De med tidigare erfarenhet tycktes ha med sig förväntningar om hur kontrollerna skulle fungera.

Studien hade, på grund av dess kvalitativa natur, inte möjlighet att få fram generaliserbara resultat. Dock så öppnade den upp för frågor till framtida forskning gällande både VR-spel och dess användare samt om VR-konsoler.

Abstract [en]

Virtual Reality has existed in different forms since around 80 years ago, but in its current form it has a more significant place on the current market. With this change, more research on how VR works and how humans are affected by it is needed to be able to develop products for this growing medium. The research today is lacking, so to expand the understanding of VR and specifically VR as a console for games, this qualitative study has researched how elements of fear are experienced in a VR-environment. The study also studied what can affect “immersion”, depth in the environment, as well as if previous experience can affect experiences in a VR-environment. These questions were analyzed based on two game tests that were made on the VR-console HTC Vive. The first test focused on controls and “immersion” to see how intuitive and easily understood the console is. The second test examined horror elements in VR and what kinds of elements could contribute to a more effective and intense horror experience.

A total of 16 people between the ages of 19-26 participated in the game tests. The participants were students at Karlstad University, or had previously been so. The participants were divided in different kinds of groups depending on previous experiences in digital games (the first test) and horror (the second test).

With the help of observation of the video recordings and the interviews the collected data could be divided into themes. The themes used to analyze the data were controls, disorientation/discomfort, “immersion” and horror elements. The results showed that HTC Vive have good qualifications for “immersion”. Though with a few problematic factors, the equipment for example, which disturbed the experience. Despite this, the console created a strong feeling of “immersion” as the participants experienced themselves to be present in the VR-environment because of factors such as background noise and a natural point-of-view of the VR-environment through the headset. The biggest contributor for “immersion” was that the environment needed to have a natural and believable behavior, acting the way the user expects it to. This kind of presence contributed positively to the horror experience as the participants seemed to believe themselves to be threatened by the horror elements as if it was directed at them personally and not just a character in a game.  

In the subject of differences between the groups in experience there not a lot of substantial differences. A small difference could be found regarding how the controls were handled between the different groups of game experience. The participants with previous experience seemed to bring expectations about how the controls should work.

The study had, because of its qualitative nature, no possibility to receive generalizable results. But the study did open up for questions for future research related to VR-games and their users, as well as VR-consoles.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , 59 p.
Keyword [en]
Virtual Reality, Immersion, Horror, HTC Vive
Keyword [sv]
Virtual Reality, Immersion, Skräck, HTC, Vive
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-55178OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-55178DiVA: diva2:1111955
External cooperation
The Great Journey
Subject / course
Media and Communication Studies
Educational program
Media and Communication: Visual Communication Design (180 ECTS credits)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-07-04 Created: 2017-06-19 Last updated: 2017-07-04Bibliographically approved

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