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Investigating the Effects of Engaging in Interactive Fiction on Players' Spatial Abilities
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Text-based interactive fiction games require a player to navigate through an environment without visual input. Research has been done in the areas of spatial cognition to improve spatial ability test scores, however, interactive fiction has not previously been examined as a means to improve spatial ability. This thesis investigates the effects of engaging in interactive fiction on players’ spatial abilities. Nine interactive fiction games were developed based on 3 fairy tale stories with 3 levels of difficulty each. A between-subjects study was conducted over 3 days with 20 participants in the experimental group and 8 in the control group. Both groups took spatial ability measures at the beginning and end of the study, but only the experimental group participated in the interactive fiction game intervention. Qualitative and quantitative data was collected. The results deepen our understanding about whether interactive fiction may function as an effective intervention to affect spatial abilities, as well as about spatial strategies that players use to engage in interactive fiction. The results have implications for the design and use of interactive fiction for purposes other than entertainment, such as education and training.
Sackreiter, Katherine Ann (2017). Investigating the Effects of Engaging in Interactive Fiction on Players' Spatial Abilities. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from