Center for Human Modeling and Simulation

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Conference Paper

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Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on Applied Perception (SAP '12)

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At the time of publication, author Alla Safonova was affiliated with Disney Research, Philadelphia. Currently, she is a faculty member at the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania.


Digital games with realistic virtual characters have become very popular. The ability for players to promptly control their character is a crucial feature of these types of games, be it platform games, first-person shooters, or role-playing games. Controller latencies, meaning delays in the responsiveness of a player’s character, for example due to extensive computations or to network latencies, can considerably reduce the player’s enjoyment of a game. In this paper, we present a thorough analysis of the consequences of such delays on the player’s experience across three parts of a game with different levels of difficulty. We investigate the effects of responsiveness on the player’s enjoyment, performance, and perception of the game, as well as the player’s adaptability to delays. We find that responsiveness is very important for the player as delays affect the player’s enjoyment of the game as well as the player’s performance. A quick responsiveness becomes essential for more challenging tasks.

Copyright/Permission Statement

© ACM 2012. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive Version of Record was published in Symposium on Applied Perception,


virtual characters, digital games, responsiveness, controller latency, control lag



Date Posted: 13 January 2016