Evaluation of Mouse Pads Designed to Enhance Gaming Performance

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In recent years, competitive computer gaming has enjoyed a rise in popularity. Marketers of gaming accessories make claims as to how their product can improve user performance. An experiment was conducted examining three specialized mouse pads. Results indicated no performance difference between the specialized mouse pads, a traditional mouse pad and no mouse pad. No significant differences were found between each of the mousing surfaces based on kinematic data. The results suggest that manufacturers claim of increased performance can not be supported by empirical evidence.

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... More specifically, there is a tendency towards using a specific type of computer equipment, which is designed for playing games competitively. For instance, Slocum et al. (2005) note that since most competitive games rely on the fast and accurate movements of the mouse for manipulating movements during competitions, playing eSports requires optimised user input performance. Consequently, 'manufacturers of computer accessories have benefited from gamers' increased demand for high-dpi optical mice, specialised input devices and specialised mouse pads to give them a competitive edge with regard to control of input' (Slocum et al., 2005: 706). ...
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This paper adopts the theory of social practices as a critical lens for understanding computer game consumption as multiple ‘nexuses of doings and sayings’, which represent the elements of and are situated within the broader context of consumer culture. Specifically, we explore an emerging phenomenon of an organised and competitive approach to computer gaming, referred to as ‘electronic sports’ or ‘eSports’, by offering a novel conceptualisation of eSports as an assemblage of consumption practices. In our endeavour, we illustrate that eSports practices are performed by consumers through multiple interconnected nexuses of unique understandings, tools, competencies and skills, whereby these nexuses transcend the elements of digital play to include the watching and governing of eSports. Accordingly, eSports consumers take on multiple roles beyond being considered merely as ‘players’; engaging with this phenomenon using different nexuses of practical activities. Our findings suggest that, in order to gain a more comprehensive perspective of what consumers actually do with computer games, we should explore gaming consumption in relation to different social practices that co-constitute multifaceted consumer engagement within this genre.
E-sports are popular around the world and has become a full-time profession for an increasing number of players. Specialized keyboards, mice, headphones and gaming workstations have been developed to improve performance and reduce physical discomfort associated with prolonged gaming. Games have special requirements of operation requiring faster and larger movement, greater mouse sensitivity and higher input efficiency of pointing devices like the computer mouse. The rapid and precise movements of the mouse may impact performance and pose challenges to musculoskeletal health. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare muscle activity and performance while gaming with mice that vary in connection type (wired versus wireless) and weight (light versus heavy).
Movement kinematics has been shown useful for characterizing the process of aiming movement in target acquisition tasks. There are multiple kinematic measures reported in the literature, but their relationship to eventual performance is not well documented. To determine the relationship between various kinematic measures and movement performance, data were collected from participants aged 21 to 90 years with a wide range of psychomotor ability. When computed across age groups, time to peak velocity (TPV), time to peak acceleration (TPA), and time from peak velocity until the end of movement (TPVEND) were found to correlate with movement performance. However, the relationships diminished when the correlations were computed within age groups (except for TPVEND). More interestingly, despite the extensive report, certain kinematic measures such as peak velocity were found to be uncorrelated with performance. Thus, when performance is the focus, improvement should be made to reduce TPV, TPA, and TPVEND.
Unlabelled: The objective of this research is to understand the influence of age and age-related psychomotor ability on the process of mouse-mediated aiming movement. It is premised on the notions that (1) mouse-mediated aiming movements can be better understood via studying its kinematics and (2) age is a surrogate variable in kinematic differences, and that age-influenced fundamental factors such as psychomotor ability may have a more direct effect. As expected, age kinematic differences were detected. However, when comparing with age, age-influenced psychomotor ability (i.e. manual dexterity) contributed more substantially to the variances of kinematics in the ballistic phase. For homing phase, in addition to manual dexterity, age-influenced wrist-finger speed was also a significant contributor. In future studies, it is suggested that components of visual processing should be included for better understanding of its role as an age-influenced fundamental ability in aiming movements. Applications of this research are discussed. Practitioner summary: This paper presents empirical data showing age effects in movement kinematics are chiefly mediated by age-related changes in psychomotor ability. Our findings provide additional data for existing and newer performance enhancement solutions, especially for those targeting older adults.
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