Usability Testing of Video Game Controllers in Virtual Reality

26th September 2020

Proposed by Gareth W. Young
Email: YoungGa(at)

Early video game controllers were simple, as were the games that they were used to control. Traditional human-computer interaction studies in games user research have extensively studied the role of controllers in both quantitative and qualitative evaluations (Young et al. 2016). However, on more contemporary gaming platforms, multiple forms of interaction can now be applied using a range of sophisticated motion capture technologies. In virtual reality, there exist multiple examples of game controller and hand tracking metaphors, each with their unique approach to user interaction. In this project, we will explore the role of input capture in virtual reality and the performance of traditional and emergent game controllers in three-dimensional pointing tasks, as defined in the international standard that specifies the requirements for nonkeyboard input devices, ISO 9241-9 (Cha & Myung, 2013). Additionally, we will explore the combined evaluation of functionality, usability, and user experience of these devices during non-ISO tasks (Roig-Maimó et al., 2016). These two case study approaches will then be compared and contrasted to better understand the differences between quantitative task-based analyses and in-game experiences.


Cha, Y., and Myung, R. (2013). Extended Fitts’ law for 3D pointing tasks using 3D target arrangements. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics43(4), 350-355.

Roig-Maimó, M. F., MacKenzie, I. S., Manresa-Yee, C., and Varona, J. (2017). Evaluating fitts’ law performance with a non-ISO task. In Proceedings of the XVIII International Conference on Human Computer Interaction (pp. 1-8).

Young, G. W., Kehoe, A., and Murphy, D. (2016). Usability testing of video game controllers. Games User Research: A Case Study Approach, 145-188.