Simulated motion blur does not improve player experience in racing game

Lavanya Sharan1,2      Zhe Han Neo2      Kenny Mitchell2      Jessica K. Hodgins2,3

1Massachusetts Institute of Technology      2Disney Research      3Carnegie Mellon University

Sharan et al., MIG 2013 Keynote slides (149 MB)
[Paper] [Slides] [Video]

Motion blur effects are commonly used in racing games (Sousa 2008, Vlachos 2008, Ritchie et al. 2010) to add a sense of realism as well as to minimize artifacts due to strobing and temporal aliasing (Glassner 1999). Typically, motion blur computations are expensive, and for real-time applications, trade-offs are made between the quality of the effects and the computational cost. In this work, we wanted to understand: (i) the practical impact of the motion blur effect on the player experience; and (ii) whether the value gained by including the effect is worth the extra cost in computation, real-time performance, development time, etc. We studied the objective and subjective aspects of the player experience for Split Second: Velocity (Black Rock Studios, Disney), a high-speed racing game, in the presence and absence of the motion blur effect. We found that neither objective measures of participants’ performance (e.g., time to complete a race) nor subjective measures of the player experience (e.g, enjoyment of a race, perceived speed) were affected, even though participants could reliably detect the presence of the motion blur effect. We conclude that motion blur effects, while useful for reducing artifacts and achieving a realistic ‘look’, do not significantly enhance the player experience.

Please refer to the paper for details. This work was presented at MIG'13 and received the Best Oral Presentation Award.


L. Sharan, Z. H. Neo, K. Mitchell, and J. K. Hodgins, "Simulated motion blur does not improve player experience in racing game", in Proc. of ACM Conference on Motion in Games (MIG), pp. 149-154, 2013

   author = {Lavanya Sharan and Zhe Han Neo and Kenny Mitchell and Jessica K. Hodgins},
   title = {Simulated motion blur does not improve player experience in racing game},
   booktitle = {MIG},
   pages = {149-154},
   year = {2013}