Spectating VR with AR

Exploring Engagement Between VR and AR Users in a Co-Located VR Experience

Many Virtual Reality (VR) experiences focus on engaging the player and forget about the spectators. Research has shown that there are various ways of including spectators in VR experiences and that the inclusion leads to higher enjoyment, immersion, and engagement. This study aims to explore the effects of including spectators in an exploration type VR experience using Augmented Reality (AR) on the engagement of both the spectators and the users wearing the VR head mounted display (HMD). To test this effect, participants (n=14) were gathered in pairs and played both as the VR HMD user and as the spectator while using three spectating modes. Each spectating mode was either passive, where the spectator had no control over the spectator’s view, or active, where they did. Their engagement levels were measured using the Consumer Video Game Engagement Questionnaire. The tests revealed that using an active spectating mode had a positive impact on the engagement level of both the spectator and the HMD user. These results suggest that VR experiences should include some sort of active spectating mode to improve gameplay and to achieve better sales. Further research is needed to confirm the results with other types of VR experiences and other spectating modes.