Title: 'Guilty bystanders': VR gaming with audience participation via smartphone

Authors: Michael Cohen; Javier Asensio Meroño

Addresses: Spatial Media Group, University of Aizu, Aizu-Wakamatsu, Fukushima 965-8580, Japan ' Spatial Media Group, University of Aizu, Aizu-Wakamatsu, Fukushima 965-8580, Japan

Abstract: The past decade has seen a substantial increase in the popularity of game live streaming, with more and more people watching others play, instead of playing themselves. Audience participation games (APGs) allow nominal spectators to also actively play, albeit with reduced agency. In this research, different degrees of participation that are possible in APGs are examined. Various approaches through which such multiplayer game interaction can be put into practice are explored, developing a VR game that allows spectators to participate in the game in a casual and seamless fashion using their smartphones. Contributions from these secondary players can cause purely cosmetic effects, or directly affect gameplay. Audience members and spectators empowered by such democratisation are no longer 'innocent' observers, but actively engaged participants, the titular 'guilty bystanders. ' Indifferent spectators ('flâneurs') can become followers, fans, supporters (or hinderers, spoilers, trolls...).

Keywords: human-centred computing; human-computer interaction; HCI; interaction design; audience participation gaming; APGs; ludology; game studies; mobile devices; mobile-ambient media; smartphone interaction; virtual reality; VR; crowd-activated games.

DOI: 10.1504/IJENTTM.2022.129638

International Journal of Entertainment Technology and Management, 2022 Vol.1 No.4, pp.339 - 354

Received: 16 Jun 2022
Received in revised form: 08 Nov 2022
Accepted: 09 Nov 2022

Published online: 17 Mar 2023 *

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