Tracking Early Differences in Tetris Perfomance Using Eye Aspect Ratio Extracted Blinks

IEEE Transactions on Games 1:1-8 (2023)
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This study aimed to evaluate if eye blinks can be used to discriminate players with different performance in a session of Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) Tetris. To that end, we developed a state-of-the-art method for blink extraction from EAR measures, which is robust enough to be used with data collected by a low-grade webcam such as the ones widely available on laptop computers. Our results show a significant decrease in blink rate per minute (blinks/m) during the first minute of playing Tetris. After having defined 3 groups of proficiency based on in-game performance (Novices, Intermediates, and Experts) we found out that expert players display a significantly lower decrease in blinks/m compared to novices during the first minute of gameplay, which shows that Tetris players' proficiency can be detected by looking at eye blinks/m variations during the early phase of a game session. This difference in blinks/m is observed throughout the entire game session, which supports the general conclusion that proficient Tetris players have a lower decrease in blinks/m, even when playing more difficult levels. Finally, we offer some interpretations of this effect and the relationship that our results may have with the visual cognitive workload experienced during the gameplay.

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