Scientists will get to work to understand why some players feel more comfortable with reverse controls while others do not feel the need to change configuration.
Just with the recent update of Super Mario 3D-All Stars which notably added the possibility of playing with the basic or inverted controls , we could understand that all the players were not housed in the same boat at this level.
Earlier this year, an article in the Guardian looked into the issue. Dr Ross Goutcher, professor of psychology at the University of Stirling, began by explaining that “when we use a controller, we are interacting with a fairly complex and very adaptable tool” .
Seven volunteers to participate in a study on reverse controls
“We know that the human brain is very skilled at using tools and that it adapts to the use of tools” , continued Professor Goutcher. “For example, holding a stick changes the way the brain reacts to its peripersonal space – the space just outside of an arm's reach – by redefining the areas considered 'out of reach'. […] Thus, I think that learning to use a controller with a sufficiently high degree of competence will probably involve the development of a fairly well anchored mapping between the input and the expected action ”.
The Covid-19 pandemic has, we are told, redirected a certain group of researchers to feasible topics online. And these same scientists will tackle the question of understanding why some players feel more comfortable with reverse controls than… the reverse. It is also once again The Guardian which echoes the information.
We learn that seven volunteers, all psychology students aged 18 to 35, will participate in this research which will consist of “carrying out behavioral and psychophysical experiments at a distance” . What will these experiences look like? Dr. Jennifer Corbett, officiating in the Visual Perception and Attention Lab at Brunel University in London, says what is going to be about:
“In principle, we're going to measure how quickly and precisely people are able to mentally rotate shapes and the extent to which they rely on different bodily and contextual cues to make judgments about space. There are no right or wrong answers to these tasks – we're interested in how people might behave differently. We'll get one or two metrics – for example, average reaction time, average accuracy – from each participant in each of the four short online computerized experiments, and then correlate those metrics with information from a questionnaire about play habits that each participant will also fulfill ” .
Dr. Corbett's team hopes to better understand how an individual's visual perception can influence their interactions in real and virtual environments.