Masters Work

My Masters thesis was research into the decision-making processes of individuals when presented with distinctly differing sounds behind each of two doors.  The reasoning behind the decisions made was evaluated and compared to expectations to discover how sounds made players think and evaluate based on prior biases, knowledge, and experiences.  The level was simple and followed a straight path, though the players did not realize this and thought they were winding through a maze based on choices they made. Light combat and hidden items and triggers helped keep them engaged. My thesis, Understanding Player Pathing Choices Through the Use of Sound, may be viewed and downloaded from the following link:

James Bowling Masters Thesis

An example of gameplay:


In this part of the level, the player is given two distinct sounds from two separate doors.  Behind one is a female voice, the other a male voice.  The player must choose between the doors to continue.  The decision made is evaluated based on fundamentals such as previous level bias, gender bias, previous game knowledge, and sound content.  The choice is then compared to the baseline of generic, or “random”, decision-making on that same pair of doors with no sounds existing.

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