TOWARDS GAMIFYING SOFTWARE STRUCTURE COMPREHENSION IN VIRTUAL REALITY

Roy Oberhauser and Carsten Lecon

Keywords

Virtual reality, gamification, software visualization, program comprehension, software engineering, computer science education

Abstract

As the size of software program code bases in software development projects increases, insight into and comprehension of their underlying dependency structures presents a challenge for programmers. The increasing availability of virtual reality (VR) systems brings VR-based visualization of program code structures into practical reach for software developers and could support program comprehension and insight. However, the complete visual immersion with VR presents a cognitive burden and potential distractions. Applying gamification to such a VR visualization capability has hitherto been insufficiently investigated as to its potential motivation and program comprehension factors. This paper describes and evaluates a VR digital gamification approach for program code called VR Gamified Immersion in Software structures (VR-GaImS), which applies digital gamification to a multi-metaphor VR visualization of software program structures. The results of a preliminary empirical investigation utilizing our prototype indicate its potential to increase enjoyment and motivation, focus attention, and encourage the exploration of software structures.

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