Eye-Tracking reveals the Pros in Mario Kart

Ever wondered how your eyes perform while playing a videogame? Turns out they might be quite important for you winning the game. Actually, so important that one can even distinguish whether you are a winner based solely on the movement of your eyes! And here is, what it looks like:

The small blue dots are called fixations, i.e. the spots where the eye rests (even if it does so only shortly). Fixations are connected by saccades, very fast eye movements. In fact they are so super-fast that visual perception is suppressed while we perform them. Try it with a mirror if you don’t believe me – you won’t be able to see your eyes moving if you look from one spot to the other.

The percentage of scanpaths that were correctly classified as either fast or slow drivers are shown on the diagonal. Off-diagonal elements (left top and bottom right) are misclassifications.

Figure 1: The percentage of scanpaths that were correctly classified as either fast or slow drivers are shown on the diagonal. Off-diagonal elements (left top and bottom right) are misclassifications.

Comparing such eye movement sequences to each other is not trivial (and will likely be covered in a future post). But we can do so and even find relevant differences between good and, well, mediocre players (Figure 1).


T. C. Kübler, C. Rothe, U. Schiefer, W. Rosenstiel, E. Kasneci (2016): SubsMatch 2.0: Scanpath comparison and classification based on subsequence frequencies. Behavior Research Methods:1-17

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