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Gamified Virtual Reality for Program Code Structure Comprehension

Roy Oberhauser, Carsten Lecon
I17-02
This article is referenced in HAL

The International Journal of Virtual Reality, 2017, 17 (02): 79-88

Abstract

When programmers view program code text, the abstract and invisible nature of the underlying program code structures remains inherently challenging for them to visualize. Widespread availability of virtual reality (VR) hardware and software now make VR visualization of program code structures accessible. In such potentially visually satiating environments, the application of gamification has the potential to provide an additional focus and motivational factor towards comprehending program structures. Towards this end, this paper describes our Gamified Virtual Reality FlyThruCode (GVR-FTC) approach which gamifies our immersive metaphorical visualization of any given software code structure. Our initial results show that VR-based gamification (specifically code dependencies and modularization) can be more fun and motivational and support structural program comprehension better than using a PC-based text editor for a similarly gamified situation.

Keywords

Virtual reality,  Software Engineering,  Gamification,  Software visualization,  Program comprehension,  Computer education

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