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Spatial Design for Multicultural Online Game EnvironmentsSummers, Alan; Bellaby, Gareth; University of Chester, University of Central Lancashire (Shibaura Institute of Technology, 2013-08)Current gaming technologies enable players from different cultures to communicate and participate in gameplay within a single game environment. A player from one culture may now inhabit a three-dimensional game environment developed by designers from a different culture. These game environments bypass geographic and cultural boundaries and question differences in Eastern and Western gameplay preferences recognized by the games industry. This paper discusses the effect of cultural knowledge on the spatial design of three-dimensional game environments. A new methodology for the comparative analysis of the design of three-dimensional game environments is established considering cultural models as applied to design thinking. Based on spatial analysis it offers game designers and researchers metrics correlated to human way-finding in the real world that are directly relevant to the forms of game play in these environments. The initial analysis of internationally popular, and culturally specific, game environments indicate areas where cultural differences may be considered through spatial considerations within a design methodology. Recognized cognitive differences between Eastern and Western cultures and the interpretation of the two dimensional visual field are considered within findings that determine the use of spatial metrics is a methodology that can be used by design researchers and game designers as a tool set within the design cycle of online multicultural three-dimensional game environments.