Latency Can Kill: Precision and Deadline in Online Games

Latency Can Kill: Precision and Deadline in Online Games


Mark Claypool and Kajal Claypool

In Proceedings of the First ACM Multimedia Systems Conference (MMSys)
(Invited Paper)
Scottsdale, AZ, USA
February 22-23, 2010


The growth in network capacities and availability has been accompanied by a proliferation of online games. While online games perform well under many network conditions, Internet delays can often degrade online game performance. The precise impact that latency has on online gameplay depends upon the game type and the actions within the game. While the effects of latency on specific games has been studied, knowledge about the effects of latency on classes of games and about the effects of latency on different player actions is lacking. This paper presents a broad, perspective-based classification of games based on player control and camera view. The foundation of the game classification are player actions, each of which is defined by its precision and deadline requirements. Experiments with controlled amount of precision, deadline and latency support the classification. This classification of games should prove useful for game designers, network engineers and game players themselves as they build and play on tomorrow's networks.


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