Motivated Timing in a Real-Time Strategy Game: Starcraft2

Robbert van der Mijn*, Hedderik van Rijn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterAcademic


Studies investigating interval timing often involve experiments in a laboratory setting which may or may not generalize well to behavior in the real world. Ecologically valid tasks that involve temporal cognition can be found in many video-games, for example the well-studied multiplayer real-time strategy game StarCraft2. The game involves a variety of skills that require flexible task switching based on the events in the game. Some tasks require the player to keep track of time in order to optimize their game. For example, one specific action can only be done once every 29 seconds and will generate resources that a player can use in order to beat the opponent. A player who keeps track of this interval accurately can perform the action again immediately when it is ready, thereby optimizing the task. This task can therefore be used to study how memory, expertise and multitasking influence the motivated timing of intervals in a setting in which interval-timing is not the primary task. Here, we analyze this action by examining data of 10.965 games provided by ~6.600 players themselves. Information about the level of expertise of the players is available in the form of ranking system. We hypothesize that response times are faster for skilled players, but are strongly influenced by the phase the game is in and the difficulty of concurrent tasks. Preliminary analyses confirm our hypotheses. Exploratory analyses of game dynamics that generalize to laboratory tasks may give new insights into ecological validity of these tasks.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 15-Oct-2019
Event2nd Annual Conference of the Timing Research Forum - Queretaro, Mexico
Duration: 15-Oct-201917-Oct-2019


Conference2nd Annual Conference of the Timing Research Forum
Abbreviated titleTRF2
Internet address

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