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Entertainment Computing


The pre-show experience is a significant part of the movie industry. Moviegoers, on average arrive 24 min before when the previews start. Previews have been a part of the movie experience for more than a hundred years and are a culturally significant aspect of the whole experience. Over the last decade, the premovie in-theatre experience has grown to a $600 million industry. This growth continues to accelerate. Since 2012, this industry has increased by 150%. Consequently, there is an industry-wide demand for innovation in the pre-movie area. In this paper, we describe Paths, an innovative multiplayer real-time socially engaging game that we designed, developed and evaluated. An iterative refinement application development methodology was used to create the game. The game may be played on any smartphone and group interactions are viewed on the large theatre screen. This paper also reports on the quasiexperimental mixed method study with repeated measures that was conducted to ascertain the effectiveness of this new game. The results show that Paths is very engaging with elements of suspense, pleasant unpredictability and effective team building and crowd-pleasing characteristics.


© 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

Published in Entertainment Computing