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Gonot, A., Natkin, S., Emerit, M., & Chateau, N. (2007) The roles of spatial auditory perception and cognition in the accessibility of a game map with a first person view. International Journal of Intelligent Games & Simulation, 4(2) . Retrieved December 31, 2007,  
Added by: sirfragalot 09 Feb 2008 15:39:03 Europe/Copenhagen
      The authors define two types of audio beacons used for navigating in virtual worlds.

A decontextualized audio beacon has an 'as the crow flies' route (the shortest path) from target to listener/player and so ignores walls and other natural sound barriers. Earlier game engines led to this type of beacon because of their inability to allow game audio to interact with the game's physical spaces.

A contextualized audio beacon accounts for physical sound barriers in the game world and so appears in later, more sophisticated game engines.

Because decontextualized audio beacons do not take account of the game's physical spaces and objects, they do not contribute to the formation of the visual map. A contextualized beacon does but, because it requires concentration to follow the path of the beacon, it imposes a greater cognitive load.
      The experiments comparing decontextualized and contextualized beacons for navigational effectiveness and efficiency proved inconclusive in the main. In neither case is the mental visual map improved through the use of such beacons -- possibly because the spatializing abilities of the human auditory system have been overestimated.
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