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Embodied Core Mechanics: Designing for movement-based co-located play
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media. (HCI)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3124-2286
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Movement-based interactive systems for play came into the spotlight over a decade ago, and were met with enthusiasm by the general public as well as the Human-Computer Interaction research community. Yet a decade of research and practice has not fully addressed the challenge of designing for the moving body and play. This thesis argues that often, the role of the technology to sustain the play activity, and to drive the design process, has been over-emphasized, and has resulted in limited design possibilities. This thesis explores an alternative design approach to address the problem through combining the design of the technology with designing aspects of the social and spatial context where the play activity takes place. The work is grounded in an embodied perspective of experience, action, and design. Methodologically, it belongs to the Research through Design tradition (RtD).

A core concept and a characterization of design practices are presented as key contributions. The concept of embodied core mechanics is introduced to frame desirable and repeatable movement-based play actions, paying attention to the way these are supported by design resources including rules, physical and digital artifacts, and the physical and spatial arrangement of players and artifacts. The concept was developed during the two main design cases: the Oriboo case, targeting dance games for children, and the PhySeEar case, targeting rehabilitative therapy for the elderly. It was further substantiated in subsequent external design collaborations. To support the design process, this thesis presents embodied sketching: a set of ideation design practices that leverage the embodied experience and enable designers to scrutinize the desired embodied experience early in the design process. Three forms of embodied sketching are presented: embodied sketching for bodystorming, co-designing with users, and sensitizing designers.

Through reframing the design task as one of designing and studying embodied core mechanics, this thesis establishes an alternative approach to design for movement-based play in which significant aspects of the embodied play experience, lead, drive, and shape the design process and the design of the technology.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Department of Informatics and Media , 2016. , 174 p.
Series
Uppsala Studies in Human-Computer Interaction, 3
Keyword [en]
Embodied core mechanics, embodied sketching, movement-based interaction, phenomenology, embodied interaction, play, play design, research through design, social play, co-located, movement, technology-supported, interactive toy, robot, playification
National Category
Interaction Technologies
Research subject
Human-Computer Interaction
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-284601ISBN: 978-91-506-2549-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-284601DiVA: diva2:920694
Public defence
2016-06-10, Lecture Hall 2, Ekonomikum, Kyrkogårdsgatan 10 A, Uppsala, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-05-20 Created: 2016-04-19 Last updated: 2016-05-23
List of papers
1. The Design Space of Body Games: Technological, Physical, and Social Design
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Design Space of Body Games: Technological, Physical, and Social Design
2013 (English)In: CHI 2013 Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, New York, USA: ACM Digital Library, 2013, 3365-3374 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The past decade has seen an increased focus on body movement in computer games. We take a step further to look at body games: games in which the main source of enjoyment comes from bodily engagement. We argue that for these games, the physical and social settings become just as important design resources as the technology. Although all body games benefit from an integrated design approach, the social and physical setting become particularly useful as design resources when the technology has limited sensing capabilities. We develop our understanding of body games through a literature study and a concrete design experiment with designing multiplayer games for the BodyBug, a mobile device with limited sensing capabilities. Although the device was designed for free and natural movements, previous games fell short in realizing this design ideal. By designing the technology function together with its physical and social context, we were able to overcome device limitations. One of the games was subsequently incorporated in its commercial release.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York, USA: ACM Digital Library, 2013
Keyword
Body Game, Exertion Game, Gesture, Movement, Design, Sensing, Game, Dance, Children, Play, Interactive Toy, BodyBug, Oriboo, Social Play
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Human-Computer Interaction
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-282335 (URN)10.1145/2470654.2466461 (DOI)978-1-4503-1899-0 (ISBN)
Conference
CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Available from: 2016-04-05 Created: 2016-04-05 Last updated: 2016-05-23
2. Embodied Sketching
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Embodied Sketching
2016 (English)In: 34th Annual Chi Conference On Human Factors In Computing Systems, Chi 2016, New York, USA: ACM Digital Library, 2016, 6014-6027 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Designing bodily experiences is challenging. In this paper, we propose embodied sketching as a way of practicing design that involves understanding and designing for bodily experiences early in the design process. Embodied sketching encompasses ideation methods that are grounded in, and inspired by, the lived experience and includes the social and spatial settings as design resources in the sketching. Embodied sketching is also based on harnessing play and playfulness as the principal way to elicit creative physical engagement. We present three different ways to implement and use embodied sketching in the application domain of co-located social play. These include bodystorming of ideas, co-designing with users, and sensitizing designers. The latter helps to uncover and articulate significant, as well as novel embodied experiences, whilst the first two are useful for developing a better understanding of possible design resources. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York, USA: ACM Digital Library, 2016
Keyword
Ideation, Bodystorming, Embodied Sketching, Embodied Interaction, Design Methods, Sensitizing, Somaesthetics
National Category
Interaction Technologies
Research subject
Human-Computer Interaction
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-284600 (URN)10.1145/2858036.2858486 (DOI)000380532905088 ()9781450333627 (ISBN)
Conference
34th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI4GOOD), MAY 07-12, 2016, San Jose, CA, USA
Funder
VINNOVA
Available from: 2016-04-19 Created: 2016-04-19 Last updated: 2016-12-23Bibliographically approved
3. Co-creating Embodied Sketches. Playing as a method to design with children.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Co-creating Embodied Sketches. Playing as a method to design with children.
2015 (English)In: Proceedings Of The 12Th International Conference On Advances In Computer Entertainment Technology, Iskandar, Malaysia, Nov 16-19, 2015, 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Designing body games, games in which the main source of enjoyment comes from bodily engagement, is not an easy task. This article reports on a holistic design approach that considers the social and physical setting of the activity as design resources, together with the technology. We introduce the concept of embodied sketching as a method to gauge how different configurations of resources make for a good design. We report on the experience of using embodied sketching in exploratory workshops with children, as a way to co-create design ideas. The explorations were based on simple games implemented in a technological prototype, which allowed organizers and children to collectively explore game variations by changing the rules of the game, the physical configurations, and the roles of players. We report on our takeaways from four workshops at four different schools in three different countries

Keyword
Play; technology-supported; play engagement; co-located; social; movement-based; interactive toy; Oriboo; sociospatial; embodied sketching; exertion game; body-game.
National Category
Interaction Technologies
Research subject
Human-Computer Interaction
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-271291 (URN)10.1145/2832932.2832975 (DOI)000382173300018 ()
Conference
Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology (ACE)
Available from: 2016-01-07 Created: 2016-01-07 Last updated: 2016-10-26Bibliographically approved
4. YAMOVE! A Movement Synchrony Game that Choreographs Social Interaction.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>YAMOVE! A Movement Synchrony Game that Choreographs Social Interaction.
Show others...
(English)In: Human Technology, ISSN 1795-6889, E-ISSN 1795-6889, Human-Technology Choreographies: Body, Movement and Space [Special Issue].Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
National Category
Interaction Technologies
Research subject
Human-Computer Interaction
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-284598 (URN)
Available from: 2016-04-19 Created: 2016-04-19 Last updated: 2016-05-23
5. Playification: The PhyseEar case
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Playification: The PhyseEar case
2016 (English)In: Chi Play 2016: Proceedings Of The 2016 Annual Symposium On Computer-Human Interaction In Play, 2016, 376-388 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The concept of playification has recently been proposed as an extension of, or alternative to, gamification. We present a playification design project targeting the re-design of physiotherapist rehabilitative therapy for elderly inpatients. The menial and repetitive nature of the physical exercises targeted for design might seem ideal for shallow widespread gamification approaches that add external rewards to entice usage. In our project, we introduced a “third agent” instead, a NAO robot that would take over some of the work typically carried out by the physiotherapist.  This technological intervention triggered the emergence of playfulness, when inpatients and the therapist re-signified the ongoing activity by engaging in playful role-taking, such as blaming the robot for mistakes, or for sensitivity to the inpatient’s inaccurate movements. Based on the experiences from this project, we discuss some of the major differences between playification and gamification.

Keyword
Gamification, Playification, Physiotherapy, Physical training, Rehabilitative therapy, NAO, Robot, Technology-supported design
National Category
Interaction Technologies
Research subject
Human-Computer Interaction
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-284599 (URN)10.1145/2967934.2968099 (DOI)000387871100037 ()9781450344562 (ISBN)
Conference
Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play, Austin, TX, OCT 16-19, 2016
Available from: 2016-04-19 Created: 2016-04-19 Last updated: 2017-05-08

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