Game Experience When Controlling a Weak Avatar in Full-Body Enaction

  • Roberto Pugliese
  • Klaus Förger
  • Tapio Takala
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9238)


In this paper we describe a motion-controlled game based on a paradigm of a player enacting the character, rather than a character mimicking the player’s action. Our hypothesis is that a controlling scheme based on the adaptation of a player to the way the avatar is able to perform actions, can result in a stronger presence and psychological bond to the character. The approach is based on previous studies showing that features, attitudes and behaviors of the digital representation of players in a virtual reality setting, alter the players self-perception in the virtual environment (Proteus effect). The interaction mechanism is inspired by enactive approach to cognition and embodied action. In a mini-game we explore effects of controlling a weak character on self-presence and identification with the avatar. We show that increasing degrees of effort in the controlled bodies resulted in different impressions of the physical state of the character. Additionally, we provide our interpretation of relation between game experience and the kinetic parameters and adaptation indicators extracted from the motion of the player and avatar. Finally, we address scenarios where this enaction-based approach to motion controlled avatar can find application.


Motion-controlled games Embodied interaction Game experience Self presence Proteus effect 


  1. 1.
    Ahn, S.J.G., Le, A.M.T., Bailenson, J.: The effect of embodied experiences on self-other merging, attitude, and helping behavior. Media Psychol. 16(1), 7–38 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bem, D.J.: Self-perception theory. Adv. Exp. Soc. Psychol. 6, 1–62 (1972)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bianchi-Berthouze, N.: Understanding the role of body movement in player engagement. Hum. Comput. Interact. 28(1), 40–75 (2013)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bianchi-Berthouze, N., Cairns, P., Cox, A., Jennett, C., Kim, W.W.: On posture as a modality for expressing and recognizing emotions. In: Emotion and HCI workshop at BCS HCI London (2006)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bianchi-Berthouze, N., Kim, W.W., Patel, D.: Does body movement engage you more in digital game play? and why? In: Paiva, A.C.R., Prada, R., Picard, R.W. (eds.) ACII 2007. LNCS, vol. 4738, pp. 102–113. Springer, Heidelberg (2007) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bradley, M.M., Lang, P.J.: Measuring emotion: the self-assessment manikin and the semantic differential. J. Behav. Ther. Exp. Psychiatry 25(1), 49–59 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Chandrasekharan, S., Mazalek, A., Nitsche, M., Chen, Y., Ranjan, A.: Ideomotor design: using common coding theory to derive novel video game interactions. Pragmatics Cogn. 18(2), 313–339 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Christoph, K., Dorothée, H., Peter, V.: The video game experience as “true” identification: a theory of enjoyable alterations of players’ self-perception. Commun. Theor. 19(4), 351–373 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Csikszentmihalyi, M.: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. Harper Perennial, New york (1990)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    De Jaegher, H., Di Paolo, E.: Participatory sense-making. Phenomenol. Cogn. Sci. 6(4), 485–507 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Fox, J.: The use of virtual self models to promote self-efficacy and physical activity performance. Ph.D. thesis, Stanford University (2010)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Fox, J., Bailenson, J., Binney, J.: Virtual experiences, physical behaviors: the effect of presence on imitation of an eating avatar. Presence Teleoperators Virtual Environ. 18(4), 294–303 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Fox, J., Bailenson, J.N.: Virtual self-modeling: the effects of vicarious reinforcement and identification on exercise behaviors. Media Psychol. 12(1), 1–25 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    IJsselsteijn, W., De Kort, Y., Poels, K.: The game experience questionnaire: development of a self-report measure to assess the psychological impact of digital games. Manuscript in Preparation (2013)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Jennett, C., Cox, A.L., Cairns, P., Dhoparee, S., Epps, A., Tijs, T., Walton, A.: Measuring and defining the experience of immersion in games. Int. J. Hum. Comput. Stud. 66(9), 641–661 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Jin, S.A.A., Park, N.: Parasocial interaction with my avatar: effects of interdependent self-construal and the mediating role of self-presence in an avatar-based console game, wii. CyberPsychology Behav. 12(6), 723–727 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Kajastila, R., Holsti, L., Hämäläinen, P.: Empowering the exercise: a body-controlled trampoline training game. Int. J. Comput. Sci. Sport 13, 1–18 (2014)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Lee, K.M.: Presence, explicated. Commun. Theor. 14(1), 27–50 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Normoyle, A., Guerrero, G., Jörg, S.: Player perception of delays and jitter in character responsiveness. In: Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on Applied Perception, pp. 117–124. ACM (2014)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ratan, R., Santa Cruz, M., Vorderer, P.: Multitasking, presence, and self-presence on the wii. In: Proceedings of the 10th Annual International Workshop on Presence, pp. 167–190 (2007)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Riskind, J.H., Gotay, C.C.: Physical posture: could it have regulatory or feedback effects on motivation and emotion? Motiv. Emot. 6(3), 273–298 (1982)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Rosch, E., Thompson, E., Varela, F.J.: The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience. MIT Press, Cambridge (1992)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Rosenberg, R.S., Baughman, S.L., Bailenson, J.N.: Virtual superheroes: using superpowers in virtual reality to encourage prosocial behavior. PLoS ONE 8(1), e55003 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Sweetser, P., Wyeth, P.: Gameflow: a model for evaluating player enjoyment in games. Comput. Entertain. 3(3), 3–3 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Mazalek, A., Nitsche, M., Chandrasekharan, S., Welsh, T., Clifton, P., Quitmeyer, A., Peer, F., Kirschner, F.: Recognising your self in virtual avatars. Int. J. Arts and Technol. 6(1), 83–105 (2012)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Yee, N., Bailenson, J.: The proteus effect: the effect of transformed self-representation on behavior. Hum. Commun. Res. 33(3), 271–290 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Yee, N., Bailenson, J.N.: The difference between being and seeing: the relative contribution of self-perception and priming to behavioral changes via digital self-representation. Media Psychol. 12(2), 195–209 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceAalto UniversityEspooFinland

Personalised recommendations