We explore embodied interaction as a stance towards game design in order to create new play experiences, and to gain insights on how to use physical and social context qualities as a material for digital play. We aim at using games to deliberately create social couplings between persons, in order to investigate the interrelation between context factors, (social) interaction and play. In that regard, the game itself acts as a mediatory artifact around which this coupling is formed.


  • Incorporating a holistic view on gaming as a collaborative practice within social and physical contextual influences
  • Designing with contextual characteristics by exploring different embodied representations of these influencing factors to enrich the experience and create new forms of play
  • Understanding games and game design as a research method for studying social and physical context influences (e.g., using games as critical designs)

Research Activities

Gaze-based Onlooker Integration: Within this project we explored an interaction concept that uses the gaze of a second observing person during a co-located gaming situation as an input modality to assist the player. We investigated the effects of different embodied forms of gaze-based onlooker integration and their influence on the player’s and the onlooker’s experience. Our research goal was to address the “in-between” design space of being an active player or a passive spectator and foster co-located game collaboration with.

EyeCo investigates the effects of a shared gaze visualization on social presence in an online cooperative game. We explored how the shared gaze visualization changes how players work together and form collaborative strategies based on different combinations of gaze interaction and verbal communication. Our approach aims at fostering social couplings in remote collaborative gaming and investigates their potential to increase the connectedness between players.

CarTeam is a collaborative multiplayer game that takes advantage of physical structures and affordances of existing tangible elements in the car (e.g., handles) and uses them as inputs for in-car gaming. By augmenting these elements with computational properties, we aim at transforming them into input modalities for collaborative and co-located gaming.

Speedtris is a design that explores the possibilities of using a game as a mediatory artifact to create social couplings as a persuasive means to stop a car driver from speeding. The game translates car data (i.e., speed) into in-game interventions and gameplay changes towards bringing the front-seat passenger to verbally influence the driver to stick to the speed limit. Within a laboratory setup we explored different levels of in-game interventions as a leverage point for the persuasive game designs.

Contact: Bernhard Maurer

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