“Core” Experience              exploring less obvious design approaches                          to exercise games      Dr...
goal: designing possibility spaces for playful                explorations of the human condition                         ...
depression       addiction         loveMonday, November 7, 2011
Monday, November 7, 2011
“physical play”: the first and most                     immediate form of play       “the playful child is the physical chi...
+      how can we leverage physical play to explore the                    human condition?Monday, November 7, 2011
games as possibility spacesMonday, November 7, 2011
aiming for more and more                       fictional immersionMonday, November 7, 2011
kinaesthetic mimicry:                           blurring the boundariesMonday, November 7, 2011
holy grail: immediacyMonday, November 7, 2011
achievement unlocked?Monday, November 7, 2011
which “fiction” fits the                               technology?Monday, November 7, 2011
simulating sports activities; sports metaphorsMonday, November 7, 2011
my quibble                 • conceptually dull                 • extreme focus on                       physical concepts ...
in defense of current                              exercise games                 • some are great fun                 • t...
BUT:Monday, November 7, 2011
why shouldn’t we explore less obvious design                 approaches to exercise games?what could an alternative to the...
it starts by asking:                  what is thesymbolical potential of                           “physical play”?Monday,...
what is the experiential “core” of a                         physical activity?Monday, November 7, 2011
mind - body connection:                       body: lifting physical, tangible weight   mind: feeling capable of handling ...
body: coordinated movement, timing                              mind: an exercise in trust and                            ...
body: efficiency and speed               mind: “owning” territory, empowerment to               overcome (mental / emotiona...
“exploring one’s       body equates     exploring one’s         psyche”     (Santiago, 2001,           p.6)Monday, Novembe...
the body goes through the motions.       the mind provides the metaphors that make the                    motions meaningf...
why does the simulation of real-life                           physical activity not do the trick?Monday, November 7, 2011
• because in exercise                games, your attention is                bound by whatever                happens on s...
for an alternative approach, rethink metaphors                       for exercise games.                     let them be i...
example: “Zombie Yoga”                           (for Xbox Kinect)Monday, November 7, 2011
abstract concept:                                 FearMonday, November 7, 2011
physical activity: yogaMonday, November 7, 2011
you find yourself in the               middle of a Zombie outbreakMonday, November 7, 2011
you have been bitten and the              infection is slowly spreading inside                               you.Monday, N...
• you need to find a                       cure before you turn                       into a Zombie!!                 • eve...
become a warrior of                                 light!                 • each yoga pose you do                       h...
stand in tadasana                               warrior I to                             freeze Zombies                   ...
heal through light meditationMonday, November 7, 2011
the world in “Zombie Yoga” is an emotional   landscape filled with fear, represented by Zombies.     fear is also internal,...
by learning to deal with and command the                     externalized fear, the inner fear                          (i...
Monday, November 7, 2011
sum up                 • the “core” experience of physical play                           integrates mind and body        ...
thanks! questions?                            drusch1@cdm.depaul.eduMonday, November 7, 2011
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Core Experience by Doris C. Rusch - FROG2011

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“Core” Experience - Exploring Less Obvious Design Approaches To Exercise Games

This presentation investigates the so far under-explored experiential potential of exercise games. It takes its departure from the observation that exercise games largely focus on simulating sports activities (e.g. snowboarding, surfing, dancing or yoga) instead of trying to model the experience of what it feels like to actually engage in these activities. The central hypothesis of this talk is that the experience of any kind of physical activity is never solely (or primarily) about the physical, tangible aspects of the activity but about how these aspects make us feel and think. Exercise games mostly
ignore this part of exercising, maybe assuming that by simulating the activity its mental aspects will happen by themselves. This presentation explores what is lost by this current design approach and what an alternative route could look like. By way of concrete, original design examples, new avenues of exploration for exercise games shall be sketched out and put forth for discussion.

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Core Experience by Doris C. Rusch - FROG2011

  1. 1. “Core” Experience exploring less obvious design approaches to exercise games Dr. Doris C. Rusch, DePaul University: FROG 2011Monday, November 7, 2011
  2. 2. goal: designing possibility spaces for playful explorations of the human condition +Monday, November 7, 2011
  3. 3. depression addiction loveMonday, November 7, 2011
  4. 4. Monday, November 7, 2011
  5. 5. “physical play”: the first and most immediate form of play “the playful child is the physical child”(Lucia Capacchione: “Recovery of Your Inner Child”)Monday, November 7, 2011
  6. 6. + how can we leverage physical play to explore the human condition?Monday, November 7, 2011
  7. 7. games as possibility spacesMonday, November 7, 2011
  8. 8. aiming for more and more fictional immersionMonday, November 7, 2011
  9. 9. kinaesthetic mimicry: blurring the boundariesMonday, November 7, 2011
  10. 10. holy grail: immediacyMonday, November 7, 2011
  11. 11. achievement unlocked?Monday, November 7, 2011
  12. 12. which “fiction” fits the technology?Monday, November 7, 2011
  13. 13. simulating sports activities; sports metaphorsMonday, November 7, 2011
  14. 14. my quibble • conceptually dull • extreme focus on physical concepts • ignore symbolical aspects of physical playMonday, November 7, 2011
  15. 15. in defense of current exercise games • some are great fun • they may offer added value: feedback, instruction, motivation. • some fictions are really cool and enable experiences not easy to have in real life. • they are good for videogame’s reputation .Monday, November 7, 2011
  16. 16. BUT:Monday, November 7, 2011
  17. 17. why shouldn’t we explore less obvious design approaches to exercise games?what could an alternative to the simulation approach look like?Monday, November 7, 2011
  18. 18. it starts by asking: what is thesymbolical potential of “physical play”?Monday, November 7, 2011
  19. 19. what is the experiential “core” of a physical activity?Monday, November 7, 2011
  20. 20. mind - body connection: body: lifting physical, tangible weight mind: feeling capable of handling the burden (of whatever life throws at us)Monday, November 7, 2011
  21. 21. body: coordinated movement, timing mind: an exercise in trust and letting goMonday, November 7, 2011
  22. 22. body: efficiency and speed mind: “owning” territory, empowerment to overcome (mental / emotional) obstaclesMonday, November 7, 2011
  23. 23. “exploring one’s body equates exploring one’s psyche” (Santiago, 2001, p.6)Monday, November 7, 2011
  24. 24. the body goes through the motions. the mind provides the metaphors that make the motions meaningful. to enable meaningful, physical play, exercise games could tap into these metaphors.Monday, November 7, 2011
  25. 25. why does the simulation of real-life physical activity not do the trick?Monday, November 7, 2011
  26. 26. • because in exercise games, your attention is bound by whatever happens on screen. • the mind is busy buying into the sports metaphor and not free to focus on the images and associations that usually come up during a work-out. • the provided sports metaphors are not terribly insightful.Monday, November 7, 2011
  27. 27. for an alternative approach, rethink metaphors for exercise games. let them be informed by the symbolical potential of physical activities.Monday, November 7, 2011
  28. 28. example: “Zombie Yoga” (for Xbox Kinect)Monday, November 7, 2011
  29. 29. abstract concept: FearMonday, November 7, 2011
  30. 30. physical activity: yogaMonday, November 7, 2011
  31. 31. you find yourself in the middle of a Zombie outbreakMonday, November 7, 2011
  32. 32. you have been bitten and the infection is slowly spreading inside you.Monday, November 7, 2011
  33. 33. • you need to find a cure before you turn into a Zombie!! • every renewed contact with Zombies speeds up infection. • you can fight, but aggressive behavior increases infection speed. • you have to overcome your fears to win the game.Monday, November 7, 2011
  34. 34. become a warrior of light! • each yoga pose you do has a particular effect in the game. • e.g. warrior I: build protective light bubble around you • warrior II: part the hordeMonday, November 7, 2011
  35. 35. stand in tadasana warrior I to freeze Zombies subway takes a turn Zombies get thrown to one side, but you are perfectly still in tree pose.Monday, November 7, 2011
  36. 36. heal through light meditationMonday, November 7, 2011
  37. 37. the world in “Zombie Yoga” is an emotional landscape filled with fear, represented by Zombies. fear is also internal, represented by the infection.Monday, November 7, 2011
  38. 38. by learning to deal with and command the externalized fear, the inner fear (infection) is healed. The yoga poses are translated into gameplay verbs that (mostly) represent the intended inner effects of these poses.Monday, November 7, 2011
  39. 39. Monday, November 7, 2011
  40. 40. sum up • the “core” experience of physical play integrates mind and body • exercise games focus on the body • conceptual potential remains untapped • include the mind, explore emotional metaphorsMonday, November 7, 2011
  41. 41. thanks! questions? drusch1@cdm.depaul.eduMonday, November 7, 2011

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