Bodies and Minds
Playing a game also implies usually playing a role. The shift in identity that we assume when we engage in gaming is one of its more intriguing qualities. What is the relationship that we establish with our avatars, those alternative identities we embody as we move around the game world? How does our sense of self changes when we customize a digital character to look and behave exactly as we wouldn’t in real life?
If there is a tension between the identity of our avatar and our own, there is also a intriguing relationship between our two bodies at both sides of the screen. Even seated comfortably, we cannot help to jump, wave our hands, moan and shout, as both bodies – flesh and pixels – are intertwined in the same action.
Joysticks and game pads have been the traditional interface between the player and the avatar, the thread that entangles both bodies. In recent years, though, both the video game industry and independent artists and researchers have presented new innovative ways to strengthen the role of the body in game interaction. From Nintendo’s Wii and Microsoft’s Kinect to more experimental corporal interfaces that play with notions of control and even pain, the future of game interaction will, no doubt, involve our flesh and skin in unexpected ways.
Alter Ego, Robbie Cooper
Immersion, Robbie Cooper
Evolution of Game Controllers, Nicolas Nova and Laurent Bolli
Faces, Arturo Castro and Kyle McDonald
HHCI – Human to Human Computer Interface, Julian Oliver