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Wearable and tangible interfaces as catalysts of embodiment in pervasive games
{ Wed, 6 Jan 2010, 14h00 }

By: Tiago Martins  [ show info ]

A strong tradition in visual arts has greatly influenced the importance of photo-realism in digital media. Less than two decades ago VR technologies were being touted as the paragon of HCI, with head-mounted displays as a gateways to the virtual world. Ever since then focus has partially shifted back to taking advantage of the physical world for HCI as mixed reality and tangible interfaces became increasingly popular topics of research in the last decade. In a broad scope, such approaches combine elements from our physical with digital data, blending real and virtual under the prevalent focus on photo-realism. Even the digital gaming industry, which its increasing offer of titles sporting high production values in graphics and sound, is also starting to explore motion-sensitive user input - with varying degrees of success. When driven by the desire to provide a seamless, photo-realistic mixed reality experience for the sake of immersion, the development of a pervasive game will likely find itself constrained in terms of mobility, autonomy, location and replay value. However, experiences of immersion and embodiment in mobile gaming applications cannot rely solely on providing photo-realistic combinations of virtual and real elements. Ubiquitous games are much more than a re-mapping of videogames to our physical reality. They can empower players to explore and exploit the latent affordances of the physical world, reinterpret their own relationship with real, physical objects and rediscover social practices which have been all but lost to the immateriality of digital media. In this talk several works will be presented and discussed in the attempt to reveal the importance of wearable and tangible user interfaces in providing immersive gameplay in ubiquitous usage scenarios. Wearable interfaces can become fashionable pieces of clothing which act as personal (even intimate) game controllers, working in the scope of the player's body-area network and imbued with aesthetic values which may even influence gameplay. Through use of such wearable devices players can then appropriate elements of the physical world as gameplay elements in real-time in order to customize their experience according to their lifestyle, including their daily routine and their own personal preferences.

Hosted by: MultiModal Systems

Location: DI seminars room (FCT/UNL campus)

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