By Mona Sakr

Exploring the usefulness of the ‘body-thing dialogue’ metaphor for understanding embodied interaction in digital environments

In 2006, Larssen, Robertson & Edwards presented the paper ‘How it feels, not just how it looks: When bodies interact with technology’ at the Australian Computer-Human Interaction conference (OZCHI). In this paper, they suggest that  the embodied nature of interactions with technology can be accessed by thinking about each interaction as a body-thing dialogue. The body-thing dialogue is the bodily interaction that occurs between an individual and an artifact. The body-thing dialogue happens through the mode of movement and makes possible the potential for action that forms the basis of the interaction. Through this metaphor, Larssen et al. hoped to shift the focus towards the bodily nature of interactions with technologies – the extent to which these experiences are physically felt.

I would argue that the body-thing dialogue is a useful metaphor in some ways and a misleading one in other ways.

It is useful because it draws attention to the distinct and temporal nature of each embodied interaction:

  • Every dialogue we engage in is different. Similarly, in human-computer interaction each interaction with technology unfolds in a specific way and in a particular context. Flow diagrams based on a non-existent ‘typical’ user do not help us to access the nature of embodied interaction.
  • Every dialogue unfolds over time and can radically change from moment to moment. Similarly, each embodied interaction takes place over time and is historical – each aspect of the interaction happens in relation to the aspects that have preceded it.

But the metaphor of the body-thing dialogue is also a misleading way to think about embodied interactions in digital environments:

  • Movement is a different mode to speech, with different opportunities and constraints. Is it right to apply the notion of ‘dialogue’ in the context of movement?
  • Can we apply the term ‘dialogue’ to make sense of the way movements unfold between ‘a body’ and ‘a thing’? Certainly, the movements of the body and the movements of an object are not equivalents in the way that the speech of two human participants is.
  • Larssen et al. suggest that the body-thing dialogue is a useful way of looking at ‘how we use our proprioceptive sense and motor skills when incorporating a tool in our bodily space so that it becomes an extension of our bodies’ (p. 2). The notion of dialogue takes us away, however, from the concept of incorporation. In a dialogue, there is self and other – the object responds to us, rather than becoming an extension of us.

So what alternative metaphors or conceptual tools enable us to think about embodied interaction in digital environments? I have yet to come across a theory that helps to frame interactions with artefacts so that the focus is on the body and felt experience, but does not trip into the pitfalls outlined above. We need to conceptualise interactions as physical couplings without using metaphors that draw on other modes of communication.

Larssen, A. T., Robertson, T., & Edwards, J. (2006, November). How it feels, not just how it looks: when bodies interact with technology. In Proceedings of the 18th Australia conference on Computer-Human Interaction: Design: Activities, Artefacts and Environments (pp. 329-332). ACM.

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An exploration of the term ‘affect’ and what it offers to embodiment research.

I am exploring the term ‘affect’ and what it might offer to my understanding of embodied experience. In this post, I consider how affect is talked about in research and think about the best way to use the concept in my own research on embodiment and digital environments.

Hudlicka (2003) presents affect as an essential aspect of embodied interaction with digital environments. Hudlicka uses the term ‘affect’ interchangeably with ‘emotion’. Thus, the need for computers to detect user affect is equivalent to their recognition of user emotion (whether the user is happy, sad, angry etc.). Similarly, Johnson and Wiles (2003) talk about the ‘positive affect’ associated with playing computer games and equate this with happiness, engagement or ‘flow’ (Csikszentmihalyi, 1992).

But Shouse (2005) argues that the terms ‘affect’, ‘emotion’ and ‘feeling’ must be understood and presented as distinct from one another. He suggests that while feeling and emotion are subject to recognition and labeling on the part of those who experience them, affect is a more simple individual response: ‘a prepersonal intensity corresponding to the passage from one experiential state of the body to another’. Affect is a one-dimensional spike in the intensity of experience.

If we use this definition, what distinguishes affect from arousal? Is Shouse simply arguing for the importance of measuring the physiological arousal of users? My understanding is that affect is more than arousal because it implies the existence of an external cause. An individual might experience an increase in arousal as a result of a fleeting image that passes through their mind, but affect is a consequence of being affected by another body, by something external. So, focusing on affect involves looking at not just the affective response but also at the stimulus that has caused it: the music that has moved us, or the image that has led to a pre-conscious experiential shift.

In the context of my research on embodiment and digital environments, I am interested in affect because pre-conscious responses to the external world are a vital part of user experience. But looking at the work of Shouse has convinced me that the pre-conscious nature of affect means that it cannot be measured by asking users to label their feelings or by recording visible emotions that I observe. On the other hand, measures of physiological arousal can offer some insight into affect but do not tell the whole story. To ‘get at’ affect requires looking at indicators of the intensity of experience (including physiological arousal, facial expression, vocalisations and other bodily cues) and linking these to the environment that surrounds the user.

References 

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1992) Flow: The Psychology of Happiness. London: Random House.

Hudlicka, E. (2003) To feel or not to feel: The role of affect in human–computer interaction. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 59(1), 1-32.

Jonhson, D. M. & Wiles, J. (2003) Effective Affective User Interface Design in Games. Ergonomics, 46 (13/14), 1332 – 1345.

Shouse, E. (2005) Feeling, emotion, affect. M/C Journal, 8 (6), 26. Accessed online 24.08.2013: http://www.journal.media-culture.org.au/0512/03-shouse.php

An overview of upcoming conferences and other research events which may be of interest to those researching embodiment and affect. 

by Victoria Grace Walden

 1) Being non/human discussion group in London, UK

An inter-disciplinary discussion group for postgraduate students and early career researchers. Possible topics could include, but are not limited to:

• The human as a distinct entity

• The posthuman

• The animal / ‘animot’

• Nature and Ecomaterialism

• ‘Thing Theory’, ‘Object Oriented Ontology’ – what does it mean to be an ‘object’ or ‘thing’?

• Metamorphoses, hybrids, monsters

• The nonhuman as an incorporeal being

• Automata, simulations, technology

 The initial call for papers has now passed, but for more information contact: being.non.human@gmail.com             

 

2) Trauma: Theory and Practice Conference, Prague, Czech Republic

Saturday 22nd March – Tuesday 25th March 2014

Themes include:

  • Public and Political Trauma
  • Personal and Individual Trauma
  • Diagnosing and Treating Trauma
  • Theorising Trauma
  • Representing Trauma

 300 word abstracts due by Friday 11th October 2013

Full draft papers due by Friday 17th January 2014

 For more information visit: http://www.inter-disciplinary.net/at-the-interface/evil/trauma/call-for-papers/

 

 3) 2014 Humanities Symposium, Affect and Inquiry at University of Iowa, USA

March 27th– 29th 2014

Call for papers about topics including:

  • The roles of technology and science in shaping the sensory dimension of inquiry
  • The affects of production, interaction, experience, and spectatorship in film, art and literature
  • Historiography, performance, sport, photography, psychology, sociology, and medicine
  • Anti-racist, queer, feminist, socio-economic, and postcolonial critiques of reason
  • Engage scholarship in local communities; engaged and experimental pedagogies
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration across methods, personalities and fields
  • Critiques of affect studies and the challenges of studying “precognition”

 Abstracts should be submitted to affectandinquiry@uiowa.edu by September 15th 2013

For more information visit: http://obermann.uiowa.edu/2013-2014-affect-and-inquiry/call-papers

 

4) Society for Phenomenology and Media, Furtwangen and Freiburg, Germany

March 12th– 15th 2014

Call for Papers which are organised around a specific media, for example: film, the Internet, mobile communication, medieval manuscripts, print media, stage drama, television, visual art, dance etc.

The Society for Phenomenology and Media encourages interdisciplinary approaches and theoretical diversity. Papers need not be limited to phenomenological approaches. Past papers have come from diverse theoretical perspectives, including critical theory, cultural studies, hermeneutics, Marxism, New Historicism, post-colonial theory, pragmatism, semiotics, speech-act theory, and others.

 Abstracts should be submitted by October 20th 2013

Papers accepted and presented are published in Glimpse, the annual publication of SPM.

For more information visit: http://societyphenmedia.wix.com/socphenmedia#!info

 

An update on a current research project looking at body and space in the context of mobile technologies

By Mona Sakr

Mobile technologies have particular features that are likely to change individuals’ embodied experiences of places. Here at MODE, we’re conducting a research project to look at the influence of mobile technologies on young students’ navigation and exploration of a local site of interest and its cultural history.

We have designed a digital environment on the iPad for 10-11 year olds that allows them to explore the WW2 history of Clapham Common. The modified Evernote app, which you can see in the figure below, encourages individuals to move around the common while accessing visual, written and audio information about the history of the common. Users are also encouraged to upload their own photos and audio recordings about their experience of the common.

App environment for exploring Clapham Common

App environment for exploring Clapham Common

Our research questions probe the possibility that particular features of mobile technologies change the way individuals experience a place. In particular, we are interested in how these features change what the body is doing (the embodied experience of the place) and how this in turn affects the overall experience.

A mad flurry of data collection has happened over the past  fortnight. Working with 60 students at a primary school in Clapham, we collected a range of video data on their experiences of the common while using the mobile digital environment on the iPad. This data included researcher-generated video, headcam video and bodycam video. The video was supplemented with GPS trackings, and the photos and audio recordings that the students created while exploring the Common in pairs.

Researcher-generated video

Researcher-generated video

Headcam video

Headcam video

Before and after the experience, the students recorded their thoughts and feelings about the common via a series of classroom activities, including map-making and recounting the route they had taken on a mapped floor.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll begin to get to grips with all the data we’ve collected. As well as engaging with the research questions about embodied experiences, we are trying to determine how different forms of digital data can enable us to engage with embodiment and embodied experiences of place on an empirical level.  

  

Highlights and thoughts regarding embodiment, affect, film and media from this year’s conference

by Victoria Grace Walden

Conference director Phillip Drummond hospitably accommodated more than 150 speakers, including key note presenters professors Laura Mulvey and Toby Miller alongside Dr. Cathy Ross, Jeremy Black and film and television writer Joe Ahearne at this year’s Film and Media conference. Below I share just some of the highlights which refer to issues of affect and embodiment.

Dr. Cathy Ross’s (Museum of London) opening keynote on Thursday explored how the city museum incorporates new technology into its museum spaces. She discussed the museum’s augmented reality phone app which allows users to see “this spot in history” at certain places in the capital. Then explained how digital imagery and film were used in a variety of exhibitions, discussing the mixed reactions of visitors in some areas such as the slavery gallery and the Blitz.

Dr. Ross touched on how our perception and desires of museum spaces are changing. Visitors expect interaction and emotional experiences in museums and the more traditional “knowledge” online. This made me reflect: what is knowledge? Do we always have to consider it as a cognitive asset? Can becoming submerged in interactive experiences that provoke emotions and sensations not offer a corporeal form of “knowledge”? Are we moving into an age which we might define by this “new knowledge”?

Also, how do/ can we engage with affect and the historical in museum spaces though media? What are the limitations? What are the ethical implications? Are there any topics where the digital and moving image could be deemed inappropriate?

I’ll be focusing on some of these issues in a future blog after visiting some of London’s museum sites this summer.

Mason Kamana Allred (University of California Berkeley, USA)  spoke at the “Spectacles of History 1” panel about Ernst Lubitsch’s Madam Dubarry (1919) questioning whether cinema could offer a new form of history to traditional, epistemological and scientific representations of the past. He linked the work of Frank Ankersmit on sublime historical experience to the phenomenological ideas of Vivian Sobchack in order to explore a prelinguistic, subjective history that perhaps can be felt at the cinema.

Three other papers which particularly grabbed my attention and jointly encouraged me to think about my relationship with the screen were Dr Douglas Keesey’s (California Polytechnic State University, USA)  discussion of the illusion of choice and morality regarding death in the Final Destination franchise; Elena Wooley’s (King’s College, London)  paper on disaster movies and the use of surrogates) for suffering in films of the genre in order to translate terror into entertainment (such as spectacularly collapsing buildings rather than close-ups of human victims); and Dr Sian Mitchell’s (SAE, Australia) exploration of her experience of a delayed (or continuous) affect after watching Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia (2010).

These three papers raised questions about how I relate to bodies on screen. In the Final Destination films I discover, like the characters, I cannot cheat death. As such, the diegeses of the films extend beyond the frame as my understanding of real life is affected by the actions on screen. In films such as 2012 (Emmerich, 2009), I see only the protagonists up-close therefore connecting with the survivors. I never see the human extent of the catastrophe, yet the entire world seems to collapse around me. I leave the auditorium with an ecstatic sense of immortality – I have cheated death, I have survived the end of the world. In contrast, as the credits close on Melancholia I feel I have been cheated of death. As the beautiful closing light sucks the colour from the film and Wagner’s music crescendos neither reach their conclusion before the fade to black. The audio-visual image seems transcendental, but never allows me to fully submerge in its glory. As Dr Alex Ling (University of West Sydney, Australia) noted that’s because Von Trier is continuously reminding us that his films are only movies. This is Otherness, this is fantasy, this is not my experience to claim.

film and media conference film studies phillip drummond toby miller

 Phillip Drummond and Toby Miller at the closing key note

Image: Victoria Grace Walden

 

 

By Daniel Eaves

Possible explanations for the psychological phenomenon of covert action simulation

When you observe another person’s action, it elicits an action simulation process in your brain, without involving overt movement. This action simulation is automatic, and can also bias the shape of your subsequent movements towards those that you have just seen… but why does this happen? There are at least three proposals, the third of which raises a particularly interesting question for the embodied approach:

  • Action simulation certainly guides us when intentionally imitating each other; and also underlies unconscious or unintended copying in social settings (Heyes, 2010).
  • Maybe it also allows us to understand other people’s actions from ‘the inside’. By grounding incoming perceptual information in the language of my own body schema, I would first understand how and why I would perform the action myself, and then speculate why you might do this too (Rizzolati & Sinigaglia, 2010). This embodied approach is nice; it links low-level sensorimotor and higher-order social processes in the brain. However, this proposal still needs more empirical support (see Prinz, 2006).
  • Finally, action prediction might be the key objective (Körding & Wolport, 2004). For example, expert basketball players predicted shot success better than novice players and expert observers (commentators and pundits), after seeing only the early stages of a basketball free-throw (Aglioti et al., 2008). Clearly prediction is useful for interacting (and surviving!) in everyday life, but it got me thinking… athletes face so many action possibilities in sport. If they are better at simulating, then why are they not more likely to be biased and/or fall for fake or dummy actions? Perhaps being better at simulating possible future actions, means you are also better at selecting between multiple action choices. If so, then how many actions can we ‘embody’ at one time?

Aglioti, S.M., Cesari, P. Romani, M. & Urgesi, C. (2008). Action anticipation and motor resonance in elite basketball players. Nature Neuroscience, 11, 1109-1116.

Heyes C. M. (2011). Automatic imitation. Psychological Bulletin 137, 463-483.

Körding K.P., Wolpert D.M. (2004). Bayesian integration in sensorimotor learning. Nature, 427:244-247.

Rizzolatti, G. & Sinigaglia, C. (2010). The functional role of the parieto-frontal mirror circuit: interpretations and misinterpretations. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 11, 264-274.

Prinz, W. (2006). What re-enactment earns us. Cortex, 42 (4), 515-517.

By Victoria Grace Walden

Phenomenology, documentary and film experience (looking at two Holocaust documentaries)

There are few writers I find as fascinating as Vivian Sobchack. She continuously rethinks approaches to film studies by returning to the experience of the spectator. She is dissatisfied with the singularity approaches to film spectatorship. Instead she improves on Lacanian psychoanalysis by positioning herself and her theories firmly in the realm of the Real. Sobchack considers spectatorship as pluralist – not only accounting for the many different spectators, but the many different positions one individual can take during the same film.

In Toward a Phenomenology of Nonfictional Film Experience, Sobchack gives non-Francophone individuals like me a rare opportunity to critique Jean-Pierre Meunier’s Les Structures de l’experience filmique: L’Identification filmique (1969). As Sobchack explains, Meunier identified three modes of film experience: the “home movie” (or “film-souvenir”), the “documentary” and the “fiction film”. Meunier places these modes in a hierarchy:

  • Fiction films encourage us mostly to fix our attention on the symbolic image and less on the world outside the frame.
  • Documentary positions us as learners where we compromise between our knowledge of the general subject and our partial lack of it.
  • Home-movies recall our memories of the existential subjects on screen and our experience of them in the lived world.

fiction documentary home movie

However, Sobchack develops Meunier’s theory by claiming that we are capable of switching between these different modes during the same film regardless of its genre. So we can begin to understand our experience of a film as a negotiation between the three modes, like this:

fiction documentary home movie Sobchack

I call upon two films from my own area of expertise here as examples:

Errol Morris’ The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr (1999)

Morris’ documentary details the extraordinary story of a small-town American man who went from fixing electric chairs to defending David Irving by providing “scientific evidence” that the gas chambers at Auschwitz were never used for extermination.

Morris’ film is as much noir as it is documentary. In the opening sequence chiaroscuro lighting, a wash of blue colour and a birdcage are used to symbolise the anti-hero status of Fred Leutchter. This is very much a sequence which positions me as experiencing the fictional.

Morris has noted that at an initial screening of the film several audience members started to consider Leuchter’s argument as truth. Wanting to avoid being tarred as a Holocaust denier, Morris subsequently re-edited his film adding a voiceover of a Holocaust historian. This addition makes me overtly aware of the documentary’s construction therefore I begin to question the film’s objectivity. It is a voice which does not belong to the story of Fred A. Leuchter. Its appearance seems contrived (suddenly being introduced halfway through the narrative). As my awareness to the film’s construction is heightened, I begin to pay more attention to the images as symbolic; as images I need to interrupt and analyse critically rather than images which teach me something about the world I live in. When the film has finished, I feel as if I am conflicted and confused about the “character” Fred A. Leuchter rather than feeling I have learnt something about Holocaust denial. Perhaps this is because my knowledge of the topic is relatively extensive? I am not dissatisfied with the experience though. It has been an intriguing character study, much as I expect Morris intended it to be.

Yael Hersonski’s A Film Unfinished (2010)

Hersonski attempts to layer voices in a similar vein to Morris. In her film, which shows footage shot by Nazi-commissioned filmmakers of the Warsaw Ghetto, she interrupts the archive footage with freeze frames, voiceovers and images of survivors watching the film in an auditorium. The freeze frames usually highlight the gaze of one of the inhabitants of the Ghetto. These images seem to talk directly to me like nothing I have ever experienced in archive footage. The effect turns the archival or documentary image into a construction, what we might consider to be a fictionalised image. I am forced, unnaturally to linger my gaze for an uncomfortable amount of time on the faces (and particularly the gaze toward me) of these human figures. This is not an experience I can relate to my lived world or my general understanding of the Holocaust – people were not frozen in time as living beings who could gaze at others, they were dehumanized and murdered. I remember the Holocaust as an absence while these images give the deceased victims a long-lasting presence, but an uncanny, still one.

Also, by including the sequences of survivors watching the film, Hersonski positions me in the auditorium with them which seems to imply that I must watch the film from their point-of-view. However, this is problematic because the survivors’ experience of the footage is reminiscent of Meunier’s “home-movie” or “film-souvenir”. The survivors recall recognising people in these images which fragment a past belonging to them. It seems this technique was used to encourage the spectator to empathise with the survivors, however, for me it had a disturbingly opposite effect. I do not cry when I see a survivor cry, in fact I dry up – I am unable to cry. I feel as if I am intruding on their experience of a memory – a “home-movie” which I was not part of.

With such experiences of documentaries, can we ever really call a film “non-fiction”?

Vivian Sobchack (1999) Toward a Phenomenology of Non-Fictional Film Experience in Collecting Visible Evidence (1999), ed. Michael Renov and Jane Gaines, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999, 241-254.

An introduction to Biocca’s theory of ‘the phenomenal body’ and questions about its usefulness in emerging digital environments. 

In digital environments that involve an on-screen avatar, there appear to be two bodies to consider: the corporeal body through which we control the digital environment, and the digital body that appears to act upon the digital environment. Biocca (1997) has conceptualised the duality of the body across digital and non-digital environments as a constant tension or struggle to influence the phenomenal body, which can be thought of as our embodied presence in the world.

Berit

When we interact with digital environments, the phenomenal body arises as a result of experiences in both digital and non-digital domains via both the digital and the corporeal body. At times we may become so engrossed in a digital environments that our corporeal bodies are forgotten or rather, they become less important to the phenomenal body. Alternatively, if the digital body is unconvincing as a set of semiotic resources (e.g. as a result of lack of customizability), the phenomenal body will be more related to corporeal experience and less related to digital manifestations of the body.

What about in digital environments where there is no avatar? In tangible interfaces, the corporeal body influences both the physical and the digital world. The corporeal body controls (and is seen to be in control of) physical and digital representations. So in cases like this, is the corporeal body also the digital body, or has the distinction become an unnecessary or unhelpful one to make?

Biocca, F. (1997, August). The cyborg’s dilemma: Embodiment in virtual environments. Retrieved online 07.06.2013: http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol3/issue2/biocca2.html

By Victoria Grace Walden

An exploration of our sense of embodiment in memorial spaces and how this relates to remembering the past.

In my MA thesis I outlined seven modes of Holocaust commemoration. One of these modes I called the “affective mode” which I defined as: “memorials designed to engage the spectator with a sensuous response to the Holocaust; memorials that provoke affect” (Walden, 2011).

One of the memorials I explored was the Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europäs, Berlin (The Memorial for the Murdered Jews in Europe).

Denkel

I have visited this memorial on several occasions and every time it strikes me that it is impossible to make sense of this space cognitively. If one tries to analyse the geometric pattern of the memorial or the uneven shapes of the large blocks one is left perplexed than before attempting analysis. Walking through the confusing arena is a reflective but chaotic and uncomfortable experience.  The memorial’s designer Peter Eisenman says:

I watched people walk into it for the first time and it is amazing how these heads disappear… like going under water. Primo Levi talks about a similar idea in his book about Auschwitz. He writes that the prisoners were no longer alive but they weren’t dead either. Rather seemed to descend into a personal hell. … I wanted people to have a feeling of being in the present and an experience that they have never had before. And one that was different and slightly unsettling. The world is too full of information and here is a place without information.   

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   (http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,355252,00.html)

Eisenman’s memorial is a truly haptic experience as we walk in between the blocks there is no set path, we can zigzag, we can turn back on ourselves or we can attempt to walk in a straight line – whatever logic we try to bring to our route it is disturbed by the unevenness of the space. We become consciously aware of our bodies’ placement in space and begin to adapt to the confusing nature of the memorial by turning corners and back on ourselves sporadically creating a maze-like experience by the choices our body makes. In one moment we can see clearly over the top of a block, the next a block towers over us with a looming shadow. This is a space without logic and order. A space that provokes us to remember –through the body- that the Holocaust was a chaotic, nonsensical experience; one that we can never attempt to apply reason and rationale too and one we can certainly never recreate in museum spaces or memorial. But yet, memorials can embody a sense of remembrance – a sense of the space our bodies occupy in the present (in this chaotic memorial surrounded by the busy city streets of modern Berlin) and the striking difference between this present and the bodies of the past (those absent from the memorial – victims are not pictured – and also absent from our world).

Cognitive theorists in film studies, Carl Plantinga for example, tend to focus on narrative, characters and genre in order to understand how audiences emotionally engage with texts. But what about when there are no bodies? Or bodies are abstracted? Many museums and memorials follow historical narratives or represent victims through text (name and date of death) or photos. These re-presentations petrify the victims much like the popular Victorian book of the dead. They have an element of stillness about them – as if time has stopped. Affective Holocaust memorials recognise that time has not stopped, that society has progressed and thus we must remember in order for such atrocities to never happen again. They do this by taking their spectators / participants / visitors out of their comfortable surroundings and momentarily embodying them in the space in-between – the space between past and present. Phenomenologists believe it is from inbetween (spectator and text) that meaning emerges. I would argue that the text of affective Holocaust memorials is the past – the Holocaust – and the space created becomes a portal not into the past but into the inbetweenness.

denkel 3

denkel 4

Denkel 2

(Photos copyright Victoria Grace Walden, 2005, 2011, 2011 and 2005)

 

By Mona Sakr

In a study by Bianchi-Berthouze et al. (2007), game-playing through a whole-body interface was compared with control through the hands. When participants in the study controlled the game (Guitar Hero) through their whole bodies, they reported more engagement, as well as displaying increased engagement through game-related body movements that were unnecessary for control (e.g. nodding their heads in time to the music).

Why were users more engaged when control of the game involved their whole bodies? Bianchi-Berthouze et al. suggested that the relationship came about as a result of increased affect.

Body Affect Engagement

By involving the body, the affective dimension of the experience increased, and in turn, this impacted upon engagement. Shouse (2005, p. 5) defines affect as a ‘non-conscious experience of intensity; it is a moment of unformed and unstructured potential’. Why does involving the body to a greater extent increase the affective response? And what are the implications of this relationship for the design of technologies and pedagogy?

Bianchi-Berthouze, N., Kim, W. W., & Patel, D. (2007) Does body movement engage you more in digital game play? And Why? Proceedings of the International Conference of Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction (102-113)