© Otto-von-Gue­ri­­cke Uni­ver­si­ty Magdeburg

Interactive game for research

As part of a lar­ger rese­arch pro­ject on inter­per­so­nal inter­ac­tion, the Uni­ver­si­ty of Water­loo and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mag­de­burg, among others, desi­gned an inter­ac­ti­ve game for the Com­pu­ter Human Inter­ac­tion con­fe­rence (CHI’19). In “Crus­hed It!”, two play­ers stand on a 5‑s­­qua­­re-met­­re Sen­s­Flo­or sur­face and have to crush vir­tu­al bugs dis­play­ed on the flo­or. The par­ti­ci­pan­ts play against each other for the hig­hest score. Sin­ce each beet­le has to be kicked twice befo­re it counts as a point, the play­ers have to act skilful­ly and thoughtfully.

While the play­ers had a lot of fun inter­ac­ting phy­si­cal­ly tog­e­ther, the rese­ar­chers were main­ly inte­res­ted in the psy­cho­lo­gi­cal space allo­ca­ti­on of the test per­sons and their distance zones: What effects does inter­ac­tion on a lar­ge flo­or dis­play have on the ter­ri­to­ri­al claims and body lan­guage of the indi­vi­du­al play­ers? The exci­ting results were explai­ned to the play­ers after par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on and dis­cus­sed together.

The game was made pos­si­ble by the Sen­s­Flo­or built into the flo­or. It regis­tered whe­ther the bugs dis­play­ed by pro­jec­tors were “caught” by feet and coun­ted the hits.

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