My research interest lies at the intersection of games design, HCI, HFI, User Experience, Psychology and Memory. I like being connected with both academia and industry as it helps me consider both risks and opportunities while working in both these sectors.
I completed my Master of Design by Research under the tutelage of Jonathan Duckworth and Florian ‘Floyd’ Mueller. Currently, I am a Doctoral student at the Exertion Games Lab, Monash University under the tutelage of Florian ‘Floyd’ Mueller and the memory expert from UTS, Elise van den Hoven who runs the Materialising Memories lab.
Experiencing the body as Play
Gamifying RMIT Experience
Research Publications and Workshops
BreathSenses: Classification of Digital Breathing Games | CHI 2016 Workshop
In recent years attention has increased around digital breathing games via new technology that allows interaction between breathing and video games. While some breathing games use breath as a fun form of interaction, other games use breath to improve mental health aspects a player in order to reduce stress and anxiety. So far, little research has been devoted towards understanding the design of breathing games. To develop an understanding towards the design of breathing games, we begin by proposing a taxonomy depending on the factors of game genre, game design analysis based on the human body senses involved, breathing technique used, aim of the breathing technique, technology used to experience the game world and technology used to measure breathing. To demonstrate the strength of our taxonomy, we analyze example games and discuss how the novel taxonomy could help game designers to create breathing games.
Life Tree: Understanding the Design of Breathing Exercise Games | CHI PLAY 2017
Regular breathing exercises can be a beneficial part of leading a healthy life. Digital games may have the potential to help people practice breathing exercises in an engaging way, however designing breathing exercise games is not well understood. To contribute to such an understanding, we created Life Tree as the culmination of three prototypal breathing games. Life Tree is a virtual reality (VR) game in which a player controls the growth of a tree by practising pursed-lip breathing. We selected VR head-mounted display technology because it allows players to focus and limit external distractions, which is beneficial for breathing exercises. 32 participants played Life Tree and analysis of the collected data identified four key themes: 1) Designing Breathing Feedback; 2) Increasing Self-Awareness of Breathing and Body; 3) Facilitating Focused Immersion; and, 4) Engagement with Breathing Hardware. We used these themes to articulate a set of breathing exercise game design strategies that future game designers may consider to develop engaging breathing exercise games.
Experiencing the Body as Play (Best Paper - Top 1%) | CHI 2018
Games research in HCI is continually interested in the human body. However, recent work suggests that the field has only begun to understand how to design bodily games. We propose that the games research field is advancing from playing with digital content using a keyboard, to using bodies to play with digital content, towards a future where we experience our bodies as digital play. To guide designers interested in supporting players to experience their bodies as play, we present two phenomenological perspectives on the human body (Körper and Leib) and articulate a suite of design tactics using our own and other people’s work. We hope with this paper, we are able to help designers embrace the point that we both “have” a body and “are” a body, thereby aiding the facilitation of the many benefits of engaging the human body through games and play, and ultimately contributing to a more humanized technological future.
Arm-A-Dine: Towards Understanding the Design of Playful Embodied Eating Experiences | CHI PLAY 2018
There is an increasing trend in HCI on studying human-food interaction, however, we find that most work so far seems to focus on what happens to the food before and during eating, i.e. the preparation and consumption stage. In contrast, there is a limited understanding and exploration around using interactive technology to support the embodied plate-to-mouth movement of food during consumption, which we aim to explore through a playful design in a social eating context. We present Arm-A-Dine, an augmented social eating system that uses wearable robotic arms attached to diners’ bodies for eating and feeding food. Extending the work to a social setting, Arm-A-Dine is networked so that a person’s third arm is controlled by the affective responses of his/her dining partner. From the study of Arm-A-Dine with 12 players, we articulate three design themes: Reduce bodily control during eating; Encourage savouring by drawing attention to sensory aspects during eating; and Encourage crossmodal sharing during eating to assist game designers and food practitioners in creating playful social eating experiences. We hope that our work inspires further explorations around food and play that consider all eating stages, ultimately contributing to our understanding of playful human-food interaction.
The Guts Game: Towards Designing Ingestible Games | CHI PLAY 2018
Ingestible sensors, such as capsule endoscopy and medication monitoring pills, are becoming increasingly popular in the medical domain, yet few studies have considered what experiences may be designed around ingestible sensors. We believe such sensors may create novel bodily experiences for players when it comes to digital games. To explore the potential of ingestible sensors for game designers, we designed a two-player game – the “Guts Game” – where the players play against each other by completing a variety of tasks. Each task requires the players to change their own body temperature measured by an ingestible sensor. Through a study of the Guts Game (N=14) that interviewed players about their experience, we derived four design themes: 1) Bodily Awareness, 2) Human-Computer Integration, 3) Agency, and 4) Uncomfortableness. We used the four themes to articulate a set of design strategies that designers can consider when aiming to develop engaging ingestible games.
Reducing perceived waiting time in theme park queues via an augmented reality game | TOCHI Journal 2020
Theme parks visits can be very playful events for families, however, waiting in the ride’s queues can often be the cause of great frustration. We developed a novel augmented reality game to be played in the theme park’s queue, and an in-the-wild study with X participants using log data and interviews demonstrated that every minute playing was perceived to the same extent of about 5 minutes of not playing the game. We articulate a design space for researchers and strategies for game designers aiming to reduce perceived waiting time in queues. With our work, we hope to extend how we use games in everyday life to make our lives more playful.
Towards Designing Bodily Integrated Play | TEI 2020
There is an increasing trend in utilizing interactive technology for bodily integrations, such as additional limbs and ingestibles. Prior work on bodily integrated systems mostly examined them from a productivity perspective. In this article, we suggest examining this trend also from an experiential, playful perspective, as we believe that these systems offer novel opportunities to engage the human body through play. Hence, we propose that there is an opportunity to design “bodily integrated play”. By relating to our own and other’s work, we present an initial set of design strategies for bodily integrated play, aiming to inform designers on how they can engage with such systems to facilitate playful experiences, so that ultimately, people will profit from bodily play’s many physical and mental wellbeing benefits even in a future where machine and human converge.
“Erfahrung & Erlebnis”: Understanding the Bodily Play Experience through German Lexicon | TEI 2020
Bodily play systems are becoming increasingly prevalent, with research aiming to understand the associated player experience. We argue that a more nuanced lexicon describing “bodily play experience” can be beneficial to drive the field forward. We provide game designers with two German words to communicate two different aspects of experience:“Erfahrung”, referring to experience where one is actively engaged in and gains knowledge from; and “Erlebnis”, referring to a tacit experience often translated as “lived experience”. We use these words to articulate a suite of design strategies for bodily play experiences by referring to past design work. We conclude by discussing these two aspects of experience in conjunction with two previously established perspectives on the human body. We believe this more nuanced lexicon can provide a clearer understanding for designers about bodily play allowing them to guide players in gaining the many benefits from such experiences.
Drone Chi: Somaesthetic Human-Drone Interaction | CHI 2020
Somaesthetics – motivated by improving life quality via appreciation for bodily and sensory experiences – is increasingly influencing HCI designs. Investigating the potential of drones as a material for somaesthetic HCI, we designed Drone Chi: a Tai Chi-inspired close-range human-drone interaction experience. The design process for Drone Chi has been informed by the soma design approach and the Somaesthetic Appreciation concept from HCI literature. The artifact expands somaesthetic HCI by exemplifying dynamic and intimate somaesthetic interactions with a robotic design material, and body movements in expansive 3D space. To characterize the Drone Chi experience, we conducted an empirical study with 32 participants. Analysis of participant accounts revealed 4 themes that articulate different aspects of the experience: Looping Mental States, Environment, Agency vs. Control, and Physical Narratives. From these accounts and our craft knowledge, we derive 5 design implications to guide the development of movement-based close-range drone interactions.
Motor Memory in HCI | CHI 2020 Workshop
There is mounting evidence acknowledging that embodiment is foundational to cognition. In HCI, this understanding has been incorporated in concepts like embodied interaction, bodily play, and natural user-interfaces. However, while embodied cognition suggests a strong connection between motor activity and memory, we find the design of technological systems that target this connection to be largely overlooked. Considering this, we are provided with an opportunity to extend human capabilities through augmenting motor memory. Augmentation of motor memory is now possible with the advent of new and emerging technologies including neuromodulation, electric stimulation, brain-computer interfaces, and adaptive intelligent systems. This workshop aims to explore the possibility of augmenting motor memory using these and other technologies. In doing so, we stand to benefit not only from new technologies and interactions but also a means to further study cognition.
Inbodied Interaction for Human Performance and Future Bodies | TEI 2020 Workshop
Inbodied interaction is an emerging area in HCI that aligns how the body performs internally with our designs to support and optimise human performance. Inbodied Interaction, therefore, relies on knowledge of our physiology/neurology/kinesiology etc, to blend with HCI methodology. Recent, Inbodied Interaction workshops and summer schools, have been designed to share models of these processes to accelerate access to these areas of specialisation for HCI researchers. As such this one-day-hands-on-studio presents an extension of this work – an Inbodied interaction framework – to (1) make inbodied sciences accessible and (2) usable for HCI practitioners when it comes to crafting experiences, whether for health, performance or play. Our framework also offers a design alternative to cyborging futures that seek to augment human performance, Inbodied Interaction seeks to help discover and optimise human potential. As such, in this studio, we will explore where inbodied interaction fits in the narrative of our future bodies.
My Masters Thesis
Understanding the Design of Breathing Exercise Games
For leading a healthy life, regular breathing exercises can be beneficial. Digital games may have the potential to help people practice breathing exercises in an engaging way. However, not much understanding exists to design such breathing exercise games. To contribute to such an understanding, I created three Virtual Reality (VR) prototype games that used breathing as the primary control mechanism. I selected virtual reality headmounted display technology because it allows players to focus on the virtual environment and limit external distractions, which is beneficial for breathing exercises. I conducted a formal analysis of gameplay on my three prototypes to develop my final game Life Tree. Life Tree is a single player VR game in which a player controls the growth of a virtual tree by practicing pursed-lip breathing technique. Thirty-two participants were interviewed and filled out a questionnaire after playing Life Tree. Analysis of the data identified four key themes of affecting the experience of participants: 1) Designing Breathing Feedback; 2) Increasing Self-awareness of Breathing and Body; 3) Facilitating Focused Immersion and, 4) Engagement with Breathing Hardware. I used these themes to articulate a set of breathing exercise game design strategies. Game designers may consider these design strategies to develop engaging breathing exercise games.