Experiencing the body as play

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.



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