Chapter 6: Interfaces

Chapter Introduction | Web Resources | Assignment Comments | Teaching Materials | Quickvote


The research and design issues for each of the interfaces you choose to examine playing the game of Snake are likely to be different but some may overlap. For example, a wearable game might entail a group of people playing together as a Snake (based on the conga dance), trying to avoid hidden obstacles in the physical environment. The game could use RFID, GPS or Bluetooth to track the human players in relation to the virtual objects overlaid in the physical world. Each player would don a wearable jacket or tunic that was embedded with sensors and LEDs (that could light up depending on whether they hit an obstacle).

The tunics would need to be easy to put on over existing clothing and remove without requiring too many parts to be attached together. Another concern would be how do the players know when they have scored points - what kinds of real-time feedback would be appropriate? As well as considering the use of LEDs to show immediate ‘hits’ how might vibrotactile feedback be used to let others further back in the snake know what is coming up next? How will the players understand their role in the game if it is designed as a collaborative game? What rules would you include? How would you enable the players to communicate with one another?

Compared to a single user game, on a PC or cell phone, there is a lot of potential of this kind of first person, role-playing physically embedded simulation for facilitating new forms of learning and reflection in a group setting plus engendering much fun.