Designing for bodily interplay in social exertion games

Florian 'Floyd' Mueller, Martin R. Gibbs, Frank Vetere, Darren Edge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


While exertion games facilitate, and benefit from, social play, most exertion games merely support players acting independently. To help designers explore the richness of social play in exertion games, we present the design dimension "bodily interplay" that gives critical focus to how players' bodies interact with one another.We offer two broad categories of bodily interplay-parallel and interdependent play-to explain how exertion games can facilitate independent and offensive/defensive-type experiences. These categories can be applied to both the physical and virtual space, and by looking at all permutations of these categories, we articulate four ways of coupling the spaces: comparative, actuated, derived, and projected coupling. This article illustrates the inspirational power of the dimensions by applying them to the analysis of four exertion games. Altogether, we articulate a vocabulary that can guide designers in the creation of social exertion games, helping players profit from the many benefits of exertion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number24
Number of pages41
JournalACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Bodily interaction
  • Bodily play
  • Exergame
  • Exertion games
  • Movement-based interaction
  • Social play
  • Sports
  • Whole-body interaction

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