"Erfahrung & erlebnis": understanding the bodily play experience through German lexicon

Florian 'Floyd' Mueller, Louise Matjeka, Yan Wang, Josh Andres, Zhuying Li, Jonathan Marquez, Bob Jarvis, Sebastiaan Pijnappel, Rakesh Patibanda, Rohit Ashik Khot

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTEI’20 - Proceedings of the Fourteenth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction
EditorsOrit Shaer, Jelle van Dijk, Andrew Kun
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781450361071
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventTangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction 2020 - Sydney, Australia
Duration: 9 Feb 202012 Feb 2020
Conference number: 14th
https://dl.acm.org/doi/proceedings/10.1145/3374920 (Proceedings)


ConferenceTangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction 2020
Abbreviated titleTEI 2020
Internet address


  • Bodily play
  • Exertion games
  • Games
  • Play
  • Whole-body interaction

Cite this