Musical embrace: exploring social awkwardness in digital games

Amy Huggard, Anushka De Mel, Jayden Garner, Cagdas Chad Toprak, Alan Chatham, Florian 'Floyd' Mueller

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

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Socially awkward experiences are often looked upon as something to be avoided. However, examples from the non-digital entertainment domain suggest that social awkwardness can also facilitate engaging experiences. Yet there has been little research into exploring social awkwardness in digital games. In response, we present Musical Embrace, a digital game that promotes close physical proximity through the use of a novel pillow-like controller to facilitate socially awkward play between strangers. Through our observations from demonstrating Musical Embrace at a number of events, we have derived a set of strategies to engage players by "facilitating social awkwardness", allowing players to "transform social awkwardness" while also letting players "take control of social awkwardness". With our work we hope to inspire game designers to consider the potential of social awkwardness in digital games and guide them when using it to facilitate engaging play experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2013 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Pages725-728
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9781450317702
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing 2013 - Zurich, Switzerland
Duration: 8 Sep 201312 Sep 2013

Conference

ConferenceACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing 2013
Abbreviated titleUbiComp 2013
CountrySwitzerland
CityZurich
Period8/09/1312/09/13

Keywords

  • Body contact
  • Digital play
  • Exertion game
  • Social awkwardness
  • Tangibles
  • Uncomfortable interactions

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