Carlos Gonzalez Diaz

Carlos Gonzalez Diaz

The Effect of Bespoke Motion Controllers on Player Immersion

The purpose of this study is to understand the embodied interaction existing in the connection between a bespoke motion controller and a represented activity that it is intended for in a digital VR game. The main goal of the project is to gain knowledge in how bespoke motion controllers can be used to improve player immersion and to enhance player engagement.

This research tackles two of the main IGGI themes: embodied interaction (motion controllers, VR consumer technology) and potentially gamification (motion sensing for training).

Embodied interaction in digital games has been shown to affect player arousal and produce neurobiochemical changes when the player is performing a movement. Engagement and social interactions have been found to increase when performing realistic movements in digital games. Different studies showed that the introduction of motion interactivity into the studied media improved targeted outcomes. In short, the use of motion controllers in digital games has the potential to affect the player in a multifactorial manner, however there is a necessity for research to clarify how the technology might be best implemented.

The research will combine qualitative and quantitative methodologies to assess immersion and arousal in using bespoke movement controllers. Thanks to my previous experience with customized consumer motion controllers, having even exhibited a PS Move artistic game at an academic conference, I will build and experimentally test prototype VR games/controllers.

During the PhD study I plan to investigate the game feel of motion controllers and identify possible design patterns. As props are used to immerse into the fictional world and mechanics and story might discord, there could also exist a dissonance between the motion controller and the fictional world, being my intention to study how that might affect player engagement having arousal and immersion as pathways.

The outcomes of the experimental research using real humans as subjects, performed in collaboration with my proposed main and secondary supervisors Dr Sebastian Deterding and Dr Marco Gillies, will have an impact on game designers and game companies working with motion controllers, improving the next generation of motion controlled virtual environments.

Carlos obtained his BSc in Software Engineering with a Distinction in his BSc Thesis at King Juan Carlos University (Madrid, Spain), focusing in haptic game technologies. After being heavily involved in the indie game development scene in the capital of Spain, having organised a 3-day game conference and winning the Honour Prize at Madrid Global Game Jam 2014 (Complutense University of Madrid), he pursued his life passion and undertook 2 years of Post Graduate studies in Scandinavia. 


He obtained a MSc in Serious Games at the University of Skövde (Skövde, Sweden), working together with IUS Innovation for his MSc Thesis; started a second MSc in Digital Narration: Game and Cultural Heritage/ Media, Aesthetics and Narration at the same institution; exhibited an art videogame with a focus on embodied interaction both in Sweden (Skövde) and Denmark (Copenhagen); and participated in the vibrant Scandinavian game development scene, prototyping games and working with great people from all over the world at the Dreamhackathon 2015, Nordic Game Jam 2015, Stockholm GGJ 2015&2016 and Sommar Game Jam 2016.


Home institution: York

Supervisors: Dr Sebastian Deterding, Dr Marco Gillies

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