chapter  4
20 Pages

Embodiment and Interface

WithAndreas Gregersen, Torben Grodal

Our biological embodiment is one of the most fundamental conditions that govern our experience of the world. The basic features of our biological embodiment have evolved to interact with a natural, non-mediated world and are a conglomerate of different capabilities. Besides having senses to monitor the world, body surface and body interior, we are agents that influence the world, and we may also be patients, that is: objects of other agents’ actions or events unfolding around us. Interactive media activates aspects of this embodiment: audiovisual data stimulates eyes and ears to simulate a time-space-a simulated world (SW)—and a series of interfaces map actions in order to integrate the player with a SW in an interactive feedback loop, with resulting emotions that reflect the interaction. The interfaces provide motor links to a SW and may, to a limited extent, provide tactile aspects of interaction (in its active, but not in its passive patient, aspect). This essay will discuss how different types of interfaces and different game worlds mold players’ embodied experiences, and centrally how player actions fuse with the audiovisual information.