YR Moonwalking Experience

Rosa Burgess, Robin Charles (2017) YR Moonwalking Experience. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]

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Abstract

Ilinx, or vertigo play, is one of the four types of play identified by Roger Caillois[1]. While the application of this aspect of play to digital environments has been limited, attempts have been made to explore its potentials, with the use of virtual reality technology being a large part of it. In this context, Visual-Kinaesthetic Experiences have been defined as experiences where a virtual environment is visually overlaid over an existing kinaesthetic experience to create a new thrilling experience. The VR Moonwalking Experience explores the potential for using partial submersion in water to both simulate a virtual low gravity environment and to open up new pos¬sibilities in the design of new Visual-Kinaesthetic Experiences.

The system places users in a virtual environment featuring a crater-filled lunar surface, with a star-filled sky, the distant earth, and a lunar module. At the same time, players stand in a swimming pool, the water level somewhere between their waist and chest, and jump in a motion imitating moonwalking. The system detects the player’s jumping and mirrors it synchronously in the virtual world, but exag¬gerates the height of the jump arc. To protect the equipment from splashing water



and enhance the feeling of being an astronaut, a makeshift helmet is placed on the player’s head over the virtual reality headset.

A evaluation of the system was run with six participants, where each participant tried out the experience on land and on water, filling in two modules of the Game Experience Questionnaire[2] for each condition, and then participated in a group interview. During the experience, participants were asked to pursue beacons placed by an experiment controller, but had to have some interaction with the controller to ensure they didn’t run into obstacles or the edge of the pool.

The results of the evaluation indicated that the water might increase the realism of the moonwalk, but does not show that player immersion is greater in this condi¬tion. The helmet did increase the player’s separation from reality and sense of being an astronaut. Players felt less tired after the experience in the pool than on land, and felt safer in the water. Nausea was experienced by players, but specifically in situations where bugs in the software arose or when coming back out of the virtual experience. Overall, players clearly enjoyed the experience, with water being a boon despite not necessarily increasing immersion.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: Gonzalez-Orbegoso, Mrs Carolina
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2018 09:05
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2018 00:09
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/48554

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