Auto-Paízo Games: Towards Understanding the Design of Games that Unify a Player’s Physical Body and the Digital World

Rakesh Patibanda, Chris Hill, Aryan Saini, Xiang Li, Yuzheng Chen, Shreyas Nisal, Jarrod Knibbe, Elise van den Hoven, Florian ‘Floyd’ Mueller

In Proceedings of Computer-Human Interaction in Play (CHI PLAY). 10-13 October 2023 – Stratford, Canada.


Most digital bodily games focus on the body as they use movement as input. However, they also draw the player’s focus away from the body as the output occurs on visual displays, creating a divide between the physical body and the virtual world. We propose a novel approach – the “Body as a Play Material”, where the player uses their body as both input and output, unifying the physical body and the virtual world. To showcase this approach, we designed three games where a player uses one of their hands (input) to play against the other hand (output) by loaning control over its movements to an Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) system. We conducted a thematic analysis on the data obtained from a field study with 12 participants to articulate four player experience themes. We discuss our results about how participants appreciated the engagement with the variety of bodily movements for play and the ambiguity of using their body as a play material. Ultimately, our approach brings a new perspective to creating games that aim to unify the physical body and the digital world.