Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI'11), ACM, New York, NY, pp.129-136
We have developed an embodied puppet interface that translates a player’s body movements to a virtual character, thus enabling the player to have a fine grained and personalized control of the avatar. To test the efficacy and short-term effects of this control interface, we developed a two-part experiment, where the performance of users controlling an avatar using the puppet interface was compared with users controlling the avatar using two other interfaces (Xbox controller, keyboard). Part 1 examined aiming movement accuracy in a virtual contact game. Part 2 examined changes of mental rotation abilities in users after playing the virtual contact game. Results from Part 1 revealed that the puppet interface group performed significantly better in aiming accuracy and response time, compared to the Xbox and keyboard groups. Data from Part 2 revealed that the puppet group tended to have greater improvement in mental rotation accuracy as well. Overall, these results suggest that the embodied mapping between a player and avatar, provided by the puppet interface, leads to important performance advantages.