Recognizing self in puppet controlled virtual avatars

Ali Mazalek, Michael Nitsche, Sanjay Chandrasekharan, Tim Welsh, Paul Clifton, Andrew Quitmeyer, Firaz Peer, Friedrich Kirschner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Recent work in neuroscience suggests that there is a common coding in the brain between perception, imagination and execution of movement. Further, this common coding is considered to allow people to recognize their own movements when presented as abstract representations, and coordinate with these movements better. We are investigating how this 'own movement effect' could be extended to improve the interaction between players and game avatars, and how it might be leveraged to augment players' cognition. To examine this question, we have designed and developed a tangible puppet interface and 3D virtual environment that are tailored to investigate the mapping between player and avatar movements. In a set of two experiments, we show that when the puppet interface is used to transfer players' movements to the avatar, the players are able to recognize their own movements, when presented alongside others' movements. In both experiments, players did not observe their movements being transferred to the avatar, and the recognition occurred after a week of the transfer. Since the recognition effect persisted even with these two handicaps, we conclude that this is a robust effect, and the puppet interface is effective in personalizing an avatar, by transferring a player's own movements to the virtual character.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFun and Games 2010 - Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Fun and Games
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2010
Event3rd International Conference on Fun and Games, Fun and Games 2010 - Leuven, Belgium
Duration: Sep 15 2010Sep 17 2010

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


Conference3rd International Conference on Fun and Games, Fun and Games 2010


  • body memory
  • common coding
  • creativity
  • puppet
  • tangible user interface
  • video game
  • virtual character

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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