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Title Biofeedback-Controlled Video Games for Emotional Regulation
Authors Alexis Espinoza, Joaquín Larraín, Francisco Gutierrez
Publication date 2023
Abstract Stress and psychological distress in the workplace are
behind a
large number of physiological and mental concerns. As a way to face this,
modern businesses have increasingly embraced active pauses and short breaks
to favor relaxation and distraction for reducing emotional burden and
increasing productivity. To that respect, mindfulness and quick-bite video
games are among the go-to options for taking a rest. In this paper we
explore how to introduce biofeedback in casual--short--video games as a
way to assist the player in regulating their emotional state. Biofeedback,
i.e., the use of biological signals (such as heart rate) as a way to inform
and/or control an interactive application, has been increasingly attracting
the attention of HCI researchers and practitioners, particularly in the
design and development of health applications in wearable devices, such as
smartwatches. However, its use in entertainment and video games is still in
the making. To bridge this gap, we report the design and development of a
biofeedback-controlled microgame for emotional regulation, based on the
pleasure/arousal model. This game, which dynamically self-affects its
difficulty based on the player's heart rate variation, allows the player
to navigate through different emotional states, such as stress, excitement,
calm, and languishment. We evaluated the prototype application through a
proof of concept, showing that the underlying game mechanics indeed altered
the player's pleasure and arousal. The obtained results are a first step
toward exploring how biofeedback in video games can be exploited as a
mechanic to regulate emotional valence in players.
Pages 186-197
Conference name Human-Computer Interaction in Games
Publisher Springer Nature Switzerland AG (Cham, Switzerland)
Reference URL View reference page