Using an Augmented Wobble Board as a Game Controller

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Yearly more than a million succumb to ankle injuries in the United States alone, and it is not uncommon that individuals who have suffered such injuries lack the motivation necessary in order to successfully complete the rehabilitation process. In this article we describe three design and evaluation of three prototypes intended to provide individuals in need of ankle rehabilitation with the necessary motivation. The prototypes leverage video games potential as a source of intrinsic motivation by allowing individuals to control a game by means of a wobble board—an instrument used for ankle training–and thereby allow them to perform the needed exercises while playing. The design of the first prototype is informed by specific ankle exercises and theory pertaining to gameplay as emotional experience. An expert evaluation indicated that the prototype facilitated correct ankle training, and a user study suggested that participants generally found the act of playing intrinsically motivating. In a second study we compared a the wobble board interface with to commercially available input devices (the Wii balance board, and keyboard and mouse). The results provided insights about the relationship between perceived and actual performance, and suggests that novice players may underestimate their performance while balancing on the board—presumably because this task is difficult to novice users. Finally, we present a third prototype of the wobble board interface which is augmented with actuators and thereby provide vibrotactile feedback to the user while playing. The results of the performed evaluation indicated that the additional feedback need not improve performance in relation to the particular game being played. Moreover, the results suggest that one should be mindful when to add vibrotactile feedback during wobble board games since the feedback may distract the user, but also has the potential to make the experience more involving.
Original languageEnglish
JournalComputers in Entertainment
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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