Louise Matjeka, Game and Interaction Designer / Researcher, is currently pursuing her PhD in the design of exergames at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), in Trondheim, Norway. Her PhD project focuses on bodily play experiences in and of exergames with the question: How can we design games in which the physical movements themselves are fun and engaging?
Previously, Louise has designed and developed various serious games, focusing on exergames and educational games working for different companies. Recently, she was leading the game development as Lead Designer in the game company Hybrid Play and Games. Louise has also taken part in the research project Adapted Lighting project at IT-University researching combinations of light, digital games and bodily play.
Beside designing games, Louise has taught courses in game design at both master and bachelor level at the IT-University in Copenhagen (ITU) and is currently teaching at NTNU. She has also been affiliated at the University of Southern Denmark.
Prior to the career within the ICT industry, Louise is an award-winning musician and has worked with international artists such as Django Bates, Loose Tubes, Hermeto Pascoal, World Saxophone Quartet, to name a few. Louise has substantial teaching and performance experience from her previous career as musician and music teacher. In her design work she draws heavily on the creative skills and playful mindset developed through her artistic experience and profession. It is from her performance experience that Louise gained her understanding of and interest in bodily play experiences.
An Exergame Generator
Games benefit from at least a grain of play. So does the design process of games. And because expert knowledge is important when designing (serious) games with a purpose, I designed a game for designing exergames with experts.
I will be presenting a board game designed to design exergames while iteratively exploring the playful qualities of a set of specific physical exercises. It is structured in a way that specific physical exercises are exploited and developed into game elements in combination with digital objects. The game elements are in turn deployed in the (in-game) “game development”.
While working their way around the path on the board, the players are faced with different challenges and must be careful to keep all limps of their avatar save. Only complete avatar bodies can finish the game.
The initial purpose of the game was as a creative tool to include physiotherapists as experts in the design process of designing a balance training exergame. The game served to explore physical movements in a playful setting as a way of working creatively with specific physical exercises for balance training in order to create a fun and engaging exergame. The game objective became to design an exergame.
Reasoning that a design game is also a game in itself and should be as fun to play as any other game, the game is now being further developed into a proper exergame. This presentation presents the gameplay, the game mechanics and elements as well as the theory behind.