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Physiology as XP – Body Blogging to Victory

by Kiel Gilleade, Stephen H Fairclough
BioS-Play Workshop at Fun and Games, Leuven, Belgium ()


Quantifying how we change over time is a powerful tool, for it allows us to better understand the impact of events and our behavior on our psychological and physiological wellbeing. With understanding we can attempt to manipulate our behaviors so to improve coping strategies and outcomes (e.g. avoid undesirable mental states). As wearable sensors become more ubiquitous we may automate the collection of physiological data on a long term basis. As we collect more information about how our bodies react in different situations we can learn new things about ourselves that were previously concealed. While we may choose to keep this information private, web technologies allow us to share our data with others introducing new means to shape our behavior. We call this process body blogging - the act of logging physiological changes over a period of time or during specific events using web technology. We’ve recently been exploring applications of body blogging in public spaces [1]. As physiological signals have become more prevalent in computer games (e.g. Wii Vitality, Ubisoft Innergy) and as newer games often feature online connectivity there is potential for games to be used as a means to modify behavior through body blogging. In this paper we introduce the concept of body blogging through our own experiences with the technique and discuss its potential uses. We also discuss how games might be used in conjunction with body blogging to modify behavior and the challenges involved in deploying such systems.

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