Having fun over a distance: Supporting multiplayer online ball passing using multiple sets of Kinect

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Conference Proceeding

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We present Alone Together, a collaborative virtual ball playing environment augmented with three sets of Microsoft Kinect. The play environment fulfills a 'sport over the distance' them via the attempt to mimic the real world ball-passing exercise (or rehabilitation sessions) except that the players can be miles away from each other, and they interact without a physical ball. Moreover, our system allows each player to see the other two and their physical environment respectively, which is a combination of the physical world where players are situated and the virtual world where they play with each other. Kinect sensors are used to map players' action into a virtual world including the passing of the virtual ball. The system prototype was tested with two groups of players; a revised version was pilot tested with 48 players and lead to the final version of the system. Pilot testing results were encouraging in that players reported collective fun and increased social bonding. Meanwhile, player anonymity increased players' willingness to play the virtual-ball game with a stranger, which indicates that the game might be more suitable for those with less social fluency. Copyright is held by the author/owner(s).

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Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

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