Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Natural, Wearable Game Controllers

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Version 2 2023-09-26, 01:34
Version 1 2021-11-15, 14:38
posted on 2023-09-26, 01:34 authored by Steel, Emily

Natural, wearable game controllers explores how people interact with games and their potential uses. Since the early days of personal computing video games have been used for more than just fun. Such uses include exploration education, simulation of real world environments and the study of human thought processes (Wolf, 2008). As well as video games being used in a wide variety of settings, there has also been considerable variation in the way we interact with them - from basic mouse and keyboard interaction to the introduction of non-traditional gaming systems such the Nintendo Wii and Microsoft Kinect. These different inputs can be fall within a spectrum of abstract and natural game controllers. This thesis looks at the difference between the two and applies this to the creation of a natural wearable game controller.   The aim of this thesis was to create a customised human-computer interface (HCI) input device, using a reliable piece of hardware with accompanying software a user could interact with. Through design experiments a wearable game controller was created in the form of a wrap band. Once the wrap band was developed the next step was to see how it could be used as a game controller. Design experiments were conducted, focusing on integration with a pre-existing game, using it as an exercise assessment tool and developing a specific game which could be used for rehabilitation.The area of rehabilitation gaming is broad so this thesis focuses on Weight Bearing Asymmetry (WBA). This is a condition where a person does not evenly distribute their weight between their feet.   This thesis explores a range of hardware and software design experiments to see how wearable technology can be used to create a new way of interacting with video games. It looks at the benefits of using wearable technology and gaming for rehabilitation, it’s limitations and future applications of this technology. The thesis concludes that natural wearable game controllers do have potential real world application in both gaming and rehabilitation.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License


Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Design Innovation

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Design


Chan, Kah