As If

The goal of this game is to give non-patients an insight into what it may feel like to function with a body that is at times, disabled due to Chronic Pain. The user controls an avatar by means of skeletal tracking. This lets the avatar mimic the user’s movements and gestures in the virtual environment. During the game, we introduce range of motion limitations to the avatar, effectively making it more difficult to complete the motor tasks in the game environment due to smaller range of motion. This disabling feature where the user’s actions are deliberately mapped incorrectly to the avatar aims to give the user a small aspect of what it may be like to live with a certain kind of physical constraint. AS IF features an elderly woman who has chronic pain and is struggling with daily tasks as the avatar. The narrative exposes the thoughts of the avatar, rendered through the perspective of a Chronic Pain patient to reveal what it may mean to do a seemingly simple task with a condition that limits one’s ability to perform.

The Game has competed as a finalist in the CHI Student Game Competition.


Servet ulas, Xin Tong, Weina Jin, Diane Gromala, (2017). Interaction Design of AS IF, an Embodied Interaction Game for Perspective Taking toward Physical Limitations – Human-Computer Interaction International Conference 2017 (accepted)

Weina Jin, Servet Ulas, Xin Tong, Dr. Diane Gromala, Dr. Chris Shaw, (2016). Seeing is Believing: an Embodied Empathy Game that Visualizes the Invisible Suffering of Chronic Pain – IASP 16th World Congress on Pain, Yokohoma, Japan

W. Jin, S. Ulaş, D. Gromala, C. Shaw, “Chronic Pain: Gaining Understanding and Empathy through an Interactive System,”Canadian Pain Society Annual Scientific Meeting, CPS 2016, Vancouver, Canada

W. Jin, X. Tong, S. Ulas, “AS IF: A Game As an Empathy Tool for Experiencing the ActivityLimitations of Chronic Pain Patients,”Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference Extended Ab stracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, ACM (2016), 172–175.CHI 2016, San Jose,CA, USA, May 7-12, 2016.


Comments are closed.