Balance Ninja Video

Balance Ninja is a two- player digital vertigo game, where players battle against their own sense of balance, and stimulation based on the movements of the opposing player. More about Balance Ninja can be found in my Here. Additionally the accompanying research paper is available on my Publications page. Im really happy with how the video turned out :D

Vertigo – the momentary disruption of the stability of perception – is an intriguing game element that underlies many unique play experiences, such as spinning in circles as children to rock climbing as adults, yet vertigo is relatively unexplored when it comes to digital play.

With this work we aim to highlight that vertigo can be a valuable digital game element that helps to expand the range of games we play.

Richard Byrne, Florian 'Floyd' Mueller, Exertion Games Lab, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. & Joe Marshall, Mixed Reality Lab, School of Computer Science, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK

Creative Director/Editor: Alex Joseski
Director of Photography: Ben Helweg

Honourable Mention Award at CHI Play 2016

Unfortunately, this year, I was unable to attend the CHI Play conference (2016 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play), which was held in Austin, Texas.

My paper, on my second game: Balance Ninja, was accepted and I was due to present, but due to other commitments I was unavailable on the conference dates. My supervisor, Floyd, presented for me and to my surprise and honour, the paper won the conferences "Best Paper, Honourable Mention award". 

Sufficed to say, I am really happy, and thrilled for this as myself, Joe (second supervisor) and Floyd have worked on this for a year, and it is great to see the work receiving some form of recognition. Hopefully, this will also help with my PhD Thesis and my Third year milestone that is due in a few weeks time. Research can be a mixture of ups and downs, and to get support certainly helps with the downs, and helps to re-motivate the work.  

Anyone interested in reading the paper can do so here. Or if you would rather watch Floyd's enthusiastic presentation, you can do so on YouTube

Returning to Melbourne and Beginning the Third year

I have just returned to Melbourne, after a five month visit to the UK (which is where I am from) which from both a research perspective and for personal reasons was excellent.

Whilst there I visited my second supervisor at Nottingham University and we worked on my second case study for my PhD. A game called Balance Ninja. We built, tested and ran a study all in the space of a few weeks and I was able to get some great research findings from the data.

These findings I've written up and submitted to a conference, so are currently in review, but I was also able to use them to strengthen my research. As part of my candidature at RMIT I have to pass research milestones at the end of each year - preparing a draft document of the thesis and presenting to a panel made of my two supervisors, an independent member and a panel chair. Whilst back home I found it really rewarding writing up the last two years worth of work and seeing it come together, and fortunately I passed the milestone last week with no amendments (yay!). 

Although I have no amendments that I need to make directly to the document I left the presentation with plenty of feedback and questions that need answering: what is my research not about? Why is it relevant now and who is it for? As well as feedback that I need to begin developing my critical and personal voice more when discussing related work.

All in all, I've had a great end to my second PhD year, visiting another Uni and seeing family and friends that are usually 10K miles away! And I hope to keep up the work momentum, finishing a third case study fairly quickly in order to concentrate on the writing and honing my contribution.

Part of this endeavour involves committing myself to reporting and documenting my research more regularly, so I'll use this blog as a vehicle to do that.  Lets get started on my third and (hopefully) final PhD year!