Skip to Main Content
The emergence of full-body computer games raises an interesting question: Can body movement be used to measure the aesthetic experience of players? In this paper, we aim to take a first step toward answering this question. Such a question emerges from the fact that various studies have shown the dual role of body movement, i.e., a window on people's emotional and mental states as well as a means to affect people's cognitive and affective processes. In this paper, first, we investigate the possibility of automatically recognizing the emotional expressions conveyed by the player's body movement in a Nintendo sport game. Our results showed that our automatic recognition system achieved recognition rates comparable to human observers' benchmarks. Second, by taking a pragmatist definition of aesthetic experience into account, we argue that the tracked body expressions do not only express what the player may be feeling. Given their modulating role on cognition and affect, these body expressions also let the player actively construct and assign affective meanings to the unfolding of the game. We argue that the player's variety of emotional bodily expressions constitutes the emotional rhythmic dynamic of aesthetic experience and, as such, they provide a measure of its distinctive quality.