Focus on the body

Focus on the body, not just the screen, when designing player feedback.
In movement-based games, the body is a major focus of attention: audiences enjoy watching moving bodies, and players listen to their own bodies via proprioception. Do not distract players from this focus on the body by drawing too much attention to the screen.
 I-Dentity Dance Central
The game I-Dentity, in which players hold a Sony Move controller each, have to find out whose movement is sensed while moving in sync, and whose controller lights up simply at the same time, focuses on the players' bodies, not a screen (there is no screen). Dance Central uses the screen as a primary focal point for players, who follow the moves of charismatic and attractive on-screen dancers. The game has wide appeal to players who might otherwise feel self conscious about dancing in front of others. Dance Central still has a strong body focus, but in this case, it is the spectators who focus on the moves of the players. The choreography is appealing and engaging to watch as well as to master.

Strategies for Designers
  • Think past screen-based feedback. You can use audio and haptics, as well as other players to offer feedback.
DOs and DON'Ts
DO start imagining what your game would be like without a screen.
DON'T forget that for players who feel self conscious or reluctant to move, diverting attention away from the body might be beneficial to reduce the barrier to play.