Emotional experiences through gestures
Emotions can be transferred by gestures. Through the gesture recognition of the Wii controller computers can understand human body-language. It makes it possible to interact naturally with the machine. A gesture like moving up makes the green point of your gun in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2009) move on the screen. This marks your shot. Now it is important to keep the gun steady while walking. While the green dot on the screen is embedded or situated in a virtual environment, this virtual environment acts on this object by showing you a different target when you move or shows the ground if your arm gets tired of holding the gun. Interaction between environment, body and expressing goal directed actions is vital for the Wii controller. Through sensors, the Wii device, a physical action is measured and translated to the screen. It needs a body that expresses a goal directed action and a virtual environment to show this action. Together they are the fuel that it needs to express yourself in a game world.
Expressing yourself in a game-world is experiencing a range of emotions. Emotions and games have always been involved with each other mainly because emotions that we feel are very much linked to the experience of what we think of as ‘real’. Emotions in games has manifested through the controller on many different levels. The feeling of control by moving the mouse cursor on the computer screen to navigate between different battles in the game SID MEIER’S CIVILIZATION V (2010). The button bashing effect on the XBOX 360 controller to strike with your sword as many times as possible in a short time limit to strike the enemy in FABLE II (2008). To execute a certain button combination on the PlayStation 3 controller to strike your enemy with a beautiful combo and see this happening on screen in the fighting game TEKKEN:DARK RESURRECTION (2007). Or to move your body as if your standing on skies to get down a mountain in Wii SPORTS (2006). All delivering a feeling of control, joy, amazement or excitement through the embodied mind.
In the CoD MW the performative act of the triggering on the controller is closely related to the affective involvement in the game. Especially the holding of the gun and the walking on screen effects the emotion of the player. The disorientation and the fast pacing of the game stimulates this effect. Especially during the first mission when the ship is sinking and you need to get out of the ship to the helicopter while everything is flooded with water makes you feel drowned. While the movement with the Wii is already hard, because it is sensors and focused on the green dot on the screen, the disorientation of the level made it extra hard but also really absorbed you into the game.