example runs of the Mirror Game

To investigate what we experience and how we move during social interactions, I conducted two experiments. In one of them – the MirrorGame – two players each used a pen and tablet to coordinate the movement of two simple avatars along a virtual line. Depending on where, how fast, and how far apart players moved along the line, they also produced a sound: when close together, the avatars prompted orchestra sounds of string or wind instruments. When further apart, the sound feedback turned into a noisy ‘distance signal’ – similar to an automated parking assistant.

During half of the time, players were assigned leader-follower roles: one person was told to lead the movement, the other to follow their partner. For the other half of the time, players jointly improvised: no clear roles were assigned – players tried to find interesting movements and sounds together.

Below you can download three examples of the sounds players produced during this game:

(1) A leader-follower trial:

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(2) A rather calm / slow movement joint improvisation trial:

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(3) A more wildly explorative joint improvisation trial. Players worked creatively with the ‘noisy’ distance sound – see e.g. min 1:04: