The Sonified MirrorGame

As part of my doctoral research at the department of neurophysiology and pathophysiology, University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf, I conducted two experiments on experiential and movement dynamics during social interactions: the BallGame and the Sonified MirrorGame. Here, I present the basic setup of the Sonified MirrorGame.

In the Sonified MirrorGame experiment, 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 further 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.

View of the lab environment (top left), the map-of-emotions task participants used to reflect and report their current state at different moments during the experiment (top right), the tablet interface used to rate experience after each trial (bottom left) and an illustration of the tablet-view during the MirrorGame (bottom right).

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

(1) A leader-follower trial:


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


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