FEEL (BA THESIS)
Type: Bachelor Thesis, University of Applied Sciences Potsdam
Topic: Haptics + Gaming; The relevance of haptics in video games: The development of a modular handheld gaming console focused on new game mechanics
Date: June 2022 - February 2023
As life becomes more and more digital, the haptic sensation in everyday life is being lost. This was also noted by John Naisbitt in 1982, who commented: "The more digital, virtual and thus sensory-poorer the world becomes, the more people long for real experiences and genuine experience (Naisbitt in Hartmann, Haupt, 2016, pp. 16-17). The sense of touch is very relevant for humans and also influences the general feeling towards objects (Schiekiera, 2012). Especially the gaming industry is continuously working on integrating the tactile perception of players more into the gaming experience. Thus analog control elements are being used, which transmit information continuously and which take into account the force exerted by the user (Freundorfer, Forster, 2004, p. 5-6). The goal is to make it easier for players to immerse themselves in the game world (GamesCoop, 2012, p.77).
Although control options are improving, not much has changed in the control principle since the invention of the directional pad in 1980 in the "Game & Watch" handheld consoles as well as the "NES" from "Nintendo" (Kartsios, 2021, pp. 54, 94-95). Although projects such as the "PlayDate" console, which is equipped with a crank, try to bring innovation into the operation, nevertheless these examples remain isolated cases. Since the sense of touch is the most important sense next to sight and the gaming industry now reaches a wide variety of user groups, the combination of haptics and gaming opens up new potential for product design in this area.
The question arises how the sense of touch can be better addressed by the control system, so that players can more easily achieve an immersion. How can tactile perception be trained and improved through video games?
The aim of this bachelor thesis is to answer these questions and to implement them in a concept for a handheld game console.
history of consoles and technical inventions
thesis with open thread binding
practical part with design
front of the console with 6 slots
rear side of the console with holding bars
10 different modules and one "blank module"
Possible assignment of modules for the action-adventure game "Horizon: Zero Dawn"
Possible assignment of modules for the racing game
"Gran Turismo 7"
the console can be slid apart as well as the screen can be put down