Project: The effect of bio-mechanical symmetry on presence and simulator sickness in a virtual reality application controlled by a VR bike
Description: In this project we investigated the importance of bio-mechanical symmetry in a virtual environment, in relation to simulator sickness, reaction time and presence. We used VirZOOM as a controller for navigating a virtual reality game that we designed for this purpose. For a reference, we have conducted a background research and quick and dirty user needs in context studies with the games supplied by VirZOOM bike platform. We evauated our game design with 35 participants, where each participant tried playing a game with and without the body projection. 
Role: Preparing and conducting user studies (Game tests), Sketching, Interaction design for In-game UI's, Developing game concept, Conducting user tests (Interviewer),.
Date: 2018
Type of project: University project.
Group members: Christian Dahl, Thomas Gustafsen, Georgi Nedelev, Alexandra Bartas, Peter Speedsberg and Weronika Korbutt 

Biomechanical symmetry
The effect of biomechanical symmetry on presence and simulator sickness in a virtual reality application controlled by a VR bike
This paper investigates the importance of biomechanical symmetry in a virtual environment, in relation to simulator sickness, reaction time and presence.  The VirZOOM bike was used as a controller for a virtual reality game.  After conducting background research and quick and dirty tests with the games that came with the VirZOOM bike, we derived our problem formulation. 

Along with the problem formulation, three hypotheses were made. In order to answer the problem formulation, and test the hypotheses, a game for the VirZOOMbike was designed and implemented. The game was evaluated with 35 participants, where each participant tried playing a game with and without the body projection. 

The motivation: 
Our initial research examined the foundation of the virtual reality environment and how the users experience it. Furthermore, it was important to understand how the users experience VR as well as different tools that helps them control the environment, e.g. to navigate or interact with it. One of the controls that fell into focus was the VirZOOM bike. The motivation of choosing this tool as a controller came from the lack of scientific research related to its functionality and how it affects the user experience. 





Problem formulation
““Can a body and bike be projected with biomechanical            symmetry principles in mind, to increase presence while engaging        in a VR game controlled by a VirZOOMbike?”


Target Group
Due to HTC Vive Safety and Regulatory guide and the VirZoom bike’s manual recommendations, the target group for this project was people 18 to 31 years old, interested in VR and weighing less than 109 kg, Furthermore, the health restrictions also apply and consider pre-existing serious medical conditions, pregnancy, old age, psychiatric conditions and other     circumstances that restrict users from performing physical training.
Background and User Research
To achieve a deeper understanding, topics such as motion sickness and presence needed to be researched more. Furthermore, we researched methods related to measuring motion sickness, and presence. We found that there is a correlation between simulator sickness and the feeling of presence. If the presence is lowered, the symptoms of simulator sickness are more severe.
Additionally, research shows that that immersion has a correlation to presence as well. If immersion increases, so does presence. Findings in several scientific articles have shown that presence could be increased by using bio-mechanical symmetry.
Since there are already some preexisting games for the VirZOOM bike, quick and dirty tests were conducted to analyse them. After the participants played the games, they were asked to complete the Kennedy Simulator Sickness and the Presence Questionnaires. In the tested games there was no virtual representation of the player,which means that if the user looked at themselves, there was nothing representing their physical presence.

Hypotheses, User and system success criteria.
Problem: Currently, there are no games for VirZoom bike, which would implement a virtual representation of the player, which means that if the user looked at themselves, there was nothing representing their physical presence. It is speculated that the addition of a body representation 
Solution: To address this gap a virtual body was modelled for an endless runner game as a tool to measure presence and motion sickness.
Our hypoteses became a core frame of reference in the evaluation process to design alluding experiment.
1. “Being able to see simulated​ legs cycling synchronized with the user’s actual legs will cause the visual stimuli to​ match what the user is feeling, and thereby lessen the sensory conflict that attributes​ to simulator sickness.​”
​2. “Being very present in the the environment, will cause the user’s​ reaction time to be either shorter or longer.​”
3. “A high level of presence will lessen simulator sickness, because​ a high level of presence might mean that the user experiences less sensory conflict.​”
An endless runner game as a tool to measure presence and motion sickness 
Our game had to be designed in a way that provides an opportunity to measure the reaction time of the user. Therefore we decided to go for an endless runner game, in which​ the user is supposed to collect elements appearing on the screen. Furthermore, one of the requirements was that the user should be placed on a bike within the game, since we wanted to provide a biomechanically symmetrical envrionment for our experiment. ​

As it comes to game mechanics, along the way, there are positive and negative pick-ups. Green batteries give the player more time to escape the dissolving world, while red ones will deduct time. Green was utilized for the positive pick-ups, as it invokes the sense of safety. Red was utilized for the negative pick-ups as it invokes the sense of danger. There are three parallel lanes the player can cycle on. These pickups will spawn in one of the three lanes, and the player has to navigate between these lanes to get as much extra time as possible.​
Two experiment conditions :
a game-play with and without body projection 
As a part of our design, we wanted our users to look down from time to time with a hope that they would consciously or not consciously register the body projection. As we decided that we conduct our experiment having one version of the game with body projection and one without, we were in need of finding a design solution that would suggest the user to look around, without telling them to do so during the experiment. In order to make it natural, we decided to put information with an indication of a next pick-up in there. 
The experiment 
In total there were 35 people, fitting the target group, who took part in each condition of the test. All the subjects were asked to play two games, game A, and game B. 18 of the people started with Game A followed by Game B, and 17 played them in opposite order. This was done to compensate for potential adaption to the virtual environment, and to the task. This would also compensate in case the players became increasingly more simulator sick from the first to the second game. 
The users were asked to play each game for 120 seconds and after each game they were asked to fill out the Simulator Sickness questionnaire, as well as the Presence questionnaire. The reaction time, from the time the pick-up was spawned in the game to the moment the player started to change the lane, was measured throughout each test.







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