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BreathVR: Leveraging Breathing as a Directly Controlled Interface for VR Games

With virtual reality head-mounted displays rapidly becoming accessible to mass audiences, there is growing interest in new forms of natural input techniques to enhance immersion and engagement for players. Research has explored physiological input for enhancing immersion in single player games through indirectly controlled signals like heart rate or galvanic skin response. In this paper, we propose breathing as a directly controlled physiological signal that can facilitate unique and engaging play experiences through natural interaction in single and multiplayer virtual reality games. Our study shows that participants report a higher sense of presence and find the gameplay more fun and challenging when using our breathing gestures. From study observations and analysis we present six design strategies that can aid virtual reality game designers interested in using directly controlled forms of physiological input.  [Publication Available]