Physical Engagement Increases Rapport in Multimodal Interactions

Ivan Gris, David Novick, and Adriana


For developers of meaningful games, higher levels of engagement can keep players interacting with the game, thus achieving the game’s intended learning outcomes. And for games based on the technology of embodied conversational agents (ECAs), higher levels of engagement could lead to increased rapport between the player and the agent, again increasing play. Rapport is a complex and extensive behavioral state of affinity, synchronicity, coordination and mutual understanding that is difficult to model, measure and interpret. In this paper we present how full-body physical engagement helps build rapport and engagement by establishing a stronger sense of emotional connection between players and virtual characters.