There’s a nice article at Wired explaining why playing with the Wii, Kinect or the PS Move (outrageously absent from the article!) triggers emotions impossible to have with a simple gamepad :
Numerous studies have shown that movements or postures generate cues the mind can use to figure out how it feels, a phenomenon dubbed the physical-feedback effect. Wii games might also create emotions between people through “emotional contagion,” where the brain can make us feel what we see, hear, read or think others experience.
The scientists are categorizing motions seen in Wii games using a system developed by famous early 20th-century dance researcher Rudolf Laban, who codified movements based on factors such as whether they were fast or slow, light or heavy.
Preliminary findings reveal that not only is the type of motion important, but the quality of it can be, too. For instance, while both Boogie Superstar and Wii Cheer involved copying dance moves, participants in tests enjoyed the latter far more than the former, saying they felt constrained and mechanical in Boogie Superstar and flowing and buoyant with Wii Cheer. (…)
“Physically being in sync can lead to feelings of liking or trust. You can make people feel more connected.” (…)
“One really wonderful thing you can do with games is identify with protagonists, to go on the hero’s journey, and imagine how much one could feel what they feel if players learned to stand and move the same way — to go, say, from a hesitant posture to a confident one,” (…)
“Designing interaction as if we did not have any body or emotion is detrimental to what it means to be human,” Höök said. “Isbister’s work is at the heart of what it means to be human.”
I believe that presence is another body is one of the strongest effect you will get, but let’s leave some fun for another article !
This adds information to this article : “Why gesture gives you more immersion”
And on a completely unrelated note, here’s a nice optical illusion :