Guys – speaking particularly about straight guys – your dance moves say a lot about you. A new study detailed in Science Daily shows that dudes can immediately pick up on the physical strength of other guys - just by watching them dance.
“A study, led by psychologist Dr Nick Neave and researcher Kristofor McCarty, used 3D motion-capture technology and biomechanical analyses to examine the extent to which male dancing provides clues about the dancer's physical strength and fitness to both male and female observers.”
As it turns out, dancing may demonstrate how good of a mate you may be.
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The results say a great deal about subconscious expression:
“The results showed that both sexes found significant positive associations between an individual's hand grip strength and their perceived dance quality, these qualities were picked up by the size and vigour of the movements of the upper body and arms. Although it is traditionally thought that signals given off by men when they dance have been designed -- like animal mating displays -- to be interpreted as clues of their physical attributes to the opposite sex, it seems that heterosexual men are also making use of these signals, presumably to detect a potential love rival.”
The next time you bust out Dance Central at a party – try it yourself. Chances are, the strongest guys in the room are going to be subconsciously expressing their total dominance (of the dance floor).
In the context of expression through movement, and how that relates to motion capture games. Not long ago, Matt Boch gave an interview to Gamasutra about Harmonix’ decision to animate both feminine and masculine avatars for the full range of moves – both traditionally masculine and feminine.
"I think what's interesting about dance is that it's incredibly performative, and it implicates the body in a way a lot of other video game-type interactions don't," Dance Central project director Matt Boch tells Gamasutra. Many Kinect games rely on the player's use of his or her own body, but mostly in purpose-oriented ways; few require movements as total and as physically-expressive as dancing.
“…In the early days of prototyping Dance Central, Boch noticed some players hesitating on dance moves that felt "sexy" or "hip-focused", or traditionally feminine -- not only male players, but female participants who seemed to feel uncomfortable expressing themselves in that particular way. The design challenge was to find a way to allow players to perform the dance moves without requiring them to undertake certain subtleties that might be at odds with a person's sense of self.”
As games become more genuinely inclusive – in terms of gender expression – finding satisfying solutions to these challenges will become more important.
Photo via badjonni