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Whole body interaction in abstract domainsHolland, SImon; Wilkie, Katie; Bouwer, Anders; Dalgleish, Mat; Mulholland, Paul; England, David; England, David (Springer Verlag, 2011)Whole Body Interaction appears to be a good fit of interaction style for some categories of application domain, such as the motion capture of gestures for computer games and virtual physical sports. However, the suitability of whole body interaction for more abstract application domains is less apparent, and the creation of appropriate whole body interaction designs for complex abstract areas such as mathematics, programming and musical harmony remains challenging. We argue, illustrated by a detailed case study, that conceptual metaphor theory and sensory motor contingency theory offer analytic and synthetic tools whereby whole body interaction can in principle be applied usefully to arbitrary abstract application domains. We present the case study of a whole body interaction system for a highly abstract application area, tonal harmony in music. We demonstrate ways in which whole body interaction offers strong affordances for action and insight in this domain when appropriate conceptual metaphors are harnessed in the design. We outline how this approach can be applied to abstract domains in general, and discuss its limitations.