Bubble Popper is an exertion game that combines the magic of popping bubbles in a merged physical-virtual space: players pop virtual bubbles appearing in the physical environment. Players can enjoy the tranquility of popping bubbles, similar to a bubble-wrap popping experience, or they can engage in competitive behaviour, trying to pop more bubbles than their play partner.

This game questions our understanding of how physical bodies relate to one another in digital games: unlike in most console games, such as with Nintendo’s Wii, Sony’s Move and Microsoft’s Kinect where the sensor technology requires players to occupy distinct playing spaces and body contact is discouraged, the players in Bubble Popper are encouraged to use each other’s bodies in the game interaction: players can lift one another up to reach bubbles higher up, or they can push each other out of the way to snatch bubbles away from their play partner.

Bubble Popper is realized with a Wiimote that tracks infrared light that is triggered by a custom-made glove participants wear to pop the bubbles.

Bubble Popper by Cagdas ‘Chad’ ToprakJosh Platt and Florian ‘Floyd’ Mueller with the original Bubble Popper implementation and idea originating from Sevcan Ali, Daniel Beilharz, Luke Dominic-Butterworth (blog), Paco Casares and Nicolas Hower. Original Bubble Popper project website.


First Place Award in Student Game Design Competition for Fun and Games 2012 in Toulouse, France.