Erin Finnegan, Tanya Campbell

BearHug is an arcade cabinet that challenges the way we play games using virtual hugs and gummy bears.


BearHug is a non-traditional arcade cabinet featuring two non-traditional digital games. In Gummy Bear Tease, players puzzle through brain teasing color matching exercises. In First Person Hugger (working title), players decide through observation whether or not characters want to be hugged. Both games use non-traditional game controllers. The GummyBears game is controlled by a large hexagon dial, and First Person Hugger is controlled using a pair of hands (instead of joysticks).

The objective of the Gummy Bear Tease (GBT) game is to match the text on gummy bears falling from the top of the screen to the appropriate color on the hexagon dial at the bottom of the screen. For example, a gummy bear with the text “green” on it, must be matched to the green portion on the hexagon dial before it lands. The challenge is that although the bear is labeled “green” it is actually blue, while the text of the word green is printed in purple. The GBT game promotes healthy brain development in a fun and colorful way that doesn’t feel like a chore.

First Person Hugger (FPH) is a reaction to the countless video games wherein the player’s only interaction with other characters is to shoot them; in FPH, the player’s only mode of interaction is the ability to hug. Hugging characters who want to be hugged increases the player’s reputation score, while hugging characters who dislike hugging decreases the score. FPH simultaneously promotes the development of emotional intelligence while poking fun at cultural norms about physical contact.


Digital Fabrication for Arcade Cabinet Design