Go with the Dual Flow: Evaluating the Psychophysiological Adaptive Fitness Game Environment “Plunder Planet”
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Exergaming is approved by health and sport science for its improvement of physical activity and therefore is an attractive way to counteract childhood obesity. The body-centered game genre provides a motivating, multi-modal and -sensory workout experience for the player.
But the attractiveness and effectiveness of exergames can be improved even further. Game research points out the need for adaptive exergame environments, which balance player skills and in-game challenges as well as player fitness and workout intensity. This individually adjusted training positively affects the player’s engagement, enjoyment, motivation, and physical performance. Numerous studies delivered further insights into the impact of body movements, motion-based controllers and in-game mechanics on the player’s gameplay experience, and made suggestions for specific game balancing mechanisms. However, there is limited knowledge on how to design holistic psychophysiological adaptive exergame environments. We aim to fill this gap with the design of the psychophysiological adaptive fitness game environment “Plunder Planet” for children and young adolescents.
We conducted a study which compares the impact of a non-adaptive and an adaptive version of our exergame on the attractiveness and the effectiveness experienced by the player. We were able to show that the adaptive version holds significant benefits compared to the non-adaptive version. Furthermore, the study compared the player’s experiences when playing “Plunder Planet” with two different controller types: our specifically developed full-body-motion controller and the commercially available Kinect2®. Results confirm our controller design decisions, including the positive impact of haptic feedback and physical guidance on the player’s GameFlow experience and enjoyment.
KeywordsExergame fitness training Dual flow Plunder Planet Children
We thank Koboldgames GmbH for their excellent cooperation in the realization of the “Plunder Planet” game scenario.
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