Design of a Serious Game to Increase Physical Activity by Adding Direct Benefits to the Game for Conducting Sport Activities
“Dosis facit venenum,” or “the dose makes the poison,” as first expressed by Paracelsus, is a universally valid statement. Thus, being a little bit of a sedentary person makes a whole lot of difference when this behavior turns into a lifestyle. If combined with additional poor habits like imbalanced food intake, little physical activity becomes a number one risk factor in developing chronic diseases later on. What is lacking are motivational concepts and tools that pick up “active” as well as “less active couch potatoes” with the purpose to prevent serious health consequences by making sport activities more attractive, interactive, fun and engaging. Thus, lowering the barrier of overcoming one’s weaker self is pivotal. In this paper, we propose a novel concept and Android-based prototype of a serious game called Lazarus, which aims to prevent chronic disease by using motivational boosts to enhance physical exercise. 117 people helped gathering basic information for the game and another 10 people evaluated the concept adhering to a User Centered Design. The application takes advantage of an approach to reward physical real-life activity (doing sports) with virtual in-game benefits.
The authors would like to thank all the people who participated in the online-survey as well as in the UCD process.
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