SIGGRAPH 2010 By Focus
Exergame Effectiveness: What the Numbers Can Tell Us
A sedentary lifestyle is linked to many diseases such as diabetes and ailments such as obesity that are increasingly becoming major contributors to early death in most industrial countries. Exergaming (video games that encourage exercise) can promote a more active and healthy lifestyle among people who devote many sedentary hours to television, computer activities, and video games, and may be reluctant to engage in more traditional forms of exercise.
This paper surveys a number of quantitative studies of exergames in order to define a general set of elements that make an exergame effective from a physical standpoint. It also examines the intended audience, the incentives that an exergame should provide, and the authors' own exergaming system to learn how well it performs vs. commercial systems.
Jogging Over a Distance: The Influence of Design in Parallel Exertion Games
Exertion games are gaming interactions with technology in which users invest significant physical effort. They form part of an emerging phenomenon that provides many physical and social health benefits. Recent technology developments, particularly in the sports and game domains, have been proposed to augment these exertion activities. But how the relationship between social and exertion aspects can be successfully facilitated by the design, especially in mediated environments, is not well understood.
This paper presents a qualitative study of “Jogging over a Distance” that illustrates how technology design can facilitate a social game experience even when participants are running on opposite sides of the world. The study generated conceptual themes that offer an analytical and descriptive account of the influence of design on the relationship between exertion and social interaction.
NeuroRehab + The "Fun" Factor
The rehabilitation process for neurological trauma has traditionally relied on physical therapy that involves repetitive exercises. While this approach is effective, the process can become monotonous for patients and labor-intensive for therapists. Recent advances in robotics and game consoles have alleviated these issues, but they are generally limited to specific motor skills.
This paper focuses on a deficit known as the foot-drop and explores how the “fun” factor can be effectively incorporated into its rehabilitation. Integration of game play can give patients a "fun" incentive to perform exercises that are by medical necessity arduous and repetitive. The ultimate goal is not to replace current rehabilitation programs, but to encourage the neurologically impaired to persevere in therapy.
Vibraudio Pose: An Investigation of Non-Visual Feedback Roles for Body-Controlled Video Games
Current video games operate on the assumption that the player continuously faces the screen, which limits the possibilities in full-body gaming. This paper uses commodity game controllers to capture full-body poses and investigate player performance and experience in 3D video games as affected by positive and negative reinforcement along audio, vibration, and visual channels. The authors conducted a study regarding non-visual feedback's effect on player experience and performance. The results indicate that players performed faster with a visual guide but preferred visual and non-visual modes almost equally. Between non-visual feedback modes, they performed fastest with and preferred audio as positive reinforcement and vibration as negative reinforcement feedback.