Location-Based Tower Defense - Designing an Outdoor Exergame
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Increasing problems of physical inactivity has led to a growing interest in the field of exergaming. Exergames aim to use video games ability to excite and engage, and combine it with elements of physical activity and exercise. This has the potential to reach an audience living particularly sedentary lives. This study has explored the possibilities and challenges of outdoor exergames. A review of the field led to the design and development of a prototype of a location-based tower defense exergame for the smartphone platform. The user s location is tracked using GPS and displayed on a map of the area. The game takes place on the map, requiring the player to physically move in order to change the position of her in-game avatar. The goal of the game is to stop computer-controlled enemies from reaching your base by building defensive towers and collecting power-up items. The game was tested on five male students with an interest in video games and exercise. The tests took place in a public park. Each participant played the game once, sessions lasting from 10 to 24 minutes. Observations and interviews indicated that the game was successfully able to engage and entertain the players, encouraging physical exertion. The players reported that it reduced focus on the physical effort expended. They were somewhat positive towards including such a game in their exercise schedule, on the condition that it included a multiplayer mode. Challenges associated with outdoor exergames were identified. These include inaccuracies in the location tracking, the risk of injury, and social barriers involved with playing games in public.