Creating an Effective Exergame with Lasting Entertainment Value
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There have been many efforts towards developing research prototypes for exergames, but the majority of them have been for short-term demonstration purposes. In particular, the design of those prototypes has been focused on usability and immediate fun, which are necessary, but not sufficient attributes for an engaging exergame with lasting value. For this purpose, we surveyed the gameplay mechanics of popular contemporary video games, in order to create an engaging exergame that is attractive over longer periods of time. Consequently, we were inspired to develop a biking exergame based on gameplay mechanics found in popular computer games. In contrast to previous exergames, we propose that this biking exergame will seamlessly merge the exercise activity and the video game action and provide a gaming experience which the users can enjoy over long periods of play, as well as provide sufficient physical activity to provide long term health benefits. The result of this work is a specification of features people find most intriguing in computer games, a description of the created exergame, an innovative hardware solution that can also be reused in similar projects, and an evaluation with users testing our exergame. Further empirical work should evaluate the long-term health benefits of the biking exergame, as well as further explore the provided guidelines for a finer balance between interaction design and exercise physiology.