Designing sports: exertion games
AuthorMueller, Florian (Floyd)
AffiliationDepartment of Information Systems, Faculty of Science
MetadataShow full item record
Document TypePhD thesis
CitationMueller, F. (2010). Designing sports: exertion games. PhD thesis, Department of Information Systems, Faculty of Science, The University of Melbourne.
Access StatusNo attached file available
© 2010 Dr. Florian (Floyd) Mueller
Exertion games are computer games that require intense physical effort from its users. Unlike traditional computer games, exertion games offer physical health benefits in addition to the social benefits derived from networked games. This thesis contributes an understanding of exertion games from an interaction design perspective to support researchers analysing and designers creating more engaging exertion games. Playing with other participants can increase engagement and hence facilitate the associated benefits. Computer technology can support such social play by expanding the range of possible participants through networking advances. However, there is a lack of understanding how technological design can facilitate the relationship between exertion and social play, especially in mediated environments. In response, this thesis establishes an understanding of how mediating technology can support social exertion play, in particular when players are in geographically distant locations. This understanding is forged through the design of three “sports over a distance” games. The experience of engaging with them was studied qualitatively to gain a rich understanding of how design facilitates social play in exertion games. The three games “Jogging over a Distance”, “Table Tennis for Three”, and “Remote Impact - Shadowboxing over a Distance” allow investigating different perspectives of mediated exertion play, since they represent three categories of richness on a social play continuum across both the virtual and the physical world. Studies of the experience of engaging with the three games resulted in an exertion framework that consists of six conceptual themes framed by four perspectives on the body and three on games. A fourth study demonstrated that the understanding derived from the investigation of the use and design of the games can support designers and researchers with the analysis of existing games and aid the creative process of designing new exertion games. This thesis provides the first understanding of how technology design facilitates social play in exertion games. In doing so, it expands our knowledge of how to design for the active body, broadening the view of the role of the body when interacting with computers. Offering an increased understanding of exertion games enables game designers to create more engaging games, hence providing players more reasons to exert their bodies, supporting them in profiting from the many benefits of exertion.
Keywordsexertion interface; whole-body interaction; exergame; exergaming; bodily interaction; kinesthetic; sports; kinaesthetic; interaction design; computer games; human-computer interaction; game design
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