There are a lot of exercise games available for most of the gaming consoles. For example Xbox has the kinect, Playstation has Playstation Move and the Wii is all about movement sensors. These accessories lead to games that need movements (let us not consider finger movement as a movement here) from different parts of the body to interact. They convert lazy gaming to active gaming. This doesn’t say anything about what people like the most, but it gives people the choice about their gaming experience.
In the paper “Using games to increase gaming motivation” from Jeffrey Yim and T.C. Nicholas Graham, a research is done on what motivates people to play these active exercise games and not on how to implement a realistic exercise game. According to the writers of the paper they were one of the first that tried to tie the exercise motivation literature to the design of exercise games. Their research resulted in 6 requirements that a exercise game must have to be able to motivate people to exercise by gaming:
-Availability of good instructor
-Achievable short and long-term goals
-Hide players’ fitness level
-Avoid lack of peer support
-Actively assist players in forming groups
The writers also say that these are requirements to help address barriers to take part in exercise games and will not guarantee a fun and engaging game.
I think the requirements the writers stated can indeed be motivators to perform exercise games. But this is only applicable to people who somehow have a little motivation to exercise themselves. For these people this bridge can be their way to exercising, but for people who doesn’t have any motivation themselves it will not have any affect. The won’t take the effort to buy and play these games. I also think these games have more effect on children than on adults, because a child may not be aware of the fact that he/she is exercising while an adult probably is.
Yim, J., Nicholas Graham, N., 2007, Using games to increase exercise motivation, FuturePlay, November 15-17, Toronto, Canada