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The Skeleton Chase: Health Based ARG


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Preliminary results of the Skeleton Chase - a health based ARG used within the college student population

Preliminary results of the Skeleton Chase - a health based ARG used within the college student population

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  • 1. Using Alternate Reality Games to Influence Physical Activity in the College Population
    Jeanne Johnston
    Anne Massey
    Lee Sheldon
    Indiana University
    2009 Games for Health
  • 2. Peggle
  • 3. Agenda
    Hypotheses and Research Design
    Preliminary Findings
    Implications and Next Steps
  • 4. The Team
    Health and
    Game Designer
    Psychological Attractiveness
  • 5. Background & MotivationWhy College Students?
    Transition from high school to college
    Physical activity decreases & % overweight increases
    “Millennial” student
    Teamwork, experiential activities, and use of technology
    Pew Internet & American Life Project
    65% of college students play games
  • 6. Context
  • 7. Core Research Questions
    Q1: What is the efficacy of a game-based intervention –an Alternate Reality Game – as a means to influence physical activity?
    Q2: What design aspects drive the “Psychological Attractiveness” of game play?
  • 8. What are Alternate Reality Games?
    • Real-Time, Real-World
    • 9. The Beast, I love bees, Year Zero, World without Oil
    • 10. Gameplay Elements
    • 11. Narrative
    • 12. Characters
    • 13. Riddles, Puzzles
    • 14. Clues
    • 15. Multiple Media
    • 16. Websites (real and fictional), Blogs
    • 17. Email, Phone calls, Text messages
    • 18. Staged Locations, Live performances
    • 19. Twitter*
    • 20. Geo-Caching*
    • 21. Off-Campus Locations*
    • 22. Player Photography*
    • 23. TINAG (This Is Not a Game)
  • The Skeleton Chase
  • 24. H1: Participation in game play will have a positive effect on behavioral, physiological, and anthropometric outcomes
    P105 players will exhibit more positive outcomes than P105 control group
    H2: Participation in game play will lead to sustained outcomes
    Post-intervention outcomes will not regress to baseline levels
    H3: Perceived “psychological attractiveness” of the game will have a positive moderating effect on outcomes
    Higher levels of game attractiveness will lead to more positive outcomes
  • 25. Student players (n = 60)
    Control group (n = 60)
    Players and control enrolled in P105 Foundations of Fitness and Wellness
    Game play replaced weekly physical activity lab
    Data Collection
    Pre- and Post- Physiological and Anthropometric Data Collection
    Pre- and Post- Behavioral Survey
    Post- Psychological Attractiveness (Game Design) Survey
    Weekly step data
    SC Method
  • 26. The Skeleton Chase
    7 weeks fall 2008
    IU Bloomington campus
    Websites (real and fictional)
    Phone calls
    Text messages
    Staged locations
    Live performances
    Mental Challenges
    Physical Challenges
  • 27. Clues to the Mystery Are Everywhere
    Google and IU Website Search
    This Presentation
  • 28. Blogs and Websites
    All of these websites will return
  • 29. Physical Objects
    Boxes are good hiding places
  • 30. A player’s individual goal was
    50,000 Steps/Week
    Each week, the team goal was for all members to achieve individual goal
  • 31.
  • 32. SC Results
    • 57% met individual weekly step goal >= 4 times
    • 33. 25% of the teams met the team step goal >= 4 times
    • 34. Over the 7 weeks, on average, students accumulated 18,064 more steps/ week (~ 9 miles) compared to baseline
    • 35. 17,111,049 steps (8,555 miles) accumulated
  • *
    * P < 0.001
    SC Players vs. Control Group
  • 36. Psychological Attractiveness
    Note: * p<.05; ** p<.01; *** p<.005; ns = non-significant
  • 37. “I really liked getting out of the classroom.”
    “As my team was playing, we got to learn about facilities we could use like the pool.”
    “The game really did motivate me to walk – since I learned a lot about the campus, I know it is quicker and better for me to walk to class than take the bus.”
    “I liked working with my team and it was fun getting to know them.”
    “I really felt like I was using brain muscle.”
    “The time to play the game each week took too long compared to other lab [non-game] sections.”
     “I wish I could have picked my own team. We didn’t know each other and our schedules were different.”
    “… did you steal your shoes?” “… are you on house arrest?”
    Sample Comments
  • 38. Successful in positively influencing physical activity
    Weight gain significant for both players and control
    Should be independent of class
    Self-select teams important
    Need to increase health-related knowledge in the game
    Validate Psychological Attractiveness Scale
    SC Observations
  • 39. Skeleton Chase II: The Psychic
    Recreational Sports
    General student body
    Course independent
    Self select, individual & team
    Game design alterations:
    Weekly check-in
  • 44. Milestone Example: 1st Team
  • 45. Directions
    Stay tuned for results of SCII and comparisons to SC
    ARG versus Step Game
    Platform to deliver and engage in health related activities
  • 46. Questions