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In the Zone - Games for Health 2009


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“In the Zone” - Flow Experience, Enjoyment and Mood after ExerGame Play

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In the Zone - Games for Health 2009

  1. 1. “In the Zone” - Flow Experience, Enjoyment and Mood after ExerGame Play Dr Alasdair G Thin BSc, PhD Heriot-Watt University, Scotland
  2. 2. Exercise is a Hard Sell !! Quality Frog
  3. 3. Promoting Positive Health Behavior Change Persuasive Message (“Exercise is Good for You!”) Perceived Future Reward Contemplation Preparation Exer- Gaming Maintenance Action Persuasive Interactive Experience Immediate Real Reward
  4. 4. Flow Concept - “In the Zone” Challenge Anxiety Flow State Boredom Ability Csikszentmihalyi, M (1990) Flow: the psychology of optimal experience
  5. 5. Methods 14 subjects completed study Subjects played 6 ExerGames in a randomized order (approx. 6 mins duration each) Cycle Ergometer (Exercise Bike) included for comparison (Target Heart Rate 120 bpm) 2 Familiarization Sessions prior to Experimental Session Hear Rate monitored throughout After each bout, subjects were asked to rate: Perceived Exertion, Game Difficulty, Game Enjoyment & 6 Visual Analogue Mood Scales (Polman et al., 2007) At end of session subjects completed Flow State Scale-2 questionnaire (Jackson & Eklund, 2002)
  6. 6. Selected ExerGames Studied 1 AntiGrav Boxing Kinetic (Sidewinder)
  7. 7. Selected ExerGames Studied 2 Tennis Hula Hoop Step Aerobics
  8. 8. Heart Rate
  9. 9. Rating of Perceived Exertion
  10. 10. Game Difficulty Rating
  11. 11. Game Enjoyment Rating
  12. 12. Mood rating: Relaxed - Tense
  13. 13. Flow State Experience
  14. 14. Summary Heart Rate was in range 100-115 bpm in all ExerGames except Kinetic (Sidewinder was higher) Rating of Perceived Exertion was more variable (Did arm movement and excitement affect RPE-HR relationship?) ExerGames varied widely in Game Difficulty rating ExerGame Enjoyment ratings appear to be related to game play mechanics (i.e. higher enjoyment with punching, hitting or striking objects) Several ExerGames (and conventional Bike exercise) resulted in an increase in the Tension mood rating ExerGaming resulted in 2 sub-scales of the Flow State Experience questionnaire scoring higher than norms for conventional physical activity
  15. 15. Proposed ExerGaming Paradox
  16. 16. Conclusions Playing ExerGames can result in a highly Enjoyable experience especially with games involving punching, hitting or striking objects ExerGames can provide an experience that is better than conventional physical activity in terms of the Flow State components Challenge-Skill Balance Merging of Action and Awareness There appears to be a possible down-side in terms of increased levels of Tension which requires further investigation Overall, ExerGaming play has a number of positive psychological features with regard to promoting positive health behavior change
  17. 17. Acknowledgements Danny McEachen Annemarie Crozier School of Life Sciences, Heriot-Watt University
  18. 18. Contact Dr Alasdair G Thin, BSc, PhD Active Video Game Researcher