Yim, Jeffrey W. H.
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An underlying goal of designers of some exercise video games is to increase people's motivation to exercise. Research in the field of exercise psychology shows that performing physical activity in groups increases exercise participation and adherence. However it is unclear whether the benefits of grouping apply to video games involving physical activity. This research investigates whether the motivational benefits of grouping translate to exercise games. We experimentally validate three properties of collaborative exercise games. Experiments were performed using a custom exercise game, designed with game requirements intended to increase exercise motivation. We discovered that the exercise enjoyment and engagement benefits of grouping do translate to exercise games: players preferred collaborative over single-player exercise games, and found our collaborative exercise game equally enjoyable and engaging in both co-located and distributed settings. Most interesting, non-exercisers and exercisers found the game equally enjoyable and engaging. These results indicate that collaborative exercise video games are a promising approach to helping with exercise enjoyment and engagement, and that developers should consider incorporating multiplayer support into their exercise games.