NEAT-o-Games: Blending physical activity and fun in the daily routine

Yuichi Fujiki, Konstantinos Kazakos, Colin Puri, Pradeep Buddharaju, Ioannis Pavlidis, James Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article describes research that aims to encourage physical activity through a novel pervasive gaming paradigm. Data from a wearable accelerometer are logged wirelessly to a cell phone and control the animation of an avatar that represents the player in a virtual race game with other players over the cellular network. Winners are declared every day and players with an excess of activity points can spend some to get hints in mental games of the suite, like Sudoku. The racing game runs in the background throughout the day and every little move counts. As the gaming platform is embedded in the daily routine of players, it may act as a strong behavioral modifier and increase everyday physical activity other than volitional sporting exercise. Such physical activity (e.g., taking the stairs), is termed NEAT and was shown to play a major role in obesity prevention and intervention. A pilot experiment demonstrates that players are engaged in NEAT-o-Games and become more physically active while having a good dosage of fun.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number21
JournalComputers in Entertainment
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2008

Keywords

  • Pervasive gaming
  • Ubiquitous computing
  • Wearable sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications

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