Augmenting the Task of Exercise Gamification: An Expert View on the Adoption of a New Technology for Deploying Existing Virtual Environments in Virtual Urban Exergames
Exergames commonly denote serious games and gamified systems that were developed for the sake of improving health and exercise adherence. One of the recent trends in exergaming are urban games. They are defined as highly interdisciplinary digital games which root in such diverse fields as architecture and urban planning, healthcare sciences, and serious games research(Knoell et al., 2014). Besides having various 'physical benefits', such as promoting movement patterns, urban exergames have the core task of psychologically motivating players to exercise more and inspire them to be physically active. While offering an innovative and an immersive way to exercise, urban games come also with the typical drawbacks which outdoor exercising generally has (e.g., being dependent on good weather and intimidation problems for obese people). A possible solution would be simulating urban games for indoor exercise. On top of augmenting the sedentary game input to a motion-based one, designing and developing 3D environments for virtual urban games is not an obvious task and it takes a vast amount of knowledge, time and budget to create a realistic world with a tremendous appeal and a powerful attraction. To bypass this challenge, we introduce in this work a new technology for accessing and gamifying existing game environments. Furthermore, we validate our approach by presenting the results of a qualitative research that we have conducted with the help of gamification experts and exergame designers.