User Manifestation Mappings for Goaldriven Preventive Physical Health Games


Today’s sedentary computer games have no positive influence on physical health, maybe this very influence is even a negative one. The solution to this problem are games that involve physical interaction that goes beyond the normal use of input and output devices like keyboards and mice. We define such physical games as games that react to exertive or undedicated physical user activity. Physical games encompass both exertive games and games that go along with the user’s everyday life. We propose a framework for goal-driven preventive physical health games that utilizes two key design patterns, with the first being an explicit mapping between the users physical state and actions and the control points of the game world called user manifestation mappings (UMM). The second pattern extends the UMM pattern by additionally using physical health goals and their attainment status as inputs for such an UM mapping, connecting the physical health goal with the in-game world state and thereby with the in-game goals. This approach greatly extends the flexibility of physical games and allows integration of the vast space of non-physical legacy games.

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Paul Zernicke, Martin Nonnenmacher
Working Paper