Movement-based sports video games: Investigating motivation and gaming experience

M Pasch, N Bianchi-Berthouze, Dijk B van, A Nijholt
in Entertainment Computing, Journal article


Video game consoles that enable gamers to use active body movements are becoming increasingly popular. Yet, little is known about the influence of movement on how gamers experience such games. This study takes an exploratory approach, using different data collection methods. A theory about the relationship between body movement and gaming experience emerges through the systematic collection and analysis of data obtained from interviews, questionnaires, video observations and a motion capture system. A Grounded Theory analysis of the interviews reveals two distinct motivations (to achieve and to relax) with which gamers approach such games, together with two corresponding movement control strategies. Four movement-specific items are found to influence immersion in movement-based interaction: natural control, mimicry of movements, proprioceptive feedback, and physical challenge. These results are verified by exploiting the movement patterns of gamers playing the Nintendo Wii Boxing game. This theory offers insights to game designers as to how to design future generations of movement-based games. Whilst a controller that leaves more space for appropriation can be appealing to a larger population, its design may fail to promote and motivate physical activity and emotional well-being. © 2009.