Exergames and the potential for VR
Updated: Dec 12, 2020
Exergames may well be the answer to more VR experiences. The desire for physical activity without the mindless repetitive exertion is clearly an issue for fitness equipment manufacturers. Just look at their advertising for virtual trainers and maps. And yet, VR exergames have potentially filled that gap.
A recent UK study on “What Players of Virtual Reality Exercise Games Want: Thematic Analysis of Web-Based Reviews” published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found that players wanted games that were realistic, mechanically intuitive, and progressively improved skill achievement. Moreover, “players reported feeling that they reached a high level of exertion when playing and that the immersion distracted them from the intensity of the exercise.”1
For many, exercise can be boring, and it’s not always the case that people want the thrill of exertion. Many would be just as happy to know they burned more calories doing fun and creative work. This is where VR still has untapped potential. In fact, the study concluded that more research needs to be performed to determine what factors mattered to exergamers, and what keeps players engaged. Breaking down that information is critical to game developers.
The study also provided vital information on significant pitfalls that should be avoided if VR exergames are to achieve their potential. VR games with bugs that frustrated players, graphics quality affected player enjoyment, and lastly, complicated controls and display functions that brought on motion sickness were particularly unpopular.1
As game developers, it is important for us to know what benefits our community and that what we create will be useful. We believe our game will be a quality contribution to the exergamer genre. With more content in the VR community, we will be closer to optimizing gamers wants and will help VR gamer retention in this field.