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Article

Does Dynamic Tailoring of A Narrative-Driven Exergame Result in Higher User Engagement among Adolescents? Results from A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial

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Consumption and Healthy Lifestyles, Faculty of Social Sciences, Wageningen University & Research, 6708 PB Wageningen, The Netherlands
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Department of Movement and Sport Sciences, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
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School of Health and Life Science, Caledonian University, Glasgow G4 0BA, UK
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IMEC-MICT, Department of Communication Sciences, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
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KnowledgeBizConsulting, and Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade NOVA, 1099-085 Lisbon, Portugal
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Research Center for the Promotion of Health, Prosocial Behavior and Wellbeing PACE, Faculty of Psychological and Educational Sciences, Université Libre de Bruxelles, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
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Department of Communication Studies, University of Antwerp, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
All members of this group and their affiliations are listed in the acknowledgements.
Academic Editors: Pieter M.E. van Gorp and Monique Simons
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7444; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147444
Received: 5 May 2021 / Revised: 29 June 2021 / Accepted: 8 July 2021 / Published: 12 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Health Tools: A Critical Assessment of Long-Term Engagement)
Physical activity interventions for youth are direly needed given low adherence to physical activity guidelines, but many interventions suffer from low user engagement. Exergames that require bodily movement while played may provide an engaging form of physical activity intervention but are not perceived as engaging to all. This study aimed to evaluate whether dynamic tailoring in a narrative-driven mobile exergame for adolescents played in leisure settings, can create higher user engagement compared to a non-tailored exergame. A cluster-randomized controlled trial assessed differences in user engagement between a dynamically tailored (based on an accelerometer sensor integrated in a T-shirt) and non-tailored condition. In total, 94 participants (M age = 14.61 ± 1.93; 35% female) participated and were assigned to one of the two conditions. User engagement was measured via a survey and game metric data. User engagement was low in both conditions. Narrative sensation was higher in the dynamically tailored condition, but the non-tailored condition showed longer play-time. User suggestions to create a more appealing game included simple and more colorful graphics, avoiding technical problems, more variety and shorter missions and multiplayer options. Less cumbersome or more attractive sensing options than the smart T-shirt may offer a more engaging solution, to be tested in future research. View Full-Text
Keywords: mobile exergame; serious game; user engagement; adolescent; dynamic tailoring; dynamic difficulty adjustment; randomized controlled trial mobile exergame; serious game; user engagement; adolescent; dynamic tailoring; dynamic difficulty adjustment; randomized controlled trial
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MDPI and ACS Style

Schwarz, A.; Cardon, G.; Chastin, S.; Stragier, J.; De Marez, L.; Consortium SmartLife; DeSmet, A. Does Dynamic Tailoring of A Narrative-Driven Exergame Result in Higher User Engagement among Adolescents? Results from A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 7444. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147444

AMA Style

Schwarz A, Cardon G, Chastin S, Stragier J, De Marez L, Consortium SmartLife, DeSmet A. Does Dynamic Tailoring of A Narrative-Driven Exergame Result in Higher User Engagement among Adolescents? Results from A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(14):7444. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147444

Chicago/Turabian Style

Schwarz, Ayla, Greet Cardon, Sebastien Chastin, Jeroen Stragier, Lieven De Marez, Consortium SmartLife, and Ann DeSmet. 2021. "Does Dynamic Tailoring of A Narrative-Driven Exergame Result in Higher User Engagement among Adolescents? Results from A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 14: 7444. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147444

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