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Exergame Experience of Young and Old Individuals Under Different Difficulty Adjustment Methods

Division of Information Science, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Nara 630-0192, Japan
Division of Medical Information Technology and Administration Planning, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Computers 2018, 7(4), 59;
Received: 4 October 2018 / Revised: 30 October 2018 / Accepted: 5 November 2018 / Published: 7 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computer Technologies for Human-Centered Cyber World)
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In this work, we compare the exergaming experience of young and old individuals under four difficulty adjustment methods. Physical inactivity is a leading cause of numerous health conditions including heart diseases, diabetes, cancer, and reduced life expectancy. Committing to regular physical exercise is a simple non-pharmaceutical preventive measure for maintaining good health and sustaining quality of life. Incorporating exercise into games, studies frequently used exergames as an intervention tool over the last decades to improve physical functions and to increase adherence to exercise. While task difficulty optimization is crucial to exergame design, researchers consistently overlooked age as an element which can significantly influence the nature of end results. We use the Flow State Scale to analyze the mental state of young and old individuals to compare constant difficulty with ramping, performance-based, and biofeedback-based difficulty adjustments. Our results indicate that old individuals are less likely to experience flow compared to young under the same difficulty adjustment methods. Further investigation revealed that old individuals are likely to experience flow under ramping and biofeedback-based difficulty adjustments whereas performance-based adjustments were only feasible for young.
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Keywords: human-computer interaction; exergames; difficulty adjustments; user experiences human-computer interaction; exergames; difficulty adjustments; user experiences

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Kaplan, O.; Yamamoto, G.; Taketomi, T.; Plopski, A.; Sandor, C.; Kato, H. Exergame Experience of Young and Old Individuals Under Different Difficulty Adjustment Methods. Computers 2018, 7, 59.

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