How Effective Is “Exergamification”? A Systematic Review on the Effectiveness of Gamification Features in Exergames

Matallaoui, Amir
Koivisto, Jonna
Hamari, Juho
Zarnekow, Ruediger
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Physical activity is very important to public health and exergames represent one potential way to enact it. The promotion of physical activity through gamification and enhanced anticipated affect also holds promise to aid in exercise adherence beyond more traditional educational and social cognitive approaches. This paper reviews empirical studies on gamified systems and serious games for exercising. In order to gain a better understanding of these systems, this review examines the types and aims (e.g. controlling body weight, enjoying indoor jogging…) of the corresponding studies as well as their psychological and physical outcomes. This paper particularly reviews the deployed motivational affordances and the effectiveness of incorporating gamification features in exergames. The review shows overall positive psychological outcomes (e.g. enjoying exercise) as well as behavioral ones (e.g. decreasing sedentariness) about exergames. Its findings inform about the current state of the research on the topic, based on which, suggestions for further research are outlined.
Exergaming, Gamification, Motivation, Active Playing, Engagement
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