Using Multi-Modal Data to Examine Equity in Activity-Monitor Gaming Within Real-World Communities

Using Multi-Modal Data to Examine Equity in Activity-Monitor Gaming Within Real-World Communities

Mary K. Stewart (Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA), Danielle E. Hagood (University of California, Davis, USA) and Cynthia Carter Ching (University of California, Davis, USA)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2015-4.ch006
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It is rare for research on augmented-reality games to examine equity and access as grounded in features of the actual neighborhoods where game play takes place, and in the affordances of communities and their built environments for gamified ambulatory physical activity in the real world. This chapter studies two diverse groups of middle-school youth, situated in urban and suburban areas, who wore activity monitors as they went through daily activities and played an online game that synced with their monitors. The game drew data from the wearable devices so that the more youth engaged in step-countable physical activity in the real world, the more game-world energy they earned. This chapter analyzes the actual communities where our participants' activity and game play was situated. The chapter lays out the multi-modal data sources in that analysis and provides some potential models that can be employed by others in related work. Finally, the chapter closes by articulating some directions and concerns for future research in a gamified physical world.
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Literature Review

This work intersects two important conversations in the field of educational gaming: the relationship between physical activity and video games, and the influence real life exerts on game play. Into these conversations, the authors introduce the community ecological perspective as a framework for examining the interplay of real-world communities and virtual games. The goal is to illustrate the importance of accounting for real world environments in the design of games for health and in research on game-based learning in physical spaces.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Wearable Devices: Electronic devices that can be worn as a watch or clipped onto clothing.

Stealth Health Games: Games that attempt to sneak exercise into other types of entertainment, such that the player does not notice that they are exercising.

Games for Health: A body of scholarship that explores the uses and benefits of games that aim to improve health behaviors.

Terra: A game created by a game-design company in collaboration with the authors’ research team. The game interacts with Fitbit Zips, such that players’ movements in the real world convert to energy points that enable them to play the game.

Exergames: Games that require physical activity.

Fitbit Zip: An activity monitor with an active display that clips on to clothing, which was inexpensive at the time of this study.

Mobile Augmented Reality Exergame: A game that promotes physical activity beyond an on-screen avatar, such that the physical activity occurs in real-world contexts.

Active Video Games: A video game that is designed to promote fitness and an active lifestyle.

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