Haptics in Exergames

Exergames combine entertainment and exercise in an effort to encourage people to be more physically active. Although exergames require active input, interactions are less physical than those experienced in real-world exercise. Interactions can feel artificial, limiting the captivating experience exergames aim to provide.

To address this problem, haptics have been proposed as a means of providing additional feedback to players through the sense of touch. However, there is very little empirical evidence supporting the benefits of haptics in exergames. To address this, we have identified and evaluated three ways in which haptic feedback can enhance exergames:

  • by helping to balance group exercise among people of different fitness levels
  • by guiding players toward safe and healthy interaction
  • and by increasing peoples’ sense of virtual presence in exergames

We have developed three novel exergames incorporating haptic feedback. We found that haptics which are consistent with actions displayed on-screen increase immersion and improve enjoyment. But we found haptics less effective when used to represent phenomena that do not have a physical basis.

For more information

Tadeusz Stach and T.C. Nicholas Graham, Exploring Haptic Feedback in Exergames, in Proceedings of INTERACT 2011, pp 18-35, 2011


Tad Stach, Nick Graham