Nudges for Regulating Exertion

In exergames, players sometimes over-exert themselves, risking adverse health effects. Informing such players to slow down is necessary, but might distract from gameplay and damage the drive to continue exercising.

We used the concept of nudges to create a set of design principles that can be incorporated into a game, to influence player behaviour without breaking their immersion. To illustrate these principles, we created Plane Game. Players race as a plane to be the first to catch a rainbow. If the player over-exerts, the plane starts smoking, making loud engine noises, and eventually spitting out fire. These negative effects disappear if the player slows the plane.

We have found that nudging techniques work as well as textual feedback at keeping players from over-exerting, and that players considered the nudge feedback to be more natural.

For more information

Adrian L. Jessup Schneider and T.C. Nicholas Graham. 2015. Pushing Without Breaking: Nudging Exergame Players While Maintaining Immersion. In Proceedings of the Games Entertainment Media Conference (GEM). IEEE, 1-8.


Adrian Schneider, Nick Graham