Twelve Ways to Reach for a Star: Player Movement Strategies in a Whole-Body Exergame

Sruti Subramanian, Yngve Dahl, Nina Skjæret Maroni, Beatrix Vereijken, Dag Svanæs

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


This paper describes findings from a laboratorybased assessment of a balance-training exergame developed by the authors. The exergame was designed to elicit specific body movements during gameplay involving weight-shift (transfer of body weight from one foot to the other), which is considered beneficial for training balance. The body movements observed during gameplay were analyzed using a modified Labanotation. The study was conducted with twelve ablebodied
adults. All users played the exergame successfully, but contrary to our expectations, only 23% of the observed player movements corresponded to the specific body movements the exergame intended to elicit. Despite the low number of intended movements, 49% of the observed movements involved weight-shift. The exergame was therefore appropriate for balance training, although users moved differently than what we had designed for. Regarding balance-training exergames, our findings suggest that designers need worry less about “puppeteering” able-bodied players with a strict choreography to elicit specific body movements. Instead we recommend that designers embrace a less rigid design approach, where the goal is to elicit desired movement characteristics (e.g., weight-shift) through a more open and playful behavior.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2019 IEEE 7th International Conference on Serious Games and Applications for Health (SeGAH)
Number of pages8
Publication date5 Aug 2019
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-7281-0300-6
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Balance training, Body-based interaction; Design; Exergames; Movement characteristics, Weight-shift.


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