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J Sci Med Sport. 2008 Apr;11(2):163-6. Epub 2007 Aug 13.

The motivation of children to play an active video game.

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  • 1Department of Public and Occupational Health, VU University Medical Center, The Netherlands.


The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate the effect of a weekly multiplayer class on the motivation of children aged 9-12 years to play an interactive dance simulation video game (IDSVG) at home over a period of 12 weeks. A sample of 27 children was randomly assigned to (1) a home group instructed to play the IDSVG at home; (2) a multiplayer group instructed to play the IDSVG at home and to participate in a weekly IDSVG multiplayer class. Participants were asked to play the IDSVG as often as they liked and report the playing time daily on a calendar for a 12-week period. Motivation to play was assessed by the playing duration of IDSVG in minutes and the dropout during the study. Mean age of the 16 children who completed the study was 10.6+/-0.8 years. During the 12-week intervention period, the multiplayer group played approximately twice as many minutes (901min) as the home group (376min, p=0.13). Dropout was significantly (p=0.02) lower in the multiplayer group (15%) than in the home group (64%). Our findings suggest that multiplayer classes may increase children's motivation to play interactive dance simulation video games.

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