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Games Health J. 2013 Jun;2(3):142-149.

Disentangling Fun and Enjoyment in Exergames Using an Expanded Design, Play, Experience Framework: A Narrative Review.

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University of Hong Kong, Institute of Human Performance , Pokfulam, Hong Kong .
Institute for Translational Sciences, The University of Texas Medical Branch , Galveston, Texas.
USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine , Houston, Texas.


With exergames (as with physical activity in general), more intense and longer-duration game play should accrue more health benefits. Exergames, however, appear to be played for relatively short durations, often at medium or lower intensities. Ostensibly games are played for fun or enjoyment. Enhancing the fun or enjoyment experienced during exergame play should enhance the intensity and duration of physical activity, and thereby the health benefits. Research, reviewed herein, indicates fun and/or enjoyment in games are inherently laden with psychosocial, physiological, and embodiment substrates. Physical activity may also have separate or closely related psychosocial, physiological, and embodiment enjoyment substrates. Research is needed to integrate these levels of experience and to identify the game mechanics that enhance, and even maximize, the fun or enjoyment experienced in exergames, to thereby increase the health benefit.

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