University of Twente Student Theses


Influence performance of breathing exercises with game elements

Rebel, Thomas (2021) Influence performance of breathing exercises with game elements.

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Abstract:There are many domains that use breathing exercises to help achieve their goals. Singers to sing better, pregnant women to relax more, etcetera. These exercises are boring to do and do not give feedback about whether the execution is good or not. One solution is the use of serious games, to make the exercises more fun and to give the players feedback. The problem is that there is not much information on how to help the player execute the breathing exercises better. This is currently mostly done by explicit messages, explaining what the player needs to do. This is for most people not entertaining and brings them out of the flow of the game. The solution could be implicit stimulating elements: elements that are put in the game to increase performance of breathing exercises without telling the player outright, but with subtle sound cues and non-text visuals. The main point of this report is to see how these elements should be implemented. If game designers know more about this subject, the chance of the elements being effective without disrupting the flow of the game could potentially be much higher. Previous research showed many different kinds of stimulating elements. Sound and visuals can help performance of certain breathing exercises, especially with the timing and duration. Other studies recommend not to add too many of these elements, because that can distract the player. To get more insight of how to implement the elements, a serious game with breathing controls was made. There were two versions of the game, one with implicit stimulating elements and one without. Participants would play both games, and would fill in a questionnaire to see whether they noticed the elements and how useful they were. Furthermore, in-game data was collected to see how well certain breathing exercises of the game were executed. By comparing the results of the data and questionnaire between versions and participants a few observations were made on how to implement the breathing exercises. When implementing implicit stimulating elements, it is important to make them noticeable. This can be done by removing distracting game elements, or putting the elements on locations where the player mostly focuses on. Furthermore, it is also important that the stimulating elements are clear how they work and how to interpret them. Otherwise, the players can be confused, which decreases the effectiveness of the elements. Lastly, it is important to know the limits of the implicit stimulating elements. They are potentially very useful for easy breathing exercises, like just inhaling or exhaling. Nevertheless, for more complex exercises, where the player has to do multiple actions to complete it, it is sometimes better not to only use implicit stimulating elements. For example the use of explicit elements can sometimes be necessary. Game developers of affective games can use these observations to potentially make their implicit stimulating elements more effective, and their effects more predictable.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:54 computer science
Programme:Creative Technology BSc (50447)
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