What are the Different Types of Exergames?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen
Many exergaming programs are designed to be family-friendly.
Many exergaming programs are designed to be family-friendly.

The most common types of exergames typically involve physical movement that either includes or completely avoids typical controllers, and usually uses the movement of a person as a form of input for playing a game. These usually include a digital character or similar virtual entity moving based on the bodily movements of the player. Exergames are usually games either designed specifically to allow someone to exercise while playing or simply include it as a feature of the game. Many of these games can also require specific and specialized peripherals that can be included with the game, or purchased separately, and are often needed to act as an input device for playing the game.

Exergames are video games that involve, or are specifically designed to encourage, some form of exercise and physical activity on the part of the player. These can be games made for fitness purposes or simply games for fun that also incorporate physical activity that can provide an excellent workout routine while playing them. Many games that incorporate the use of dance as a major gameplay mechanic, often using the dancing of a player to trigger on-screen events in the game itself, are excellent examples of exergames designed for fun but incorporating physical exercise.

Certain types of exergames are also specifically designed to be a part of an exercise routine, and these are typically marketed with words such as “fitness,” “health” and “fit” in the title of the game. These types of games are designed to encourage healthy living and physical exercise, rather than the traditionally sedentary style of game play involving sitting and holding a control. While numerous studies have often cited video game playing as a positive influence for the development of eye-hand coordination, greater physical activity has never been a large part of gaming.

Since the inception of modern electronic gaming, however, there have been developers looking for ways to incorporate greater interactivity and body movements of players into the games. Many recent exergames require peripherals to play them properly, often involving the use of input devices other than the standard controllers that come with a game system. These can include dance mats that can track foot placement for use with dance games, as well as platforms a player stands upon while playing an exergame.

These platforms can often monitor player weight, movements, shifts in weight displacement, and other aspects of exercise gaming. Even hand-held weights that can be tracked by a game system and incorporated into the action of an exergame can be used while playing some of these types of games. The newer generations of gaming systems look to increase the number of these types of exergames as greater emphasis is being placed on incorporating player movements into all types of games, and developers are increasingly targeting more physical activity in gaming.

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    • Many exergaming programs are designed to be family-friendly.
      Many exergaming programs are designed to be family-friendly.