Understanding the Relationship between Exergame Play Experiences, Enjoyment, and Intentions for Continued Play

Anthony M. Limperos, Mike Schmierbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Objective: Although it is generally understood that exergames can be beneficial, more research is needed to understand how in-game experiences influence enjoyment and the likelihood for continued use of these types of games. Therefore, the objective of this research is to understand how player performance in an exergame affects psychological responses (autonomy, competence, and presence), enjoyment of the experience, and likelihood for future play. Subjects and Methods: Sixty-two college students (mean age, 20.32 years) participated in an experiment where they played a challenge event on the "Biggest Loser" exergame for the Nintendo (Kyoto, Japan) Wii™ console. Participants were given up to two chances to see if they could "win" the challenge event. A lab assistant recorded player performance for each session in minutes and seconds (range, 30 seconds-10 minutes). The attempt in which the participant achieved the greatest amount of time playing was used as a measure of player performance. After playing, subjects filled out a questionnaire with items pertaining to enjoyment, competence, autonomy, presence, and future intentions for continued use of the exergame. Results: The results suggest that player achievement (longer time spent playing) directly and indirectly predicts feelings of autonomy, competence, presence, enjoyment, and future intentions to play. Individuals who performed better felt more autonomous and experienced greater presence, leading to greater enjoyment. Enjoyment and presence were found to mediate the relationship between player performance and future intentions to play an exergame. Conclusions: This study suggests that performance in exergames is related to psychological experiences that fuel enjoyment and the likelihood for future exergame use. The theoretical and practical significances of these findings are discussed, as well as future research involving exergames.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-107
Number of pages8
JournalGames for health journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2016, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2016.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Rehabilitation
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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