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Design Strategies for Balancing Exertion Games: A Study of Three Approaches

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


In sports, if players' physical and technical abilities are mismatched, the competition is often uninteresting for them. With the emergence of exertion games, this could be changing. Player balancing, known from video games, allows players with different skill levels to compete, however, it is unclear how balancing mechanisms should be applied in exertion games, where physical and digital elements are fused. In this paper, we present an exertion game and three approaches for balancing it; a physical, an explicit-digital and an implicit-digital balancing approach. A user study that compares these three approaches is used to investigate the qualities and challenges within each approach and explore how the player experience is affected by them. Based on these findings, we suggest four design strategies for balancing exertion games, so that players will stay engaged in the game and contain the feeling of a fair competition, even if they have mismatched skills.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2016 ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems : DIS '16
Number of pages11
Place of publicationNew York, NY, USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication year4 Jun 2016
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-4031-1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2016
EventACM SIGCHI Conference on Designing Interactive Systems 2016 - Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 4 Jun 20168 Jul 2016


ConferenceACM SIGCHI Conference on Designing Interactive Systems 2016
LocationQueensland University of Technology

    Research areas

  • Exertion games, Game balancing, player balancing, player experience, dynamic difficulty adjustment, sports

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