Physical inactivity is one of the greatest public health problems of our century increasing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, or specific cancers. The motivation of the Game Idea Jam is to combine the potential of sport and exertion games with game jams to come up with new and creative ideas to improve the physical health by combating physical inactivity.
Sport and Exertion Games
Computer games can address a central human desire to engage in entertaining activities. Sport games without physical activity, like FIFA, have been around for many years. This has changed since Nintendo Wii, Sony Playstation Move, and Microsoft XBOX Kinect have been introduced, as they offer home video gaming systems involving player movement to control game play. The boundaries between game genres are not sharp, meaning there is rather a continuum between games that use physical, full body input and fitness programs.
The motivational power and the immersion of exertion games can lead to a sustainable motivation for doing exercises and thereby changing the health status. However, there are three big challenges: 1) reaching sustainable motivation, 2) enabling physiologically positive movements, and 3) adapting to users, which are addressed in the Game Idea Jam.
Recent years have shown the popularity of game jams all around the world and also at conferences like CHI. Game jams have proven to be a successful approach for rapid prototyping of game ideas developed by participants from diverse backgrounds (e.g., art, programming, design and scholars) in a pre-defined time span. Every year the Global Game Jam (http://globalgamejam.org/) attracts thousands of game developers and the Games [4Health] Jam (http://www.gamesjam.nl/) in the Netherlands explores ways to trigger physical activity amongst youngsters in different situational contexts.