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Gamification through the Application of Motivational Affordances for Physical Activity Technology

Dennis L. Kappen, Pejman Mirza-Babaei, and Lennart E. Nacke. 2017. Gamification through the Application of Motivational Affordances for Physical Activity Technology. In Proceedings of the 2017 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play - CHI PLAY '17. Amsterdam, Netherlands. ACM. doi:10.1145/3116595.3116604

Abstract

Motivational affordances are attributes of interactive technologies or game elements that promote participation in physical activity (PA) routines. Although these affordances have been previously integrated into technologies in non-tailored approaches, the motivations of adults for PA are specific (e.g., to improve one’s health, wellness, or fitness). There are no previous comparisons of either the motivation to participate in PA or motivational affordances that facili-tate PA in different age groups. Therefore, we conducted an online survey with 150 participants using the Exercise Motivations Inventory-2 scale (EMI-2) together with long-form questions to explore motivational affordances and PA technology preferences in four age groups. Our results suggest health-related pressures are significant motivations for PA in different age groups. Additionally, a content analysis of preferences allowed us to distinguish between gamified motivational affordances and feedback elements. These results provide age-group-specific gamification design guidelines for incorporating motivational elements in PA technology.