Persuasive concepts to integrate cycling data into computer games of different game genres
Duration of the Project
From July 2015 to June 2017; 24 months
Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Innovation Systems Department, ovos media GmbH, FH Oberösterreich Forschungs & Entwicklungs GmbH, Fluidtime Data Services GmbH, Austrian Players League
The development of gaming approaches for the integration of cycling data into popular computer games. The main aspects include the application and advancement of innovative interaction platforms (wearables), the development of gaming approaches for different persuasion and player types, and the conception of interfaces that enable games manufacturers to integrate mobility data into their games.
Due to time and comfort issues, many people are accustomed to more passive forms of mobility, such as driving or using public transportation, for their everyday routes. Active forms of mobility, such as cycling, not only have advantages in terms of environmental considerations, but also in terms of health benefits for the rider. Individuals who exhibit passive mobility behaviour are difficult to reach using common measures (e.g. smart phone applications, starting a pro-cycling campaign) due to the fact that they would already need to have an initial willingness to cycle.
For this reason, Bike’N’Play utilizes an activity which is not directly related to cycling and which a broad user group does just for fun: computer gaming. By connecting the cycling activity with popular computer games, even users with passive mobility behaviour can be reached, and their behaviour – in terms of persuasion – can be altered towards a more active capacity.
For this purpose, popular computer games of different game genres are analysed and game design concepts are developed that show how cycling can be integrated into such games in a reasonable and motivating way.
Focus of work
Bike’N’Play follows three priorities that are essential to the success of the project and to sustainable dissemination and exploitation of the project results.
The first priority is to elaborate innovative and appropriate interaction methods for the game concepts that have been identified as relevant. New technology carriers, such as portable systems and wearables (e.g. smartwatches), are evaluated and appropriate interaction concepts are developed. Safety aspects receive special attention when these concepts are applied to cycling.
Another priority is to reach the widest possible target audience. Since people differ in their preferences for certain games and their responsiveness to persuasive strategies, three to five game concepts will be developed in Bike’N’Play in order to be appealing to different types of users. In this way, the game concepts can be personalized to target different user groups.
The third priority addresses the future exploitation of the concepts developed. Software application interfaces are specified as a project outcome that should make it easier for games manufacturers to utilize the mobility data gathered from the users in their games for a multitude of actions.
The entire project is carried out following a user-centered design approach in close cooperation with the target group. As a consequence, potential users are involved iteratively in requirements analysis, game design workshops, formal evaluations and proof-of-concept development by applying both qualitative and quantitative methods.
For evaluation purposes, the game concepts developed are transformed into mock-ups; however, no working prototype will be developed. Nevertheless, a potential later implementation will be prepared by bringing together partners from mobility services and game developers, as well as by implementing appropriate exploitation activities.