Location-based Games as Exergames - From Pokémon To The Wizarding World

  • Samuli Laato University of Turku
  • Sonja Hyrynsalmi LUT University
  • Sampsa Rauti University of Turku
  • A.K.M. Najmul Islam University of Turku
  • Teemu H. Laine Luleå University of Technology
Keywords: exergame, Location-based games, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, Pokémon GO, AR

Abstract

Exergames, i.e. games which aim to increase player’s physical activity, are a prominent sub-category of serious games (SGs). Recently, location-based games (LBGs) similar to Pokémon GO have gained the attention of exergame designers as they have been able to reach people who would otherwise not be motivated to exercise. Multiple studies have been conducted on Pokémon GO alone, identifying positive outcomes related to, for example, exercise and social well-being. However, with substantial findings derived from a single game, it is unclear whether the identified benefits of playing Pokémon GO are present in other similar games. In order to broaden the understanding of LBGs as exergames, this study investigates the gameplay features and initial reactions of early adopters to a game called Harry Potter: Wizards Unite (HPWU) which was launched in summer 2019. A questionnaire (N=346) was sent to HPWU players to measure the effects playing the game has on their physical activity. During the first week of play, an increase in mild physical activity was recorded among HPWU players, similar to what has been reported with Pokémon GO. Also almost half of respondents (46,82%) reported to play the game socially, showcasing how LBGs can generally have a positive impact
also on players’ social well-being.

Published
2020-03-05
How to Cite
Laato, S., Hyrynsalmi, S., Rauti, S., Islam, A. N., & Laine, T. H. (2020). Location-based Games as Exergames - From Pokémon To The Wizarding World. International Journal of Serious Games, 7(1), 79 - 95. https://doi.org/10.17083/ijsg.v7i1.337
Section
Articles

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