Note: In 2013, Health Games Research completed its work. This web site is now an archive and will not be updated. Please visit the web site of the Center for Digital Games Research at UC Santa Barbara to find current information about health games and the broader field of digital games, and to use the Health Games Research online searchable database.

Short-Term and Long-Term Effectiveness of Exergames for Young Adults

This study investigates the effects of the Mount Olympus game, a 3D fantasy role-playing game that requires players to move their upper and lower body in order to move their character throughout the world of the game.  Overweight and inactive college students participate in the study, which randomly assigns them either to play Mount Olympus or to use a motivational web site designed to promote and support physical activity.  The study examines the extent to which each media activity meets individuals’ needs for competence, autonomy, and social relatedness and how meeting these needs may motivate engagement in the activity and, in this study, may lead to more physical activity in daily life, more weight loss, and more improved health outcomes.

Principal Investigator
Wei Peng, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Telecommunications, Information Studies, and Media
Brian Winn, M.Sc.
Associate Professor
Telecommunications, Information Studies, and Media


Grantee Project Publication Title Datesort icon
Michigan State University
Short-Term and Long-Term Effectiveness of Exergames for Young Adults MSU News MSU Faculty Members Receive Grant to Study Digital Health Games
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Peng, W., Lin, J. H., & Crouse, J. (2010). Is playing exergames really exercising? A meta-analysis of energy expenditure in active video games. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the International Communication Association. Boston, MA. 2011.


Hetzman, M., Suton, D., Peng, W., Winn, B., &  Pfeiffer, K. (2010). Comparison of VO2 and accelerometer counts during a physically active video game. To be presented at Michigan meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine. Gaylord, MI. 

Peng, W., Winn, B., Pfeiffer, K., Crouse, J., & Lin, J. (2010). Developing a video game to increase intrinsic motivation to exercise. Presented at the Meaningful Play Conference, East Lansing, MI.

Pfeiffer, K., Peng, W., & Winn, B. (2010). Assessment of physical activity in games for health. Presented at Midwest Conference on Health Games. Indianapolis, IN.

Sherry, J., & Lucas, K. (2003). Video game uses and gratifications as predictors of uses and game preference. Presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, San Diego, CA. 

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