Towards understanding balancing in exertion games

David Altimira, Florian 'Floyd' Mueller, Gun Lee, Jenny Clarke, Mark Billinghurst

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Playing exertion games with others can be engaging. However, players with different physical skill levels competing against each other can experience reduced engagement because they are either not challenged enough, or challenged too much. Balancing methods can address this; however, there is only limited understanding of balancing in exertion games. In this paper, we identify two distinct dimensional balancing techniques: "internal adjustment" and "external adjustment". We report results from a study where we measured player engagement after applying these adjustments to a digital table tennis game and the traditional table tennis game, finding two disengagement factors: "unexpected physical challenges" and "unacceptable competitive advantage". Based on these factors we derived a set of exertion game design considerations. We conclude that applying digital technology to a physical game can change the required skill level to play the game, and this can affect the impact of these adjustments on player engagement. These results enhances our understanding of balancing in exertion games, supporting the benefits of playing exertion games with others.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication11th Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology Conference, Funchal, Madeira, Portugal, 11-14 November 2014
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings
EditorsChristian Geiger, Shoichi Hasegawa
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781450329453
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment 2014 - Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
Duration: 11 Nov 201414 Nov 2014
Conference number: 11th


ConferenceInternational Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment 2014
Abbreviated titleACE 2014
CityFunchal, Madeira
Internet address


  • Exertion games
  • Game adjustment
  • Game balancing
  • Games
  • Handicapping
  • Sports

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