This is a project aimed at applying artificial intelligence and games technology to help address an important contemporary health issue. One of the major contributing factors to childhood obesity is a lack of exercise. Today’s children undertake less outdoor playing, which recruits large muscle groups (arms and legs) and burns large amount of energy. Instead, many obese children use their play time engaged in sedentary activities such as television watching or playing computer games. Computer games, in particular, can capture a child’s attention for sessions lasting hours at a time.
The aim of the proposed project is to discover what features of computer games will be most effective in keeping kids (and others) engaged and interested in playing exercise games. These findings are being used to help us develop engaging computer games integrated to exercise machines in the hope that the children will spend more time exercising, rather than less.