Exergame Rating System

The IFE Wiki and IFEN LinkedIn group and sub-groups have got a rush of blood and decided to tackle the murky mire of defining ‘exergaming’, or more precisely, an ‘exergaming experience’. The goal is to create an evaluation system that can ultimately identify the degree of success of any exergaming implementation – product or service. We”ve called this project the Exergaming Experience Rating System, which is horribly unwieldy so we”ll use the EERS acronym instead.

It’s been argued, that it is relatively meaningless to define such an experience, or indeed, define an exergame at all; leave it for the individual to see its worth or otherwise, and in the short term, it is hard to argue against this sentiment. Without doubt, there is so much work to do getting exergaming recognized that it seems somewhat trivial to worry about the minutia of definition. Again, in the short term, that is probably true, but since our IFE Wiki and IFEN group are over-run with optimistic masochists we thought we”d run the EERS project in parallel with our group and personal agendas. Why? Well, we’re a forward thinking bunch, with the firm resolve that if we aim to see exergaming as a viable, long term health and fitness solution then the very least we need to achieve is a definition, evaluation and qualification system; in effect a “best-practices” standard for exergaming. This won’t happen overnight, but it will happen if we encourage a multilateral cooperative effort, so we are contributing to that epic journey with our modest attempt at an EERS.

The Exergaming Experience Rating System (EERS) draws upon a vast array of diverse media and people. The EERS is a ‘living document’ and very much a work-in-progress. It is primarily an attempt to evaluate exergaming, in its varying incarnations. Running in parallel is a similarly optimistic effort to ‘define’ exergaming and an ‘exergame’. In retrospect, it seems obvious that evaluation and definition are inextricably linked, so the EERS project has broadened is scope to work on both simultaneously.

The EERS project enters a test phase shortly where we will put the evaluation component of the EERS to ‘test’ so to speak. We will shortlist a number of diverse ‘exergaming’ products and implementations and ask an equally diverse group of exergaming devotees to use the EERS to evaluate them. The trial is fundamentally aimed at determining the worth of the EERS, to ascertain if we are headed in the right “evaluation direction” or not.

If you are interested or personally invested in contributing to the future of exergaming, please visit the IFE Wiki and IFEN LinkedIn group and add your views and expertise to the project. We are not precious about our existing model and whole-heartedly encourage constructive criticism. No comment is too harsh or too positive, so feel free to flame or encourage, preferably the latter.

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