How Game Balancing Affects Play: Player Adaptation in an Exergame for Children with Cerebral Palsy
In sports, if players' physical and technical abilities are mismatched, the competition is often uninteresting for them. With the emergence of exertion games, this could be changing. Player balancing, known from video games, allows players with different skill levels to compete, however, it is unclear how balancing mechanisms should be applied in exertion games, where physical and digital elements are fused. In this paper, we present an exertion game and three approaches for balancing it; a physical, an explicit-digital and an implicit-digital balancing approach. A user study that compares these three approaches is used to investigate the qualities and challenges within each approach and explore how the player experience is affected by them. Based on these findings, we suggest four design strategies for balancing exertion games, so that players will stay engaged in the game and contain the feeling of a fair competition, even if they have mismatched skills.