Exergaming research is disparate and unstructured in it's approach and inconsistent with it's results. This leads to a great deal of confusion in the media and public view as to what exergaming can and can not achieve with respect to health. Exergaming is a serious game floundering in the playground of research politics. No more obvious is this than the biggest research projects, that while guaranteeing the principle researchers tier one journal publications, leaving the exergaming genre abused in it's wake. Read more about that sorry state of affairs here.
The Exergame Network (TEN) has been long aware that the limitations of exergaming are public knowledge, dissemination, application and study design rather than failings in the equipment and the excellent individuals who deliver the experience to the users. To that end TEN has collaborated to give the top questions, and therefore evidence, required to understand exergaming. From it's wiki site here they are:
The first two of these questions have been answered sucessfuly by Konami's DDR and Gamercize's GZ Pro-Sport respectively. In answering these questions the original study design also becomes valuable - as a blueprint for others to follow in the implementation of exergaming. The irony is that exergamers in the field already know what works and what doesn't, so why don't researchers answer their research questions using study designs informed by the experts?
TEN thinks this is a poor state of affairs, so is launching an initiative to get the right designs into the journals. The reason I am facing the challenge of falling out of a plane on my own (note that I'm not jumping tandem but solo) is to give TEN a chance to gain some sponsorship to fund students into exergame research.
TEN will ask for study designs to be submitted for consideration and the best of these will be decided by a panel of experts for funding and support. As indicated above TEN thinks there is more to funding a study than most other foundations - TEN wants the right questions, right design and right approach, so the award to successful candidates will not only be money. TEN is providing the following;
1. Cash for research assistants / buy out from class
2. Exergaming equipment donation
3. Dissemination opportunities
4. Publication opportunities
5. Academic Support and Exergaming Expertise
The way to support this cause is to donate via fundraise.com at https://www.fundraise.com/the-exergame-network/active-gamer - You can also support the initiative by sharing this post, the fund raising page and joining TEN on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and attending Skype calls. Do it now.