Location: Children's Nutrition Research CenterTitle: The dos and don'ts of increasing children's physical activity through narrative game design: An exploratory thematic analysis
|LU, AMY - Northeastern University|
|GREEN, MELANIE - University Of Buffalo|
|Thompson, Deborah - Debbe|
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/10/2019
Publication Date: 5/26/2019
Citation: Lu, A.S., Green, M., Thompson, D.J. 2019. The dos and don'ts of increasing children's physical activity through narrative game design: An exploratory thematic analysis [abstract]. ICA 2019/69th Annual International Communication Association (ICA) Conference. May 22-29, 2019; Washington, DC. Oral Presentation.
Technical Abstract: Physical activity is crucial for child obesity prevention and intervention. Narratives embedded in active games have increased children's physical activity. However, little is known about the narrative characteristics that would motivate children to exercise. We first created four professionally-made animated narratives of different genres based on previous children's narrative preference research. Children (n=41) between the ages of 8 and 12 were interviewed to identify cognitive and affective evaluations of the narratives. We recorded the responses, which we then transcribed verbatim and analyzed through an exploratory thematic analysis. Findings revealed that the children rated the dystopian science fiction genre as the favorite across all weight, race, and gender groups. Virtuous characters, extraordinary actions, interesting plots, super powers, and engaging cliffhangers were identified as useful narrative strategies. Findings also revealed that information misaligned with physical activity, difficult-to-follow stories, passive protagonists, and repetitive narrative tropes are issues to avoid.