Graduation Year

2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Physical Education and Exercise Science

Major Professor

Steven Sanders, Ed.D.

Keywords

Childhood obesity, Physical activity, Technology, Exergaming, Video games, Play, Flow theory

Abstract

As technology and sedentary lifestyles have become an integral part of children's lives, so too has the prevalence of childhood obesity. Although video games are often associated with influencing sedentary behaviors, active gaming is a new genre that requires children to become physically active while playing the games. In this inquiry I explored six fifth grade students' experiences participating in active gaming in physical education classes for 30 minutes, twice weekly, during an eight week (16 sessions) study. I used qualitative methods including interviews, journal entries, and observational field notes. Analysis of data revealed students have a "Persistence to Game" (P2G) when participating in active gaming during physical education. When students experience P2G I considered them to be at "play" demonstrating play-like attributes. Persistence to game includes eight elements. Although not all elements need to be present at the same time, when these elements interact, students experience flow. The discoveries of this study suggest active gaming can be an appropriate tool used in 21st century physical education classes that appeals and is desirable to students.

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