Project description

The project GEMPLAY (GEndered games Motivating PhysicaL ActivitY) aims to promote regular physical exercise by incorporating personalized, gender-inclusive game experiences that reflect the preferences of various user types. The goal is to generate positive behavioral patterns as well as health benefits on a long-term basis.

To achieve these goals, the project GEMPLAY focuses on the following disciplines:

  • Movement behavior
    In the course of evaluation, the definition of movement behavior and preferences of each person provide the basis for the selection of possible game concepts. In consideration of individual characteristics, appropriate games are chosen, which promote physical exercise.
  • Play behavior
    Gender-specific differences regarding play behavior and preferences for computer games should be identified on closer consideration. In GEMPLAY different characteristics of movement promoting games are analyzed systematically in regard to their gender relevance. Thereby, user-specific requirements and preferences are identified, which are translated into gender-specific game concepts with persuasive content.
  • Persuasion
    The field of persuasion deals with influencing of people by the use of persuasive strategies. In the project GEMPLAY such strategies are analyzed in the context of technologies and personalized game concepts. Thereby, the focus is on investigating and strengthening the acceptance and persuasiveness of personalized, gender-specific games.

An essential part of the current research project is the gender-scientific grounded approach. Thereby, gender-related aspects are not only regarded in their particular subdisciplines, but also in the entire scientific discourse of the concept. The following image emphasizes this correlation and the interdisciplinarity of the research project.

GEMPLAY grounding


To have knowledge of the user´s needs and preferences forms the basis of a sensible way of gender-related personalization. In the context of physical exercise promoting games, the fields of movement behavior, play behavior and persuasion as well as their correlation with different life situations of both men and women are – as already mentioned – of importance. In order to promote physical activity by the use of gender-specific and playful persuasive strategies, for the target group of men as well as women, the project GEMPLAY adopts the following strategy:

  1. Identification of gender aspects regarding movement, gaming and persuasion, and creating structural models
    Differences and similarities between both sexes regarding movement behavior, gaming and persuasion are identified by comprehensive empirical research. By integrating further characteristics, sophisticated structural models are created, which cover the aspects of movement behavior, play behavior and persuasion.
  1. Creation of user types and personas for physical exercise promoting games
    Based on the found coherences between individual characteristics and aspects of movement behavior, play behavior and persuasion, user types are created. They define distinct types of users, which have to be supported differently in physical exercise promoting games. For each user type a representative persona is created, based on gender distribution and the distribution of other characteristics.
  1. Development and evaluation of gender-specific, physical activity promoting game concepts and creation of design guidelines
    Based on the user types and personas, specific approaches for games with an explicitly personalized focus are designed. Thereby, specific as well as inclusive concepts are developed and evaluated, which are designed for single and multiple user types. The result is an iteratively revised catalog of game concepts and a collection of design guidelines for gender-specific, physical activity promoting games.