Though exercise has been shown to reduce self-stimulatory behavior and increase academic success in children with autism, these children often have very sedentary lifestyles due to a fascination with technology, irregular movement patterns, and increased social isolation. We present a virtual reality exercise game which was designed to match these user requirements, allowing the child to interact with an immersive, single-player virtual reality game which fosters balance and coordination. We performed a system evaluation with neurotypical individuals without autism aged 5-50, and received extremely positive results. We found a correlation between the users’ perceived exertion, their motivation from the game, and their subjective perception of how well-designedAstrojumper was as an exergame. An evaluation with children with autism is in progress.



Game Play Video of Astrojumper in UNC-Charlotte’s Vis Center using the Cave.

Astrojumper being played via Microsoft’s Kinect.

Related Publications:

Astrojumper: Motivating children with autism to exercise using a VR game

Finkelstein, S., Nickel, A., Barnes, T., and Suma, E. In ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), pages 4189–4194, 2010.
Finkelstein, S., Nickel, A., Barnes, T., and Suma, E. In IEEE Virtual Reality, pages 267–268, 2010.

Development Team:

Samantha Finkelstein

Zachary Lipps

Outside Developers:

Evan Suma

Previous Developers:

Andrea Nickel

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