The influence of virtual reality play on children's motivation

Can J Occup Ther. 2005 Feb;72(1):21-9. doi: 10.1177/000841740507200107.


Purpose: This study explored the degree of motivation children exhibit during virtual reality (VR) play sessions.

Method: Sixteen children with cerebral palsy aged 8 to 12 years participated. They were observed during a variety of VR environments that were video recorded. The Pediatric Volitional Questionnaire (PVQ) was used to measure children's motivation. The PVQ provides insights into children's inner motives as well as how the virtual environment enhances or attenuates children's motives. Nine VR environments were randomly selected to score with the PVQ.

Results: Data were analyzed and descriptive statistics were calculated for modes and medians of total volition scores for each VR environment. Different environments produced varying levels of volitional behaviour. The features of environments that produced higher levels of volition included challenge, variability and competition.

Practice implications: The overall volitional scores of children with cerebral palsy in the current study indicate that VR play is a motivating activity and thus has potential as a successful intervention tool.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Palsy / rehabilitation*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motivation*
  • Play and Playthings*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • User-Computer Interface*