Playing in parallel: the effects of multiplayer modes in active video game on motivation and physical exertion

Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw. 2013 Jun;16(6):423-7. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2012.0384. Epub 2013 Mar 19.


Although multiplayer modes are common among contemporary video games, the bulk of game research focuses on the single-player mode. To fill the gap in the literature, the current study investigated the effects of different multiplayer modes on enjoyment, future play motivation, and the actual physical activity intensity in an active video game. One hundred sixty-two participants participated in a one-factor between-subject laboratory experiment with three conditions: (a) single player: play against self pretest score; (b) cooperation with another player in the same physical space; (c) parallel competition with another player in separated physical spaces. We found that parallel competition in separate physical spaces was the optimal mode, since it resulted in both high enjoyment and future play motivation and high physical intensity. Implications for future research on multiplayer mode and play space as well as active video game-based physical activity interventions are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Communication
  • Female
  • Happiness
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Motivation*
  • Physical Exertion*
  • Play and Playthings / psychology
  • Pleasure
  • Recreation / psychology*
  • Social Behavior
  • Video Games / psychology*
  • Young Adult