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Exergaming in Virtual Reality


As Virtual Reality (VR) is becoming a trend in technology, also available for end users, there are many opportunities for serious and gaming applications. One domain of games for virtual environments are exergames - a combination of exercising and gaming.

Research Topics

  • Usability - Motivation & Engagement 

    • Improving overall experience of users - due to an increase of flow, presence and immersion

  • Social 

    • Multiplayer in VR with possibility to communicate and increases the social presence

  • Data Visualisation

    • Influence of complexity and elements positioning in user interface on experience

  • Sport & Performance 

    • Joint PhD-degree program within the strategic partnership of TUB and UTS 



VR Rowing

Application for Virtual Reality where rowing is used as exercise. The player has an overview from first-person point of view inside of the virtual scull on a lake. Several play modes are implemented with different user interface visualisations for single and multiplayer so far.  

VR Rowing project was presented on Long night of science and was recognised by news “Berliner Zeitung”: https://www.berliner-zeitung.de/berlin/sportler-im-cyberspace-rudern-ohne-nass-zu-werden-30578096


Virtual Reality & Exercise Gaming 

Course as part of Summer and Winter University where goal is that students come up and develop their own exercise games for Virtual Reality. The course is focusing on topics such as: 

  • Introduction to programming for Virtual Reality with Unity
  • Understanding benefits and limitations of VR environments
  • Workshop in designing, prototyping, and developing for one small Exergame in VR 
  • Perform a usability test and use the gathered result during the development

More on: https://www.tu-berlin.de/menue/summer_university/summer_university_term_3/virtual_reality_exercise_gaming/


Influence of UI Complexity and Positioning on User Experience During VR Exergames
Citation key kojic2019a
Author Kojic, Tanja and Sirotina, Uliana and Möller, Sebastian and Voigt-Antons, Jan-Niklas
Title of Book 2019 Eleventh International Conference on Quality of Multimedia Experience (QoMEX)
Pages 1–6
Year 2019
ISSN 2372-7179
DOI 10.1109/QoMEX.2019.8743273
Location Berlin, Germany
Address Piscataway, NJ, USA
Month jun
Note Online
Publisher IEEE
Series QoMEX
How Published Fullpaper
Abstract In past years, as virtual reality (VR) technology is extensively developing, more and more people are using it in different fields. One of the fast developing fields in VR are exergames, a combination of physical exercise and game. With a goal to engage people in physical activity, VR exergames should look and feel good for users. Therefore, user interface (UI) in VR is important and has to be built in a way to enhance user experience. In this paper, ergometer is used together with VR rowing environment as VR exergame for a study aiming to explore possibilities of UI in VR. Accordingly, different metrics commonly used to quantify rowing action (e.g, speed and distance) were visualized. The visualizations that were created had different positioning (closer or further away from the player) and different level of complexity (more or less metrics shown as only numbers or in a gamified design). Participants (N = 27) during experiment for this study rowed four times in different conditions depending were metrics of the game were shown: 1) as a cockpit at the front of the rowing e.g, with gamified visualization of metrics; 2) as a coach boat that follows the player with gamified visualization of metrics on a screen; 3) as a cockpit at the front of the rowing e.g, with digital visualization of metrics; 4) as a coach boat that follows the player with digital visualization of metrics on a screen. Results show that level of UI complexity has a significant influence on readability, while positioning of UI elements significantly influences users' perception of support from system. Furthermore, participants preferred the opposite level of complexity depending on the position where metrics were shown.
Download Bibtex entry
Exergaming in Virtual Reality
Time frame:
04/2016 - 03/2021
QULab contact person:
Tanja KojicJan-Niklas Voigt-Antons 

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