Avatars mirroring the actual self versus projecting the ideal self: The effects of self-priming on interactivity and immersion in an exergame, Wii Fit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

80 Scopus citations

Abstract

As exergames are increasingly being used as an interventional tool to fight the obesity epidemic in clinical studies, society is absorbing their impact to a more intense degree. Interactivity and immersion are key factors that attract exergame consumers. This research asks, What are the effects of priming the actual self versus the ideal self on users' perceived interactivity and immersion in avatar-based exergame playing? and What are important moderators that play a role in exergame users' self-concept perception? To answer these research questions, this study leveraged the Wii's avatar-creating function (Mii Channel) and exergame feature (Wii Fit) in a controlled, randomized experimental design (N=126). The results of a 2×2 factorial design experiment demonstrated the significant main effect of self-priming on interactivity and the moderating role of the actual-ideal self-concept discrepancy in influencing immersion during exergame playing. Game players who created an avatar reflecting the ideal self reported greater perceived interactivity than those who created a replica avatar mirroring the actual self. A two-way ANOVA demonstrated the moderating role of the actual-ideal self-concept discrepancy in determining the effects of the primed regulatory focus on immersion in the exergame play. The underlying theoretical mechanism is derived from and explained by Higgins's self-concept discrepancy perspective. Practical implications for game developers and managerial implications for the exergame industry are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)761-765
Number of pages5
JournalCyberpsychology and Behavior
Volume12
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Applied Psychology
  • Human-Computer Interaction

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