Introducing Liberi Exergames
A significant number of Canadian children, especially those with neurodevelopmental disorders, are unable to meet the national recommendation of 60 minutes of daily physical activity. Many of these children face challenges in motor coordination, hindering their participation in traditional games and sports. In response to this challenge, researchers at Holland Bloorview and Queen’s University joined forces to develop Liberi Exergames, a series of pedal-to-play games that promote cardiovascular fitness and social interaction.
How it works
Players pedal a modified recumbent bike and use a hand-held controller to control their in-game avatar. Liberi Exergames brings users through cooperative, interactive environments to navigate virtual challenges such as running from a fire-breathing lizard, fighting off an invasion of zombie cats, and playing space hockey. The games also feature heart rate powerups, which reward players in the game for achieving and maintaining their target heart rate. What is unique is that Liberi incorporates player-balancing algorithms, which adjust the level of difficulty to allow people of different physical abilities to play together.
Trials have shown that Liberi provides exercise levels comparable to organized sports, offering an engaging and socially enriching gaming experience for children with conditions such as ASD, CP, and FASD.
Holland Bloorview is grateful to the following key partners for their financial and resource support: Canadian Tire Corporation, the Ontario Brain Institute (OBI), and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).
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