Introduction: There is evidence to suggest a potential relationship between the self-determination theory (SDT) and active video games (AVG’s). With the resurgence of AVG’s through Ring-Fit Adventure, this potential relationship needs to be further investigated. It is also pertinent to understand how the participants feel about Ring-Fit Adventure after using it, especially as it may help explain any changes in SDT variables. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of Ring-Fit Adventure on SDT-related variables and understand the experiences of the participants after the intervention.
Methods: 15 adult women participated in Ring-Fit Adventure sessions, which took place twice a week for 45 minutes lasting over 8 weeks. Psychological constructs falling under the realm of SDT were measured by validated surveys. Interviews were conducted at the conclusion of the study and interpretive phenomenological analysis was used to detail how participants made sense of their experience with Ring-Fit Adventure.
Results: Paired samples t-tests from pre-post revealed significant increases in autonomy t(13)=6.27, p<0.00. Competence t(13)=7.05, p<0.00. Relatedness t(13)=4.96, p<0.00. There were significant decreases in more extrinsic regulation: Amotivation(13)=2.49, p=0.03, external regulation t(13)=6.27, p=0.01, interjected regulation t(13)=2.98, p<0.00. There were significant increases in more intrinsic regulation identified regulation t(13)=3.31, p=0.01. Integrated regulation t(13)=6.71, p<0.00. Intrinsic regulation t(13)=5.41, p<0.00. Participants enjoyed the ability to choose exercises, which may support the autonomy findings. The participants also felt confident that they would be able to complete Ring-Fit Adventure sessions at home in the future, which may support the competence findings. All participants stated they enjoyed using Ring-Fit Adventure and 10 of the 14 subjects that completed the study also stated they either intended or wanted to purchase it for themselves to use after the study.
Conclusions: After completing 8 weeks of sessions using Ring-Fit Adventure, there were significant changes in all SDT-related variables. Participants enjoyed using this technology and the experiences with the game may support some of the SDT-related findings. Future studies should focus on increasing and diversifying the sample and determining the duration of the effect.