Evaluation of the Usability and Playability of an Exergame for Executive Functions Stimulation and Its Development Process

  • João Batista MossmannEmail author
  • Eliseo Berni Reategui
  • Débora Nice Ferrari Barbosa
  • Rochele Paz Fonseca
  • Caroline de Oliveira Cardoso
  • Vitor Caetano Silveira Valadares
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10275)


The present article shows the process of development of an active-play video game, also known as exergame, focused on stimulating Executive Functions (EF), more specifically inhibitory control in children in the early years of elementary school. In addition to presenting EF and inhibitory control concepts, this article also approaches the creation process of the game. Furthermore, it also analyzes data obtained from a pilot trial that was carried out for a month with a boy from the targeted group. The purpose of this trial was to evaluate if the project was suitable to be tested in an experimental group.


Exergame Educational games Executive functions Inhibitory control Cognitive development 


  1. Ahn, M., Kwon, S., Park, B., Cho, K., Choe, S.P., Hwang, I., Jang, H., Park, J., Rhee, Y., Song, J.: Running or gaming. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology, pp. 345–348 (2009)Google Scholar
  2. Baba, Y., Tschang, F.T.: Product development in Japanese TV game software: the case of an innovative game. Int. J. Innov. Manage. 05(04), 487–515 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barbosa, D.N.F., Bassani, P.B.S., Martins, R.L., Mossmann, J.B., Barbosa, J.L.V.: Using mobile learning in formal and non-formal educational settings. In: Zaphiris, P., Ioannou, A. (eds.) LCT 2016. LNCS, vol. 9753, pp. 269–280. Springer, Cham (2016). doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-39483-1_25 Google Scholar
  4. Boehm, B.W.: A spiral model of software development and enhancement. SIGSOFT Softw. Eng. Not. 11(4), 14–24 (1986)Google Scholar
  5. Brock, L.L., Rimm-Kaufman, S.E., Nathanson, L., Grimm, K.J.: The contributions of hotand cool executive function to childrens academic achievement, learning-related behaviors, and engagement in kindergarten. Early Childhood Res. Q. 24(3), 337–349 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Campbell, J.: The Hero with a Thousand Faces, vol. 17. New World Library, New York (2008)Google Scholar
  7. Carlson, S.M., Moses, L.J.: Individual differences in inhibitory control and childrens theory of mind. Child Devel. 72(4), 1032–1053 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Diamond, A.: Executive functions. Ann. Rev. Psychol. 64, 135–168 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Diamond, A.: Effects of physical exercise on executive functions: going beyond simply moving to moving with thought. Ann. Sports Med. Res. 2(1), 1011 (2015)Google Scholar
  10. Finco, M.D., Reategui, E., Zaro, M.A., Sheehan, D.D., Katz, L.: Exergaming as an alternative for students unmotivated to participate in regular physical education classes. Int. J. Game-Based Learn. (IJGBL) 5(3), 1–10 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Glass, B.D., Maddox, W.T., Love, B.C.: Real-time strategy game training: emergence of a cognitive flexibility trait. PLoS One 8(8), e70350 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Klingberg, T., Fernell, E., Olesen, P.J., Johnson, M., Gustafsson, P., Dahlstrom, K., Gillberg, C.G., Forssberg, H., Westerberg, H.: Computerized training of working memory in children with ADHD-a randomized, controlled trial. J. Am. Acad. Child Adolesc. Psychiatry 44(2), 177–186 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Luna, B.: Developmental changes in cognitive control through adolescence. Adv. Child Devel. Behav. 37, 233–278 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Mossmann, J.B., Barbosa, D.N.F., Barros, P.R., Silva, R.N., Valadares, V.C.S., Goncalves, B.T., Fischer, R.E.C., Brochetto, V.: Busca de evidências da aplicação da teoria da carga cognitiva em um exergame de dança. In: SBC - Proceedings of SBGames 2015, pp. 368–375 (2015)Google Scholar
  15. Murphy-Hill, E., Zimmermann, T., Nagappan, N.: Cowboys, ankle sprains, and keepers of quality: how is video game development different from software development? In: Proceedings of the 36th International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE 2014, New York, NY, USA, pp. 1–11 (2014)Google Scholar
  16. Salum, G., Sergeant, J., Sonuga-Barke, E., Vandekerckhove, J., Gadelha, A., Pan, P., Moriyama, T., Graeff-Martins, A., de Alvarenga, P.G., do Rosario, M., et al.: Specificity of basic information processing and inhibitory control in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Psychol. Med. 44(03), 617–631 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Sommerville, I.: Software Engineering, 7th edn. Addison-Wesley, Reading (2004)Google Scholar
  18. Sweller, J., Ayres, P., Kalyuga, S.: Cognitive Load Theory. Explorations in the Learning Sciences, Instructional Systems and Performance Technologies. Springer, New York (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Tschang, F.T.: Videogames as interactive experiential products and their manner of development. Int. J. Innov. Manage. 9(01), 103–131 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Visu-Petra, L., Cheie, L., Benga, O., Miclea, M.: Cognitive control goes to school: the impact of executive functions on academic performance. Procedia-Soc. Behav. Sci. 11, 240–244 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • João Batista Mossmann
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Eliseo Berni Reategui
    • 1
  • Débora Nice Ferrari Barbosa
    • 2
  • Rochele Paz Fonseca
    • 3
  • Caroline de Oliveira Cardoso
    • 3
  • Vitor Caetano Silveira Valadares
    • 4
  1. 1.PGIEFederal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS)Porto AlegreBrazil
  2. 2.Doctored Cultural Diversity and Social InclusionFeevale UniversityNovo HamburgoBrazil
  3. 3.Post-Graduate Program of Psychology - Human CognitionPontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande Do Sul (PUCRS)Porto AlegreBrazil
  4. 4.Digital GamesFeevale UniversityNovo HamburgoBrazil

Personalised recommendations