Research Results for Racket: Nx
Racket: Nx is a racket and ball-based game played inside a giant glass dome. The walls light up with targets to hit with the ball, which can glide along the wall depending on the strength of the hit. It can be played either in single player mode or multiplayer mode.
A total of 18 participants played Racket: Nx during the study, 9 male and 9 female between the ages of 20-55; however only 14 questionnaires were completed due to a technical issue. Participants played in single player mode with their dominant hand first and then were asked to switch to their other hand and play through the same levels again.
Heart rate and rate of perceived exertion
Each participant’s heart rate (HR) was recorded throughout their playthrough and afterwards a questionnaire was completed, which included reporting a rate of perceived exertion (RPE). RPE was given on a scale of 6-20, with 6 being no exertion and 20 being maximum exertion and the RPE was converted to HR to compare actual exertion to perceived exertion. Participants played for between 6:30 and 34:30 minutes, with a total of 06:51:44 hours played between all participants. Participant M stopped playing early due to discomfort from trying to flick their wrist to glide the ball along the wall.
On average, Racket: Nx was found to induce a moderate level of exercise (64-76% of maximum HR (HRmax)), with a range of 45.5-90.7%. While the HR of two participants showed they had exercised at a very light intensity, one of these participants had hypertension, which leads to a lower heart rate, and the other stopped playing early due to discomfort. If these outliers are excluded, the average percentage of HRmax increases from 65.5% to 67.7% – still a moderate level of exercise. 4 participants exercised at a hard intensity, 7 participants exercised at a moderate intensity, 5 participants exercised at a light intensity and two participants, as mentioned above, exercised at a very light intensity. 9 participants had a lower perceived exertion than actual exertion, whilst 5 participants had a higher perceived exertion than actual exertion. The details about each participant’s HR and RPE are shown below in table 1 – figures were rounded to 1 decimal place.
Table 1. HR and RPE.
The questionnaires were answered using a Likert Scale of 1-7.
On average, participants found Racket: Nx to be:
- Slightly difficult
- Motivational to get a high score
On average, from playing Racket: Nx, participants:
- Felt challenged to solve problems
- Felt mentally refreshed after playing
- Would choose to play this game again
- Would spend money on this game
- Put a lot of effort into playing the game
- Were motivated to get a high score
- Felt immersed in the game
11 out of the 14 who answered the questionnaire noted that they would have chosen to play this game for longer if given the chance – on average up to 30 minutes longer, and up to 1 hour longer for one participant. On average, Racket: Nx was not found to be boring or uncomfortable to play, and was neither thought to be stressful nor relaxing. All but two participants who answered the questionnaire, would choose to play this game again and spend money on this game. Two participants felt that the game was uncomfortable to play – one of these participants stopped playing early due to discomfort. The questionnaire answers are shown below in tables 2, 3, 4 and 5.
Table 2. Questionnaire answers (1: describes the game poorly, 7: describes the game very well).
Table 3. Questionnaire answers continued (1: very inaccurate, 7: very accurate).
Table 4. Overall ratings (1: highly unsatisfactory, 7: highly satisfactory).
Table 5. Comments.
In conclusion, Racket: Nx induces a moderate level of exercise on average, with the level of exertion dependent on the player; from a light intensity (50-63% of HRmax) to hard intensity (64-76% of HRmax), when outliers are excluded. Participants found Racket: Nx to be fun and exciting with all participants immersed in the game and all except one motivated to get a high score and to put a lot of effort into the game. The majority of comments and questionnaire answers were positive. One participant felt discomfort from flicking the wrist to get the ball to glide along the wall; therefore it should be noted that players need to warm up properly before playing the game, focusing particularly the wrist, elbow and shoulder joints, and should be careful not to over extend these joints whilst playing. Focus should be on using the whole arm and body to get the power needed to glide the ball, rather than just flicking the wrist.
The full scientific paper regarding this study is currently being peer-reviewed for publishing. You can check out a brief overview of the study here.
You can purchase Racket: Nx for Steam here, Oculus Rift here and Oculus Quest here. It can be cross-bought between Oculus headsets and you can play multiplayer with people from any of the available VR platforms!