Aesthetic and ethical value stances in sport, play, and movement-games

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Innovation in sport and movement has established itself as a multidisciplinary practice in which part of the innovations are various digital artefacts supporting physical activity, also termed movement games. In this empirical and philosophical study, we examine a multitude of value stances on an ethical-aesthetic continuum. Value stances are defined as philosophically embracing virtues, values, logics or lenses. We find that balancing the multitude of ethical-aesthetical value stances and with respect to “the purposefulness of no purpose” in doing sport, play, and physical movement, is vital in designing sustainable movement-games. Using artefacts such as heart rate monitors, GPS trackers, and other fitness trackers all acts for the quantifiable self. Similarly, mobile games, exergames, exertion-games, and play installations for physical activity have found their way into private and public spaces. These movement-games have a somewhat utilitarian user approach often designed mainly for health gains, not harvesting the full potential of seeing the users as social and physical moving human existences. This restricted user approach raises the question; what value stances may enhance the design of sustainable movement-games? The Danish existentialist philosopher Søren Kierkegaard stated that the aesthetic dimension denotes that humans strive to perform and feel well and to have pleasurable experiences. The ethical dimension refers to the human aspiration to do good based on interhuman normative standards. In our contemporary society we aim mainly at the aesthetic – pleasurable experiences – and perhaps too little "being" – "as an ethical dimension of life". The analysis in this paper takes its point of departure in sport and health students’ reflections on their stances of doing movement and, further, their forming of value stances for five different proto-personas. The identified value stances that we merged into ten value stances unfolded in an ethical-aesthetic continuum. The identified value stances are; Fellowship, Empathy, Recognition, Play, Compete, Fun & Happiness, Mastery, Self-realisation, Health, and Immersion. The value stances are discussed by drawing on previous work on virtues and lenses in creating movement-games. In conclusion, we propose four distinct movement and design recommendations that we find valuable to include in the development of digital movement-games.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 13th International Conference on Game Based Learning, ECGBL 2019
EditorsLars Elbaek, Gunver Majgaard, Andrea Valente, Saifuddin Khalid
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International
Publication dateOct 2019
ISBN (Electronic)9781912764389
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019
Event13th International Conference on Game Based Learning, ECGBL 2019 - Odense, Denmark
Duration: 3. Oct 20194. Oct 2019


Conference13th International Conference on Game Based Learning, ECGBL 2019
SeriesProceedings of the European Conference on Games-based Learning


  • Digital design
  • Digital movement games
  • Human physical movement
  • Philosophy
  • Sport services
  • Stances
  • Virtues

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