Brunner, S. (2022). Analysis, design and prototypical Implementation for matchmaking of multiplayer serious games in stroke rehabilitation [Diploma Thesis, Technische Universität Wien]. reposiTUm. https://doi.org/10.34726/hss.2023.94802
According to the WHO, heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death worldwide, and survivors must undergo extensive rehabilitation to re-learn lost abilities. Home-based rehabilitation becomes increasingly important since patients get released from the hospital earlier, and therapists prescribe home exercises. The patients, though, often need more motivation to perform those exercises. Serious games impart knowledge and thus provide therapeutic applications, such as stroke rehabilitation. Therefore, various authors have tried to solve the motivation problem in performing exercises in rehabilitation by developing serious games. Additionally, multiplayer serious games offer the opportunity to train with other patients in a competitive, collaborative, or cooperative game to overcome the challenges associated with depression or feeling isolated. A few techniques exist to create a multiplayer serious game, including an adaptive mapping technique that balances each player’s skill, adjusting the players’ difficulty level, or creating a simulation of the opponent. Matchmaking strategies in the gaming industry allow players to find a suitable opponent. However, no matchmaking strategy is available in multiplayer serious games for stroke patients. This thesis investigates which matchmaking strategy is suitable for stroke patients enabling them to play a multiplayer serious game that is applicable for rehabilitation purposes. A game shows the utilization of the matchmaking system and ten experts evaluate it. Usability is critical as it can enable stroke survivors to use digital applications independently. Four healthy people tested the matchmaking and the game for usability and took part in the SUS and PSSUQ questionnaires. The usability questionnaires yielded an average score of 82.5 (SUS) and 2.828125 (PSSUQ). Experts conducted a semi-structured interview for a final evaluation, which revealed that they would recommend such an application to their patients.