ENAS is delighted to announce the winner of the prestigious ENAS Award. During our Forum and General Assembly in Trento the Technischen Universität Kaiserslautern has written its name on the ENAS Award roll of honour thanks to its very innovative project “The Game of Tuk”  This innovative project has made “physical activity” a crucial part of the university’s life by connecting students through digital innovation and increasing the participation in sport and physical activity. A great example that can certainly be shared and replicated in many universities of our network.

In collaboration with the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), the chairman of Embedded Intelligence in Computer Sciences, the chairman of “Serious Games Engineering” and the sport Sciences from TUK, an idea cropped up for developing an app in a completely new manner, by using game elements as well as feel and look of fantasy settings such as Harry Potter, The Hunger Games or Game of Thrones to improve the physical activity of the students. Through the app, it was possible not only to reach students who are involved in sports activities during their everyday’s lives, but also those who sit behind their computers most of their time and don’t usually move.

Therefore, the staff created a  new app, called “Game of TUK” that the students can download for free from Play and Apple-Store. The app links virtual to real-life gaming. By providing points though physical activities, the students can compete with each other and play sports and other activities together. Indeed, the app functions as a game master and provides points for physical activity. This layer functions as the nucleus of promoting physical activity. By developing creative campaigns within the app, the university managed to attract 2,800 of 10,000 students to play Game of TUK. Certainly, a great success considering that the level of engagement in physical activities has significantly improved.

By developing creative campaigns within the app, the university managed to attract 2,800 of 10,000 students to play Game of TUK.

The question of whether Game of TUK promotes movement was also investigated in a master thesis. The results displayed that active players moved significantly more, on an average of 618 MET minutes per week, which corresponds to 77 min of intensive physical activity during Game of TUK. In contrast to passive players, the active players stayed physically active one month after Game of TUK. Most players were already intensively active after the IPAQ short (51%). However, 26% were only moderately active and 23% even belong to the group of the less active, including the 5% who are completely inactive.

The Game of Tuk is a great innovation for University sport and we believe that it can be successfully replicated in other colleges and universities. As the winner of the ENAS Award 2019, the Technischen Universität Kaiserslautern will take home €1,500 cash prize, €1,000 worth of kit from our proud sponsors Kukri. But its project will also be an inspiration for ENAS and any institution willing to combine technology with physical activities.