Path of Trust: A Prosocial Co-op Game for Building up Trustworthiness and Teamwork

  • Konstantinos C. ApostolakisEmail author
  • Kyriaki Kaza
  • Athanasios Psaltis
  • Kiriakos Stefanidis
  • Spyridon Thermos
  • Kosmas Dimitropoulos
  • Evaggelia Dimaraki
  • Petros Daras
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9599)


In this paper, a two-player digital game is presented, that attempts to balance the exciting game content and story-driven elements mostly associated with games in the entertainment industry with a serious game agenda. The latter focuses on teaching children aged 7–10 the importance of understanding the benefits of cooperation as well as expressing trustworthiness. Gamification of Prosocial Theory has led to several game mechanics being redefined, in order to turn traditional games’ elements of competition into cooperation evaluation mechanisms. Using these mechanisms, children are called upon to adapt their gameplay behavior towards expressing prosociality and understanding each other’s needs. Our experiments solidify this concept, by showcasing promising indications on the game’s potential to help children understand when it is a good idea to adopt a prosocial behavior.


Serious games Prosocial behavior Game design Multiplayer games 



The research leading to this work has received funding from the EU Horizon 2020 Framework Programme under grant agreement no. 644204 (ProsocialLearn project).


  1. 1.
    Anderson, C.A., Bushman, B.J.: Effects of violent video games on aggressive behavior, aggressive cognition, aggressive affect, physiological arousal, and prosocial behavior: a meta-analytic review of the scientific literature. Psychol. Sci. 12(5), 353–359 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Anderson, C.A., Bushman, B.J.: Human aggression. Psychology 53(1), 27 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Anderson, C.A., Gentile, D.A., Buckley, K.E.: Violent Video Game Effects on Children and Adolescents. Oxford University Press, New York (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Anderson, C.A., Gentile, D.A., Dill, K.E.: Prosocial, antisocial, and other effects of recreational video games (2012)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Baniqued, P.L., Kranz, M.B., Voss, M.W., Lee, H., Cosman, J.D., Severson, J., Kramer, A.F.: Cognitive training with casual video games: points to consider. Front. Psychol. 4, 1–19 (2013)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Brams, S.J., Jones, M.A., Klamler, C.: Proportional pie-cutting. Int. J. Game Theor. 36(3–4), 353–367 (2008)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Buday, R., Baranowski, T., Thompson, D.: Fun and games and boredom. Games Health Res. Dev. Clin. Appl. 1(4), 257–261 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Colman, A.M.: Cooperation, psychological game theory, and limitations of rationality in social interaction. Behav. Brain Sci. 26(02), 139–153 (2003)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Dostál, J.: Educational software and computer games-tools of modern education. J. Technol. Inf. Educ. 1(1), 24–28 (2009)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Finnegan, D.J., Velloso, E., Mitchell, R., Mueller, F., Byrne, R.: Reindeer & wolves: exploring sensory deprivation in multiplayer digital bodily play. In: Proceedings of the First ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play, pp. 411–412. ACM (2014). ISO 690Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Gentile, D.A., et al.: The effects of prosocial video games on prosocial behaviors: international evidence from correlational, longitudinal, and experimental studies. Personal. Soc. Psychol. Bull. 35, 752–763 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Jones, G.R., George, J.M.: The experience and evolution of trust: implications for cooperation and teamwork. Acad. Manag. Rev. 23(3), 531–546 (1998)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Keltner, D., Kogan, A., Piff, P.K., Saturn, S.R.: The sociocultural appraisals, values, and emotions (SAVE) framework of prosociality: core processes from gene to meme. Annu. Rev. Psychol. 65, 425–460 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    LeBlanc, M.: Tools for creating dramatic game dynamics. In: Salen, K., Zimmerman, E. (eds.) The Game Design Reader: A Rules of Play Anthology, pp. 438–459. MIT Press, Cambridge (2006)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Matysiak Szóstek, A., Soute, I.: Support of social skill development in children age 7–10 through technology aided games (2010)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    McClarty, K.L., Orr, A., Frey, P.M., Dolan, R.P., Vassileva, V., McVay, A.: A literature review of gaming in education. In: Gaming in Education (2012)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Nouchi, R., Taki, Y., Takeuchi, H., Hashizume, H., Nozawa, T., Kambara, T., Kawashima, R.: Brain training game boosts executive functions, working memory and processing speed in the young adults: a randomized controlled trial. PloS One 8(2), e55518 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Owen, A.M., Hampshire, A., Grahn, J.A., Stenton, R., Dajani, S., Burns, A.S., Ballard, C.G.: Putting brain training to the test. Nature 465(7299), 775–778 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Penner, L.A., Dovidio, J.F., Piliavin, J.A., Schroeder, D.A.: Prosocial behavior: multilevel perspectives. Annu. Rev. Psychol. 56, 365–392 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Purchese, R.: Temple Run 2 is the fastest-spreading mobile game ever. Eurogamer.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Konstantinos C. Apostolakis
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kyriaki Kaza
    • 1
  • Athanasios Psaltis
    • 1
  • Kiriakos Stefanidis
    • 1
  • Spyridon Thermos
    • 1
  • Kosmas Dimitropoulos
    • 1
  • Evaggelia Dimaraki
    • 2
  • Petros Daras
    • 1
  1. 1.Information Technologies InstituteCentre for Research and Technology HellasThessalonikiGreece
  2. 2.Ellinogermaniki AgogiPalliniGreece

Personalised recommendations