Promoting Healthy Adolescent Lifestyles Through Serious Games: Enacting a Multidisciplinary Approach

  • Ian DunwellEmail author
  • Laura A. Condon
  • Kim C. M. Bul
  • Alexandra R. Lang
  • Sarah Atkinson
  • Neil S. Coulson
  • Emily Collins


Long-term health risks associated with unhealthy lifestyles present a significant current and future burden for healthcare providers. Adolescence represents a critical time for intervention, as habits formed during this period can persist throughout adult life. Given the prevalence of gaming as an entertainment medium amongst adolescents, and subsequent potential for engagement, the use of serious games to promote changes in lifestyle behaviour offers a potential solution. Creating such games requires a breadth of multidisciplinary expertise, working collaboratively to create research-informed designs which reflect both behavioural theory and entertainment game design best practices. In this chapter, challenges and benefits associated with multidisciplinary design are identified and discussed, with strategies presented to overcome and avoid potential issues. With reference to a current project, the perspectives of the theorist, iterative designer, and game developer are contrasted, providing a reference for future projects implementing multidisciplinary approaches to serious game design.


Games for health Multidisciplinary design Lifestyle intervention Serious games 



This work has been part supported by the European Commission under the collaborative project PEGASO (“Personalised Guidance Services for Optimising Lifestyle in Teenagers”) funded by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme, FP7-ICT-2013-10.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian Dunwell
    • 1
  • Laura A. Condon
    • 2
  • Kim C. M. Bul
    • 1
  • Alexandra R. Lang
    • 3
  • Sarah Atkinson
    • 3
  • Neil S. Coulson
    • 2
  • Emily Collins
    • 4
  1. 1.Faculty of Engineering, Environment, and ComputingCoventry UniversityCoventryUK
  2. 2.School of MedicineUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK
  3. 3.Human Factors Research Group, Faculty of EngineeringUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK
  4. 4.UCL Centre for Behaviour ChangeUniversity College LondonLondonUK

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