Games for Change: Looking at Models of Persuasion Through the Lens of Design

  • Alissa N. Antle
  • Joshua Tanenbaum
  • Anna Macaranas
  • John Robinson
Chapter
Part of the Gaming Media and Social Effects book series (GMSE)

Abstract

Games for Change are digital games that purport to change people’s opinions, attitudes, or behaviors around specific issues. While thousands of games have been created, there is little evidence that such games do persuade or contribute to behavior change. To address this problem, address the research question: How do elements of the different models of persuasion and behavior change manifest within Games for Change? We identify and focus on three models: Information Deficit, Procedural Rhetoric, and a new model called Emergent Dialogue. To answer this question, we had to determine what “clues” there were in games that we could use to identify each model of persuasion. Using a collaborative version of a Close Reading methodology we analyzed ten Games for Change about sustainability. Based on our results we propose six categories of design markers. Each marker can be used to identify or implement specific design elements associated with a particular model of persuasion. In this chapter, we describe our methodology, present six categories of design markers, and describe the specific strategies for each marker associated with each of the three models of persuasion. We illustrate each model and its design markers through canonical examples including a new game called Youtopia that we have created to encode the Emergent Dialogue model into a digital game. We conclude with proposed guidelines for game design of Games for Change.

Keywords

Games for change Serious games Sustainability Behavior change Procedural rhetoric Emergent dialogue Persuasion Design framework Design guidelines Close reading 

References

  1. Antle AN, Wise AF, Hall A, Nowroozi S, Tan P, Warren J, Eckersley R, Fan M (2013) Youtopia: a collaborative, tangible, multi-touch, sustainability learning activity. Paper presented at the interaction design for children conference, New York, 24–27 June 2013Google Scholar
  2. Bizzocchi J, Tanenbaum J (2011) Well read: applying close reading techniques to game play experiences. In: Davidson D (ed) Well played 3.0: video games, value, and meaning. ETC-Press, Pittsburgh, pp 262–290Google Scholar
  3. Bogost I (2007) Persuasive games: the expressive power of video games. The MIT Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  4. Bogost I (2008) The rhetoric of video games. In: Salen K (ed) The ecology of games: connecting youth, games, and learning. The MIT Press, Cambridge, pp 117–140Google Scholar
  5. Carr D (2009) Textual analysis, digital games, Zombies. Paper presented at the DiGRA 2009 conference: breaking new ground: innovation in games, play, practice and theory, London, 1–4 Sep 2009Google Scholar
  6. Carr D, Burn A, Schott G, Buckingham D (2003) Textuality in video games. In: DiGRA 2003 conference: level up. Utrecht, Nov 2003Google Scholar
  7. Fogg BJ (2003) Persuasive technology: using computers to change what we think and do. Morgan Kaufmann, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  8. Fogg BJ (2009) A behavior model for persuasive design. Paper presented at the persuasive technologies, Claremont, 26–29 April 2009Google Scholar
  9. Games for Change Society (G4C) (2014) Games for change conference. http://www.gamesforchange.org. Accessed January 8 2014.
  10. Hayes SC, Strosahl K, Wilson KG (1999) Acceptance and commitment therapy: an experiential approach to behavior change. The Guilford Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  11. He HA, Greenberg S, Huang EM (2010) One size does not fit all: applying the transtheoretical model to energy feedback technology design. Paper presented at the conference on human factors in computing systems, Atlanta, 10–15 April 2010Google Scholar
  12. Jesper J (2005) Half-real: video games between real rules and fictional worlds. MIT Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  13. Robinson J (2004) Squaring the circle? Some thoughts on the idea of sustainable development. Ecol Econ 48:369–384CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Tanenbaum J, Antle AN, Robinson J (2011) Procedural rhetoric meets emergent dialogue: interdisciplinary perspectives on persuasion and behavior change in serious games for sustainability. Presented at 12th annual association of internet researchers conference, Seattle, 10–13 Oct 2011Google Scholar
  15. Tanenbaum J, Antle AN, Robinson J (2013) Three perspectives on behavior change for serious games. Paper presented at the conference on human factors in computing systems, Paris, April 27—May 2 2013Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alissa N. Antle
    • 1
  • Joshua Tanenbaum
    • 1
  • Anna Macaranas
    • 1
  • John Robinson
    • 2
  1. 1.Simon Fraser UniversitySurreyCanada
  2. 2.University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

Personalised recommendations