Publication: Modeling the efficacy of persuasive strategies for different gamer types in serious games for health

Persuasive games for health, which are designed to alter human behavior or attitude in a desirable way using various Persuasive Technology (PT) strategies, have attracted the attention of researchers and practitioners as an effective approach for motivating health behavior. Recent years have witnessed an increasing number of games that are aimed at promoting health behaviour; however, these games treat players as monolithic group and adopt a one-size-fits-all approach in their design. Various research on gameplay motivation has shown that treating players as a monolithic group is a bad design approach - only considering that what works for one individual may actually demotivate behavior in others. As an attempt to resolve this weakness, we conducted a large-scale study on 1108 gamers to examine the persuasiveness of ten PT strategies that are commonly employed in persuasive game design, and the receptiveness of seven gamer personalities (gamer types identified by BrianHex) to the ten PT strategies. We developed models showing the receptiveness of the gamer types to the PT strategies to create a series of persuasive profiles, which are a list of strategies that can be employed to motivate behavior for each gamer type. We then explored the differences between the models and propose two approaches for data-driven persuasive game design based on our results. The first is the one-size-fits-all approach that will motivate a majority of gamers, while not demotivating any player. The second is the personalized approach that will best persuade a particular type of gamer. We also compiled list of best and worst strategies that should be employed and avoided respectively for each gamer type. Finally, to bridge the gap between game design researchers and persuasive technology researchers, we map common game mechanics to the persuasive system design strategies.

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Participants

Rita Orji Julita Vassileva
University of Saskatchewan
Regan Mandryk
University of Saskatchewan

Citation

Orji, R., Vassileva, J., Mandryk, R.L. 2014. Modeling the efficacy of persuasive strategies for different gamer types in serious games for health. In User Model User-Adaptive Interaction, vol. 24 no. 5, 453-498. DOI=10.1007/s11257-014-9149-8.

BibTeX

@article {342-Published1,
author= {Rita Orji and Julita Vassileva and Regan Mandryk},
title= {Modeling the efficacy of persuasive strategies for different gamer types in serious games for health},
booktitle= {User Model User-Adaptive Interaction},
year= {2014},
volume= {24},
number= {5},
pages= {453-498}
}