What makes it work? Mapping effective game mechanics for health game user research

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Many research projects have assessed the possibility and effectiveness of implementing games as health interventions. Recent literature shows generally positive results in specific case studies. However we acknowledged that research projects in this field regularly seem to disregard the connection to possible effective game mechanics, design principles and behavior change theories to underpin such results. Evidently most of these studies were intended and designed solely as randomized controlled trials (rct’s) to validate effectiveness of health interventions. We propose a theoretical framework to assess whether and on what grounds certain behavioral effects may be attributed to particular game mechanics and game play aspects. Our model is founded on the Elaboration Likelihood Model of Persuasion (ELM), which is quite appropriate to guide the evaluation structure for interventions that either aim at short term or long term attitude and behavior change. By means of an analysis of the working principles in the renowned game-based intervention Re-Mission we propose a small step towards such a framework.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Serious Games Conference 2014
Subtitle of host publicationBridging communities, harnessing technologies and enriching lives
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-09-0463-0
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event1st International Symposium on Simulation & Serious Games (ISSSG) 2014 - KINTEX, Ilsan, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 23 May 201424 May 2014
Conference number: 1st


Conference1st International Symposium on Simulation & Serious Games (ISSSG) 2014
Abbreviated titleISSSG 2014
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of
Internet address


  • computer games
  • health care
  • behaviour


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