Background Image
Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  261 / 658 Next Page
Basic version Information
Show Menu
Previous Page 261 / 658 Next Page
Page Background


Thursday, November 10

1 4 : 3 0 – 1 6 : 0 0

lic. The game presents key events from Czechoslovakia’s contemporary history and enables players to“experience”these events from different perspectives.

It aims to develop deeper understanding of the multifaceted political, social and cultural aspects of this time period. Its content stems from historical

research and personal testimonies. Emphasis is given on the diversified historical experiences of the population, including previously marginalized groups.

Players in the game interact with the“eyewitnesses”in the present and“travel”back in time through these“eyewitnesses’”memories evoked during conver‑

sations. The individual testimonies are oftentimes contradictory, incomplete, or the“eyewitnesses”simply do not want to talk about certain aspects of their

past with the players. As a result, players have to critically evaluate the gained information, exert social skills and empathy, and analytically approach

the social constructions of history. The primary aim of this paper is to critically discuss the design challenges stemming from adapting the real-persons’ –

oftentimes emotionally and ethically loaded – testimonies in order to construct the in-game narratives. In particular, the paper discusses the intersections

and tensions between educational aims and gameplay, authenticity and fictionality, and gaming and learning mechanics. The secondary aim of this paper

is to investigate the acceptance of Czechoslovakia 38–89: Assassination by Czech teachers and students as a teaching tool for history education. The game

has been evaluated in 40 Czech high school classes in 2014–2015. The evaluation’s key results show that students perceive the game to be attractive,

authentic and immersive. They self-report it enables them to develop a better understanding of the time period. For teachers, the game is a learning tool

that motivates students to learn about Czech contemporary history, stimulates debates and inquiries, and provides multifaceted perspectives on historical

events. Nevertheless, the experimental implementation shed light on several important issues, namely the discrepancy between the game and the existing

educational practice in the teaching of history. On a more general level, this paper critically discusses the possibilities and limitations of serious games to

deal with contentious and emotionally-charged issues from contemporary history, particularly in the Central and Eastern European context.

PP 185

The Persuasive Roles of Digital Games: The Case of Cancer Games

T. de la Hera Conde-Pumpido



Utrecht University, Media and Culture Studies, Utrecht, Netherlands

The persuasive potential of digital games has been proven to be useful to change, reinforce or shape the attitude and/or behavior of players in several fields

such as advertising, pro-social communication or healthcare. However, if we pay attention to the different academic definitions used for the concept of per‑

suasive games, and the different categories of persuasive goals studied within this field, it can be concluded that there is no consensus on what researchers

mean when they refer to persuasion through digital games. While some researchers relate persuasion through digital games to their capacity to convey

persuasive messages, others focus their attention on their capacity to trigger specific behaviors or facilitating specific interactions among players. The dif‑

ferences in the way persuasion through digital games is defined and studied are the result of the complex nature of this practice. This complexity is not only

due to the wide range of possible applications but also due to the complexity of the process of persuasion itself and how the specificities of digital games

have an influence in this process. For this reason, it is necessary to provide theoretical frameworks that can serve to analyze the use of different persuasive

strategies in relation to different persuasive goals. In this study I use the conceptual framework of behavior scientist B.J. Fogg, who described the overlap

between persuasion and interactive technology, to argue that it is possible to identify three different roles of digital games when used with persuasive

intentions: digital games can be used as media for persuasion, as tools for persuasion and as social actors for persuasion. In their role as media, digital games

can provide compelling meaningful experiences that persuade players by conveying specific messages. In their role as tools, digital games are designed

to influence and motivate people in specific ways by making activities easier or more efficient to do. Finally, in their role as social actors, digital games can

persuade players by applying persuasion principles that humans employ to persuade others. Fogg’s framework, that is based on the role computer tech‑

nology plays for users, does not explain how specific persuasive potentials of digital games can be linked to specific persuasive roles, question that I will

address within this paper. In order to illustrate my arguments, I analyze how the three roles of digital games have been used in the field of healthcare, and

specifically for the design of cancer games. Previous research has shown that digital games are an effective vehicle for cancer-related healthcare persuasive

strategies. Furthermore, it is possible to find several research-based cancer-related persuasive games designed for this purpose. In this paper I use several

examples of cancer games to show how this topic can be addressed from different approaches when different persuasive roles of digital games are used to

promote desired health behaviors in cancer patients. My analysis is theoretical in nature and it is done to identify which specificities of digital games are

acting as a tool, medium, social actor, or some combination of the three roles.