Meaningful Play 2016 at Michigan State University

Poster Information

TitleDreamy, A Serious Game Designed to Impact Players' Beliefs and Behaviors Related to Indoor Tanning
Presenter(s)Soyoon Kim and Clay Ewing
SessionConference Reception, Game Exhibition, and Poster Session
TimeThursday, October 20, 7:00p-10:00p
LocationMSU Union Ballroom
FormatPoster Presentation
DescriptionThis poster abstract summarizes an ongoing, two-phase project involving the design and evaluation of a serious game (Dreamy) developed to address growing health concerns about the use of indoor tanning facilities among young females. Using the format of an online-dating simulator, Dreamy aims to inform the target group about the true danger of engaging in indoor tanning and, ultimately, to discourage the behavior. Notably, we applied a consistent framework throughout the planning, design, and evaluation processes. In the design phase, for instance, the main components, contents, and mechanics of the game (e.g., characters, dialogues, and mini events) were developed based on the constructs of theoretical models that predict and explain people's health-related beliefs and behaviors. While a considerable body of literature demonstrates the merits of serious games as an alternative to conventional health-intervention tools, such potentials have rarely been tested in the context of addressing indoor-tanning behaviors. In the ongoing evaluation research, we empirically test the effects of the game on various determinants of indoor-tanning behaviors, particularly in comparison with other types of health-intervention tools. In addition, we aim to identify the psychological mechanisms and critical game components that generate such impacts. Lessons from the theory-based game-design process and empirical findings from the ongoing evaluation research using evaluation survey data and real-time play data will add valuable knowledge to the field of social-impact game design for serious purposes and health communication research.

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