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Meaningful Play 2016 at Michigan State University

Paper Information

TitleAn Evaluation of Games for Advocacy in Health and Human Rights
Presenter(s)Soroya Julian McFarlane and Lien Tran
SessionIndigenous and Participatory Games
TimeFriday, October 21, 1:00p-2:00p
LocationLake Ontario
FormatPaper Presentation
DescriptionSerious games are designed around a public issue – such as health or a social cause – with the intent to raise awareness or bring about a behavior change through giving players a realistic understanding of the issue. This study primarily contributes qualitative evidence of games as a viable communication platform for advocacy in health and human rights. Using a qualitative design with control groups and treatment groups, 9 focus groups were facilitated in March 2016 with over 50 South African advocacy leaders, representing more than 15 human rights organizations. Participants of the study either played a game or read a report, both based on the same critical human rights issue. Transcribed focus group conversations were analyzed using Nvivo 11 qualitative software, and using a constant comparison analytical method. Preliminary results demonstrated that serious games for health have potential to be effective tools for advocacy for diverse causes and populations, especially at particular levels of prior knowledge or experience by players.
Top Paper AwardThis paper was selected by the program committee as a Meaningful Play 2016 Top Paper. It will be submitted to the Meaningful Play 2016 Special Issue of the International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations (IJGCMS). Due to the copyright requirements of the journal, only the abstract is available in the conference proceedings.

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