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See detailA Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Interventions for Sexual Health Promotion Involving Serious Digital Games.
DeSmet, Ann; Shegog, Ross; Van Ryckeghem, Dimitri UL et al

in Games for health journal (2015), 4(2), 78-90

OBJECTIVE: Serious games may be effective in promoting sexual health behavior. Their confidential nature may encourage users to discuss sensitive sexuality topics. Furthermore, they can tailor messages to ... [more ▼]

OBJECTIVE: Serious games may be effective in promoting sexual health behavior. Their confidential nature may encourage users to discuss sensitive sexuality topics. Furthermore, they can tailor messages to the individual's needs and may be intrinsically motivating. This meta-analysis investigates the effectiveness of interventions for sexual health promotion that use serious games. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A database search was conducted in PubMed, Web of Science, CINAHL, and PsycINFO for publications before the end of July 2013. Serious digital games studies measuring effects on behavior or its determinants, using a control condition, allowing the calculation of an effect size (Hedges' g, random-effects model) were included. RESULTS: Seven game studies for sexual health promotion were included. These showed positive effects on determinants (g=0.242; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.129, 0.356), albeit of small effect size. The effects on behavior, measured in only two studies, were not significant (g=0.456; 95 percent confidence interval, -0.649, 1.561). Most games did not use many game features that are considered to be immersive or enhancing flow. Instead, there was a strong reliance on pure gamification features, such as rewards and feedback. CONCLUSIONS: The effectiveness of the next generation of games may be enhanced by building on the behavioral change and educational gaming literatures (e.g., using role-play and simulation game formats, individual tailoring, offering adaptation in the difficulty of the challenge, and amount and timing of the feedback). There is a need for studies with rigorous evaluations of game effectiveness, longer-term follow-up, and using measures of behavior rather than merely their determinants. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 42 (6 UL)
Peer Reviewed
See detailA meta-analysis of serious digital games for healthy lifestyle promotion.
DeSmet, Ann; Van Ryckeghem, Dimitri UL; Compernolle, Sofie et al

in Preventive medicine (2014), 69

Several systematic reviews have described health-promoting effects of serious games but so far no meta-analysis has been reported. This paper presents a meta-analysis of 54 serious digital game studies ... [more ▼]

Several systematic reviews have described health-promoting effects of serious games but so far no meta-analysis has been reported. This paper presents a meta-analysis of 54 serious digital game studies for healthy lifestyle promotion, in which we investigated the overall effectiveness of serious digital games on healthy lifestyle promotion outcomes and the role of theoretically and clinically important moderators. Findings showed that serious games have small positive effects on healthy lifestyles (g=0.260, 95% CI 0.148; 0.373) and their determinants (g=0.334, 95% CI 0.260; 0.407), especially for knowledge. Effects on clinical outcomes were significant, but much smaller (g=0.079, 95% CI 0.038; 0.120). Long-term effects were maintained for all outcomes except for behavior. Serious games are best individually tailored to both socio-demographic and change need information, and benefit from a strong focus on game theories or a dual theoretical foundation in both behavioral prediction and game theories. They can be effective either as a stand-alone or multi-component programs, and appeal to populations regardless of age and gender. Given that effects of games remain heterogeneous, further explorations of which game features create larger effects are needed. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 56 (1 UL)