Games that win you over: Influences and mechanisms of persuasive games

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


People are playing games more than ever before and the group of people that can be described as ‘gamers’ is becoming broader each year. At the same time, games are maturing: though the medium is still often associated with mindlessness and violence, players are increasingly recognising that certain game experiences are moving them on an emotional level, motivating them to reflect on their place in the world. Game developers are able to embed meaningful messages in their games with staggering finesse. Nowhere is this more apparent than with persuasive games, which have been developed with the primary intention of making players think about a certain topic and even change players’ real-world behaviour. By researching persuasive games on topics as diverse as slavery practices in Uzbekistan, abuse in romantic relationships, and even the dangers of using WhatsApp while driving, it has not only become clear that these games are affecting their players, but also how they are affecting them. More specifically, this presentation will discuss two recent studies that showed that the gameplay (the way in which the player interacts with the game world) in a persuasive game can be designed to offer a persuasive message independently of the rest of the experience. Player actions generate feedback from the game world, leading players to draw their own conclusions about how the real world works. This presentation will explain this persuasive mechanism (called ‘procedural rhetoric’) using example games that have been developed by Dutch and international individuals and organisations.
Period21 Jun 2019
Event titleBessensap 2019
Event typeConference
LocationAmsterdam, NetherlandsShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational