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Title: Applying the self-determination theory in computer games for health communication.
Authors: Leow, Shallyn Xue Ling.
Keywords: DRNTU::Social sciences::Communication
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: Serious games have been proven effective in achieving educational and health communication goals in past research for decades. However, the role of game enjoyment has not been considered as a main factor although it is one of the most important features in video games, and has been found to influence health-related outcomes in previous health communication game studies. Recent research showed that media enjoyment satisfies intrinsic needs, highlighting its importance in motivating individuals to perform specific tasks. Self-determination theory (SDT) has been proven successful as a framework to study intrinsic motivation in both health promotion and video game enjoyment, yielding positive outcomes. Hence it would be sensible to examine how SDT could work with game enjoyment in health promotion. This study aims to illustrate how SDT could address the issues of low awareness and motivations pertaining to cardiovascular wellness among youths by: 1) examining how an individual’s sense of self-determination (sense of autonomy and sense of relatedness) when playing a health communication computer game could influence his knowledge, attitudes, and behavioral intentions towards the given issue, and 2) testing the potential mediating effects of game enjoyment on one’s sense of self-determination in influencing his knowledge gain, attitude change, and behavioral intentions. A 2X2 between-subjects factorial experiment conducted with 130 secondary school students aged between 13 and 16, by exposing them to a computer game developed for the dissemination of cardiovascular wellness messages and the administration of paper-and-pencil pre- and post-survey questionnaires. The results revealed that the interaction effect between one’s sense of autonomy and sense of relatedness could influence his knowledge gain and behavioral intentions, but not attitude change, in cardiovascular wellness. In addition, one’s sense of autonomy independently led to higher ratings of the game’s enjoyment level, and a sense of relatedness led to a significant increase in behavioral intentions. The paper discussed the theoretical and practical implications of the findings and provided recommendations for future health communication game development.
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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