Submitted to: Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: April 21, 2011
Publication Date: July 1, 2012
Citation: Thompson, D.J. 2012. Designing serious video games for health behavior change: Current status and future directions. Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology. 6(4):807-811. Technical Abstract: Serious video games for health are designed to entertain while changing a specific health behavior. This article identifies behavioral principles that can guide the development of serious video games focused on changing a variety of health behaviors, including those attempting to decrease risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Guidelines discussed include how to develop video games that provide a solid foundation for behavior change by enhancing a player’s knowledge and skill; ways in which personal mastery experiences can be incorporated into a video game environment; using game characters and avatars to promote observational learning; creating personalized experiences through tailoring; and the importance of achieving a balance between "fun-ness" and "seriousness". The article concludes with suggestions for future research needed to inform this rapidly growing field.