Onderwerp scriptie

Serious games and ‘fun’ interventions to promote healthy behavior

Serious games are games that are used for purposes other than mere entertainment (e.g., education, training, therapy). The use of serious games is starting to emerge in commercial settings as well in health-related settings. Serious games form an interesting direction for health communication, because serious games are fun and may therefore reach of groups that are otherwise difficult to reach (such as low educated individuals).

Especially serious games to influence food choice and food consumption make an interesting case. Impressive foreign games promoting healthy diets exist that might be easily adapted to fit the Dutch market. Moreover given that Dutch serious game designers are among the best in the world, new and innovative serious games aimed at improving health behaviors could be developed and evaluated as well. But in relation to foods, serious games might also have a downside when games are used for marketing unhealthy palatable foods (so-called advergames). The potential positive and negative effects of serious food-related games warrant empirical scrutiny.