Persuasive gaming. From theory-based design to validation and back


Keywords: game; playful interaction; storytelling; persuasiveness; case-based validation research; research through design.

The research in this project is concerned with the characteristics, design principles, and effectiveness of persuasive gaming. We study gaming practices that combine the dissemination of information with attempts to engage players in particular behaviors and attitudes. A unique feature of the project is the collaboration with partners in the Dutch game industry enabling us to immediately relate and apply our knowledge drawn from Game Studies, Media Studies, validation research and research on Game Design to practical demands of the industry. Theoretically, we develop the innovative approach of a constant and intense interaction between what is drawn from theory with the actual design of game experiences. The subsequent merger between design and validation research provides a crucial testing ground to assess and validate the value of the knowledge we aim to produce. The process of persuasion is approached from a humanities perspective focusing on the interplay of different persuasive dimensions, including storytelling and playful interaction. The cases extend beyond traditional videogames incorporating also transmedia storytelling platforms and ambient games creating play experiences closely integrated in the context of e.g. city life, therapy or education. The ultimate goal is the construction of a dynamic model for persuasive game development and implementation that is accessible for the industry as well as the research community. We are confident that this close collaboration between the industry and the academic world will contribute to improving the international competitive position of the Dutch game industry.


Book or monography

Chapter in book

Scientific article

Publication meant for a broad audience

Publications for the general public


Project number


Main applicant

Prof. dr. J.F.F. Raessens

Affiliated with

Universiteit Utrecht, Faculteit Geesteswetenschappen, Departement Media- en Cultuurwetenschappen

Team members

Dr. T. de la Hera Conde-Pumpido, Drs. R.S. Jacobs, Drs. M.J.L. Kors


01/10/2013 to 30/11/2017