Confidence in behaviour changes through serious games

What do we understand by serious games? What would be the link between them and behavioural changes? Or, better yet, can confidence in behaviour change through serious games?

eConfidence, funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, was launched in November 2016 to research and test, in 24 months, how confidence in behaviour changes through serious games.

A serious game is a game designed for a primary purpose other than pure entertainment. Serious games have become a popular tool for knowledge transfer, behavioural, perceptual or cognitive change. However, serious games have been subject to several studies aiming to test their effectiveness.

eConfidence focuses on the use of serious games in education and the potential benefits in behavioural change for children. The project aims to test a methodology with two serious games considering behavioural aspects for the safe use of internet and bullying. The games will be tested in different Spanish and English schools addressing 12 to 14 year olds, in a storytelling manner bringing the players into an activity where both a deeper understanding of the theme and how this can be changed and improved in their own behaviours. The games will be tested in a pilot programme during the academic year 2017/2018, offering the possibility to ten schools to participate.

eConfidence will provide new opportunities for tracking and analysing learners' behavioural data and interpreting them in an educationally meaningful way. The outcomes of the project aim to improve the assessment of progress, performance, learning outcomes, game quality and user appreciation.

Furthermore, behaviour analysis might be able to assist game designers in sorting out conceptual and analytical frameworks to improve gamification. Having an improved understanding of basic principles of behavior, and adopting a more conceptually systematic framework, will provide more effective and successful gamification strategies to game development small- and medium enterprises (SMEs). This will provide higher return of investment through timesaving replicable processes.

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