What keeps them motivated? Children’s views on an applied game for anxiety
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Number of pages
SourceEntertainment Computing, 29, (2019), pp. 69-74
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI OGG
Applied games for mental health are an addition to current interventions. To successfully implement applied games, appealing games are needed that motivate youth to play and practice. However, applied games are often not as appealing as commercial games. Children’s views on the motivational characteristics of an applied game for anxiety (MindLight) were explored to get insight into what makes games appealing. Four focus groups were conducted with children 8-12 years old. Semi-structured interviews were conducted, containing questions about what in-game activities children liked more and less, and what they would add or remove. The children liked the overall look and feel of MindLight. The level of challenge was not optimal for all children as some indicated that the level of outcome uncertainty was high and the feedback was not clear. Children experienced control to some extent. However, the contingency of their achievements upon their skills was low and power seemed not to be experienced intensely for some children. An iterative and youth-informed game development process with end-user involvement might be important. This might eventually lead to applied games that are effective and engaging, and might enhance the implementation potential of applied games.
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