Persuasive Gaming

From theory-based design to validation and back

The “Persuasive Gaming in Context” project (2013-2018) is a collaboration between the Utrecht University, Eindhoven University of Technology, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Erasmus University Rotterdam, IJsfontein, Submarine, and funded by the The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The research in this project is concerned with the characteristics, design principles, and effectiveness of Persuasive Games.

Persuasive Games are interactive entertainment designed to shape how the player thinks and feels about issues in reality, or simply games designed with the intent to shape player’s attitudes. 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. By following a Research through Design approach we generate knowledge through the design of exemplar persuasive games.

Driven by industry we currently focus on the opportunities of immersive multi-sensory experiences to support the transfer of persuasive messages in games, and subsequently question what design strategies are successful for the persuasive game design process.


Joost Raessens and Teresa de la Hera (Utrecht University), Jeroen Jansz and Ruud Jacobs (Erasmus University Rotterdam),  IJsfontein and Submarine


The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research

Related Publications

Kors, Martijn, Erik van der Spek, and B. A. Schouten (2015). Foundation for the Persuasive Gameplay Experience. In Proceedings of the 10th Foundations of Digital Games Conference. Pacific Grove, CA, USA.

Kors, Martijn. 2015. “Towards Design Strategies for the Persuasive Gameplay Experience.” In Proceedings of the 2015 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play, 407–10. CHI PLAY ’15. London, United Kingdom. 

Kors, Martijn, Erik van der Spek, Gabriele Ferri, and Ben Schouten (2016). Occasionally a Dull Moment. Designing for Introspection and Retrospection in Persuasive Games. Morality Play 2016, DiGRA/FDG Workshop on The Design of Games for Moral Engagement 

Kors, Martijn, Gabriele Ferri, Erik van der Spek, Cas Ketel, and Ben Schouten (2016). A Breathtaking Journey. On the Design of an Empathy-Arousing Mixed-Reality Game. In Proceedings of the 2016 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play (CHI PLAY '16) (pp. 91–104). New York, NY, USA: ACM. 

Kors, Martijn, Karel Millenaar, Erik van der Spek, Gabriele Ferri, Ben Schouten and Tim Marsh (2017, Accepted In-Press). Shaping Attitudes Across Realities. Exploring Strategies for the Design of Persuasive Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality Games. In Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Entertainment Computing 2017. Tsukuba, Japan. 

de Smale, Stephanie, Martijn Kors, Alyea Sandovar (2017, Accepted In-Press). The Case of This War of Mine: A Production Studies Perspective on Moral Game Design. In Games and Culture, special issue on Morality Play.