DiGRA.nl 2017– Games for Change

The Dutch DiGRA Chapter (DiGRA.nl), the forum for game research in the Netherlands, is organising a meeting on Games for Change on February 7, 2017.

The meeting is hosted by the focus area Game Research.

More information about the program can be found here

The speakers in alphabetical order are:

ValleyWatch, a purposeful game for medical image annotation

Machine learning algorithms have shown to be very effective for analyzing medical scans. However, these algorithms need manually annotated images, and the annotation process is time-consuming. Crowdsourcing – asking internet users to carry out tasks - has been proposed to overcome this problem. Our results show that untrained crowd users were able to annotate airways in lung scans, which could be useful for diagnosis and monitoring of lung diseases. In this talk we present ValleyWatch - a game for crowdsourcing airway annotations on a large scale.

Veronika Cheplygina Eindhoven University of Technology / Erasmus Medical Center


Dylan Dophemont, Hogeschool Rotterdam

Ice Skating Game, played by refugees and Dutch children in an educational setting

The purpose of this project is to explore how exergames (digital games combining exercise with game play) and the playful interactions fostered during play can contribute to establish, reinforce or change the nature of social interactions among refugees and Dutch children in school classes. In this case we focus on cooperative play, as a form to enable cooperative interaction. Through this approach, participants are asked to cooperate in a situation in which they share common goals and equal status, as form to facilitate opportunities for intercultural interaction.

Teresa de la Hera Utrecht University


Catrin Frinkenauer, Utrecht University,
Claudine Lamoth, University of Groningen,
Eugène Loos, Utrecht University,
Amanda Paz, Erasmus University Rotterdam,
Monique Simons, Utrecht University

Procedural Arguments of Persuasive Games: An Elaboration Likelihood Perspective

The project at hand will apply analytical game design to test effects of procedural rhetoric in persuasive games on their players. An existing and previously tested persuasive game is re-created and iteratively modified to reconfigure different aspects of its procedural rhetoric, e.g. making the experience more or less mentally taxing. By designing four versions of the same game, we aim to provide insight into whether players’ ability to elaborate on a game’s message affects to which degree they are persuaded by either weak or strong procedural rhetoric, following findings in other media based on the Elaboration Likelihood Model.

Ruud Jacobs Erasmus University Rotterdam


Stefan Werning Utrecht University

Investigating the effects of the persuasive game Against All Odds on immersion, identification, and willingness to help

In Nijmegen and Rotterdam, we conducted three studies to test the effects of a persuasive game about the refugee crisis on willingness to help. Immersion and identification were investigated as potential mediators. The results showed that playing the persuasive game did not result in significantly stronger willingness to help, relative to a no-treatment control condition (Study 1 and 2) and watching a video of an edited recorded game play session (Study 3). The talk will focus on Study 3, in particular on the results with respect to identification. Playing the game resulted in significant higher perceptions of embodied presence (as an identity component) than watching recorded game play, but watching recorded game play resulted in higher levels of similarity identification. We argue that the results did not yield evidence that a persuasive game about the refugee crisis is more effective than other media. Future research is needed to identify which characteristics of persuasive games increase or decrease their effectiveness. Special attention should be given to embodied presence as a potential mediator of the effects of persuasive games.

Jeroen Jansz Erasmus University Rotterdam


Annika Meeuwes, Erasmus University Rotterdam,
Jonathan van ’t Riet, Radboud University Nijmegen,
Laura van der Voorden, Radboud University Nijmegen

Towards Systemic Representations

In an increasingly fragmented and complex reality, institutionalized education and public debate are still firmly routed in traditional linear and static medial representations. This disconnect might very well be understood as the "crisis of representation“ Lyotard identified when describing the postmodern condition. While much focus has been on the bias of recent public narratives, less attention has been paid to the question how competing positions and intricate relationships between political and technical developments can be represented. What is needed here is a change towards “systemic thinking.” Games (and other interactive forms) have a central role in enabling this change.


Hartmut Koenitz, lector Interactive Narrative Design HKU

Space inequalities in City Building Games

City Building Games often neglect issues of spatial inequalities: the notion of the ideal city is embedded in the mechanics of the game and even though players seem to have immense power, their utopic visions are somewhat constraint by the game design. I present You Place it! a serious game that takes into account spatial inequalities. It confronts the players with the challenges and the problems of mega-cities while creating the possibility to imagining alternative solutions for their development. At the same time, it allows players to experience the value of collaboration and to assess the relevance of communication in the negotiation of space, supporting community empowerment.

Paola Monachesi Utrecht University

VilDu?! N=1: promising first implementation of therapeutic game

It is hard to talk about sexual abuse. Even more so if children lack the vocabulary to put experiences into words. VilDu?! is a playful tool that helps clients to visualise their story. Our first implementation was rather successful. The tool appears to lower various barriers to talk about sexual abuse. We are looking for a researcher and budget to engage in an implementation study in order to convince other professionals to use the VilDu?! in their daily practice.