601 Brains, Games, and Behavior Change

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM Thursday, December 8

Playing games is the prototypical example of an intrinsically motivating activity, and motivation in behavior change is a pivotal issue. For example, billions of dollars are spent each year to move our behaviors in a healthier direction and avert conditions such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other costly and painful afflictions. Leveraging the motivational dynamics of gameplay to energize and sustain people through behavior change is a challenging yet profound solution.

In this session, Dustin DiTommaso will double-tap into the techniques game designers use to motivate, engage, and reward players. You will examine the theory and evidence-based methods and models for how games and play can shape our psychological processes, influencing behavior and subjective well-being. You will also explore the delicate balance of challenge and reward, competition and social support, goal setting and scaffolding, and meaningful feedback in game design for behavior change.

NOTE:  Due to a family emergency, the original speaker, Dustin DiTomasso is unable to present this session. Julie Dirksen will be presenting the session.

Julie Dirksen

Learning Strategist

Usable Learning

Julie Dirksen, a learning strategist with Usable Learning, is a consultant and instructional designer with more than 15 years’ experience creating highly interactive eLearning experiences for clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to technology startups to grant-funded research initiatives. She’s interested in using neuroscience, change management, and persuasive technology to promote sustainable long-term learning and behavior change. Her MS degree in instructional systems technology is from Indiana University, and she’s been an adjunct faculty member at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She is the author of Design For How People Learn.

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