Debra Lieberman Awarded Research Grant on Health Video Games from HopeLab

Award Recipient: 

Debra Lieberman

Award Date: 

Friday, September 1, 2006

Communication lecturer Debra Lieberman was awarded a research grant on Effects of Narrative and Nurturing in a Health Video Game: A Comparative Study of Video Game Features. The granting agency is HopeLab, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health and quality of life of young people with chronic illness. With this grant, Debra is conducting a randomized experiment investigating the effects of four versions of a cancer education video game: (1) with both a narrative story line and the goal of nurturing game characters who have cancer, (2) with narrative and without nurturing, (3) with nurturing and without narrative, and (4) without narrative or nurturing so the game simply becomes a challenge to hit cancer cells with blasts of chemotherapy. The study will help explain how a narrative story line and nurturing of characters, which are key elements of many interactive health games, influence players' engagement, motivation, cancer-related emotions and attitudes, self-efficacy and confidence about cancer prevention, empathy toward cancer patients, cancer-related knowledge, and processes of health behavior change.