Serious games going beyond the Call of Duty: Impact of an advertising literacy mini-game platform on adolescents’ motivational outcomes through user experiences and learning outcomes
As adolescents’ advertising literacy is not yet fully developed with regard to non-traditional advertising, they should be made more resilient to this contemporary advertising. Therefore, the current study conducted a three-level, between-subjects experiment (advertising literacy intervention: control condition versus informational booklet versus serious mini-game platform) to examine the effectiveness of advertising literacy interventions among adolescents (aged ten to sixteen). The results showed that an advertising literacy intervention (compared to no intervention) increased Belgian adolescents’ (N = 211, Mage = 13.22) perceived dispositional advertising literacy, and subsequently, their motivation to critically reflect on advertising. In addition, the advertising literacy serious mini-game platform (compared to the informational booklet) increased the experience of flow among the adolescents, which in turn positively affected enjoyment, and perceived learning. Perceived learning then further increased adolescents’ motivation to critically reflect on advertising and their motivation to interact with the learning materials.
Adams, B., Schellens, T., & Valcke, M. (2017). Promoting adolescents’ moral advertising literacy in secondary education. Comunicar: Media Education Research Journal, 25(52), 93-103. https://doi.org/10.3916/C52-2017-09
Admiraal, W., Huizenga, J., Akkerman, S., & Ten Dam, G. (2011). The concept of flow in collaborative game-based learning. Computers in Human Behavior, 27, 1185-1194. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2010.12.013
An, S., Jin, H. S., & Park, E. H. (2014). Children’s advertising literacy for advergames: Perception of the game as advertising. Journal of Advertising, 43, 63-72. https://doi.org/10.1080/00913367.2013.795123
Annetta, L. A., Minogue, J., Holmes, S. Y., & Cheng, M.-T. (2009). Investigating the impact of video games on high school students’ engagement and learning about genetics. Computers & Education, 53, 74-85. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2008.12.020
Austin, E. W., & Johnson, K. K. (1997). Immediate and delayed effects of media literacy training on third grader’s decision making for alcohol. Health Communication, 9, 323-349. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327027hc0904_3
Backlund, P., & Hendrix, M. (2013). Educational games-are they worth the effort? A literature survey of the effectiveness of serious games. In 2013 5th International Conference on Games and Virtual Worlds for Serious Applications (VS-GAMES) (pp. 1-8). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1109/VS-GAMES.2013.6624226
Baker, M. J., & George, L. M. (2010). The role of television in household debt: Evidence from the 1950’s. The BE Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, 10(1), article 41. https://doi.org/10.2202/1935-1682.2393
Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US: Prentice-Hall, Inc.
Barzilai, S., & Blau, I. (2014). Scaffolding game-based learning: Impact on learning achievements, perceived learning, and game experiences. Computers & Education, 70, 65-79. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2013.08.003
Bellotti, F., Kapralos, B., Lee, K., Moreno-Ger, P., & Berta, R. (2013). Assessment in and of serious games: An overview. Advances in Human-Computer Interaction. Advanced online publication. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/136864
Boush, D. M., Friestad, M., & Rose, G. M. (1994). Adolescent skepticism toward TV advertising and knowledge of advertiser tactics. Journal of Consumer Research, 21, 165-175. https://doi.org/10.1086/209390
Boyle, E. A., Hainey, T., Connolly, T. M., Gray, G., Earp, J., Ott, M., … Pereira, J. (2016). An update to the systematic literature review of empirical evidence of the impacts and outcomes of computer games and serious games. Computers & Education, 94, 178-192. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2015.11.003
Brom, C., Buchtová, M., Šisler, V., Děchtěrenko, F., Palme, R., & Glenk, L. M. (2014). Flow, social interaction anxiety and salivary cortisol responses in serious games: A quasi-experimental study. Computers & Education, 79, 69-100. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2014.07.001
Brom, C., Preuss, M., & Klement, D. (2011). Are educational computer micro-games engaging and effective for knowledge acquisition at high-schools? A quasi-experimental study. Computers & Education, 57, 1971-1988. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2011.04.007
Brucks, M., Armstrong, G. M., & Goldberg, M. E. (1988). Children’s use of cognitive defenses against television advertising: A cognitive response approach. Journal of Consumer Research, 14, 471-482. https://doi.org/10.1086/209129
Caspi, A., & Blau, I. (2008). Social presence in online discussion groups: Testing three conceptions and their relations to perceived learning. Social Psychology of Education, 11, 323–346. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11218-008-9054-2
Connolly, T. M., Boyle, E. A., MacArthur, E., Hainey, T., & Boyle, J. M. (2012). A systematic literature review of empirical evidence on computer games and serious games. Computers & Education, 59, 661-686. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2012.03.004
Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. New York: Harper & Row.
De Jans, S., Hudders, L., & Cauberghe, V. (2017). Advertising literacy training: The immediate versus delayed effects on children’s responses to product placement. European Journal of Marketing, 51, 2156-2174. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJM-08-2016-0472
De Jans, S., Hudders, L., & Cauberghe, V. (2018). Adolescents’ self-reported level of dispositional advertising literacy: How do adolescents resist advertising in the current commercial media environment? Young Consumers, 19, 402-420. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/YC-02-2018-00782
De Jans, S., Van Geit, K., Cauberghe, V., Hudders, L., & De Veirman, M. (2017). Using games to raise awareness: How to co-design serious mini-games? Computers & Education, 110, 77-87. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2017.03.009
Donohue, T. R., Henke, L. L., & Meyer, T. P. (1983). Learning about television commercials: The impact of instructional units on children’s perceptions of motive and intent. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 27, 251-261. https://doi.org/10.1080/08838158309386490
Eagle, L. (2007). Commercial media literacy: What does it do, to whom—and does it matter? Journal of Advertising, 36(2), 101-110. https://doi.org/10.2753/JOA0091-3367360207
Fransen, M. L., Verlegh, P. W. J., Kirmani, A., & Smit, E. G. (2015). A typology of consumer strategies for resisting advertising, and a review of mechanisms for countering them. International Journal of Advertising, 34, 6-16. https://doi.org/10.1080/02650487.2014.995284
Frazer, A., Argles, D., & Wills, G. (2007). Is less actually more? The usefulness of educational mini-games. In Seventh IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (ICALT 2007) (pp. 533–537). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1109/ICALT.2007.173
Friestad, M., & Wright, P. (1994). The persuasion knowledge model: How people cope with persuasion attempts. Journal of Consumer Research, 21, 1-31. https://doi.org/10.1086/209380
Hamari, J., Shernoff, D. J., Rowe, E., Coller, B., Asbell-Clarke, J., & Edwards, T. (2016). Challenging games help students learn: An empirical study on engagement, flow and immersion in game-based learning. Computers in Human Behavior, 54, 170-179. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2015.07.045
Hayes, A. F. (2018). Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis: A regression-based approach. New York: Guilford Publications.
Hoffman, D. L., & Novak, T. P. (2009). Flow online: Lessons learned and future prospects. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 23, 23–34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.intmar.2008.10.003
Hou, H.-T. (2015). Integrating cluster and sequential analysis to explore learners’ flow and behavioral patterns in a simulation game with situated-learning context for science courses: A video-based process exploration. Computers in Human Behavior, 48, 424-435. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2015.02.010
Hudders, L., Cauberghe, V., & Panic, K. (2016). How advertising literacy training affect children’s responses to television commercials versus advergames. International Journal of Advertising, 35, 909-931. https://doi.org/10.1080/02650487.2015.1090045
Hudders, L., Pauw, P. D., Cauberghe, V., Panic, K., Zarouali, B., & Rozendaal, E. (2017). Shedding new light on how advertising literacy can affect children’s processing of embedded advertising formats: A future research agenda. Journal of Advertising, 46, 333-349. https://doi.org/10.1080/00913367.2016.1269303
Hung, C.-Y., Sun, J. C.-Y., & Yu, P.-T. (2015). The benefits of a challenge: Student motivation and flow experience in tablet-PC-game-based learning. Interactive Learning Environments, 23, 172-190. https://doi.org/10.1080/10494820.2014.997248
Hwang, G.-J., Wu, P.-H., & Chen, C.-C. (2012). An online game approach for improving students’ learning performance in web-based problem-solving activities. Computers & Education, 59, 1246-1256. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2012.05.009
Illanas, A. I., Gallego, F., Satorre, R., & Llorens, F. (2008). Conceptual mini-games for learning. Paper presented at the IATED International Technology, Education and Development Conference, Valencia, Spain. Retrieved from https://rua.ua.es/dspace/bitstream/10045/8495/1/illanas08conceptual.pdf
John, D. R. (1999). Consumer socialization of children: A retrospective look at twenty-five years of research. Journal of Consumer Research, 26, 183-213. https://doi.org/10.1086/209559
Jonker, V., Wijers, M., & Van Galen, F. (2009). The motivational power of mini-games for the learning of mathematics. In Proceedings of the 3rd European Conference on Gamebased Learning (ECGBL) (pp. 202–210). Reading, UK: Academic Conferences Ltd.
Juul, J. (2010). A casual revolution: Reinventing video games and their players. Cambridge, MA: MIT press.
Ke, F., & Grabowski, B. (2007). Gameplaying for maths learning: Cooperative or not? British Journal of Educational Technology, 38, 249-259. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8535.2006.00593.x
Kiili, K. (2005). Content creation challenges and flow experience in educational games: The IT-Emperor case. The Internet and Higher Education, 8, 183-198. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2005.06.001
Kiili, K. (2005). Digital game-based learning: Towards an experiential gaming model. The Internet and Higher Education, 8, 13-24. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2004.12.001
Lapierre, M. A., Fleming-Milici, F., Rozendaal, E., McAlister, A. R., & Castonguay, J. (2017). The effect of advertising on children and adolescents. Pediatrics, 140(Suppl. 2), S152-S156. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2016-1758V
Lapowsky, I. (2014, March 3). Why teens are the most elusive and valuable customers in tech. Inc. Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/issie-lapowsky/inside-massive-tech-land-grab-teenagers.html
Marfisi-Schottman, I., George, S., & Tarpin-Bernard, F. (2010). Tools and methods for efficiently designing serious games. In Proceedings of the 4th European Conference on Games Based Learning (ECGBL) (pp. 226–234). Reading, UK: Academic Conferences Ltd.
Nairn, A. (2014). Advertising and child well-being. In A. Ben-Arieh, F. Casas, I. FrØnes, & J.E. Korbin (Eds.), Handbook of child well-being (pp. 2031-2055). London: Springer.
Nelson, M. R. (2016). Developing persuasion knowledge by teaching advertising literacy in primary school. Journal of Advertising, 45, 169-182. https://doi.org/10.1080/00913367.2015.1107871
Ofcom. (2017, November 29). Children and parents: media use and attitudes report 2017. Retrieved from https://www.ofcom.org.uk/research-and-data/media-literacy-research/childrens/children-parents-2017
Papastergiou, M. (2009). Digital game-based learning in high school computer science education: Impact on educational effectiveness and student motivation. Computers & Education, 52, 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2008.06.004
Pekrun, R., Goetz, T., Frenzel, A. C., Barchfeld, P., & Perry, R. P. (2011). Measuring emotions in students’ learning and performance: The Achievement Emotions Questionnaire (AEQ). Contemporary Educational Psychology, 36, 36-48. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cedpsych.2010.10.002
Pekrun, R., Goetz, T., Titz, W., & Perry, R. P. (2002). Academic emotions in students’ self-regulated learning and achievement: A program of qualitative and quantitative research. Educational Psychologist, 37, 91-105. https://doi.org/10.1207/S15326985EP3702_4
Pine, B. J., Peppers, D., & Rogers, M. (2009). Do you want to keep your customers forever? Brighton, MA, US: Harvard Business Press.
Prensky, M. (2003). Digital game-based learning. Computers in Entertainment (CIE), 1, 21–21. https://doi.org/10.1145/950566.950596
Prensky, M. (2005). In educational games, complexity matters: Mini-games are trivial–but “‘complex’”games are not. Educational Technology, 45(4), 22-28. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/44429218
Prensky, M. (2008). Students as designers and creators of educational computer games: Who else? British Journal of Educational Technology, 39, 1004-1019. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8535.2008.00823_2.x
Qian, M., & Clark, K. R. (2016). Game-based Learning and 21st century skills: A review of recent research. Computers in Human Behavior, 63, 50-58. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2016.05.023
Refiana, L., Mizerski, D., & Murphy, J. (2005). Measuring the state of flow in playing online games. In Proceedings of ANZMAC 2005 Conference, Marketing Research and Research Methodologies (quantitative) (pp. 108-113).
Ritterfeld, U., Cody, M., & Vorderer, P. (2009). Serious games: Mechanisms and effects. New York: Routledge.
Ritterfeld, U., & Weber, R. (2006). Video games for entertainment and education. In P. Vorderer & J. Bryant (Eds.), Playing video games: Motives, responses, and consequences (pp. 399-413). Mahwah, NJ, US: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.
Roberts, D. F., Christenson, P., Gibson, W. A., Mooser, L., & Goldberg, M. E. (1980). Developing discriminating consumers. Journal of Communication, 30(3), 94-105. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1460-2466.1980.tb01996.x
Rosas, R., Nussbaum, M., Cumsille, P., Marianov, V., Correa, M., Flores, P., … López, V. (2003). Beyond Nintendo: Design and assessment of educational video games for first and second grade students. Computers & Education, 40, 71-94. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0360-1315(02)00099-4
Rozendaal, E., Lapierre, M. A., Van Reijmersdal, E. A., & Buijzen, M. (2011). Reconsidering advertising literacy as a defense against advertising effects. Media Psychology, 14, 333-354. https://doi.org/10.1080/15213269.2011.620540
Rozendaal, E., Opree, S. J., & Buijzen, M. (2016). Development and validation of a survey instrument to measure children’s advertising literacy. Media Psychology, 19, 72-100. https://doi.org/10.1080/15213269.2014.885843
Scaife, M., Rogers, Y., Aldrich, F., & Davies, M. (1997). Designing for or designing with? Informant design for interactive learning environments. In Proceedings of the ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human factors in computing systems (pp. 343-350). New York, NY, US: ACM.
Smith, P. A., & Sanchez, A. (2010). Mini-games with major impacts. In J. Cannon-Bowers & C. Bowers (Eds.), Serious Game Design and Development: Technologies for Training and Learning (pp. 1–12). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-61520-739-8.ch001
Statista. (2019a). Global kids ad spend 2019. Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/750865/kids-advertising-spending-worldwide/
Statista. (2019b). Serious games revenues worldwide 2023. Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/733616/game-based-learning-industry-revenue-world/
Sung, H.-Y., & Hwang, G.-J. (2013). A collaborative game-based learning approach to improving students’ learning performance in science courses. Computers & Education, 63, 43-51. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2012.11.019
Susi, T., Johannesson, M., & Backlund, P. (2007). Serious games: An overview. Skövde: Institutionen för kommunikation och information.
Trefry, G. (2010). Casual game design: Designing play for the gamer in all of us. Burlington, MA, US: Elsevier Inc.
Vanwesenbeeck, I., Wolf, D., Lambrecht, I., Hudders, L., Cauberghe, V., Adams, B., … Lissens, S. (2016). Minors’ advertising literacy in relation to new advertising formats: identification and assessment of the risks. AdLit SBO.
Verhellen, Y., Oates, C., De Pelsmacker, P., & Dens, N. (2014). Children’s responses to traditional versus hybrid advertising formats: The moderating role of persuasion knowledge. Journal of Consumer Policy, 37, 235-255. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10603-014-9257-1
Vorderer, P., Klimmt, C., & Ritterfeld, U. (2004). Enjoyment: At the heart of media entertainment. Communication Theory, 14, 388-408. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2885.2004.tb00321.x
Wollslager, M. E. (2009). Children’s awareness of online advertising on Neopets: The effect of media literacy training on recall. SIMILE: Studies In Media & Information Literacy Education, 9(2), 31-53.Wouters, P., Van Nimwegen, C., Van Oostendorp, H., & Van Der Spek, E. D. (2013). A meta-analysis of the cognitive and motivational effects of serious games. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105, 249-265. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0031311
Zarouali, B., Verdoodt, V., Walrave, M., Poels, K., Ponnet, K., & Lievens, E. (2018). Adolescents’ persuasion skills and privacy protection strategies in the context of targeted advertising on social networking sites: Implications for regulation. Paper presented at 17th International Conference on Research in Advertising (ICORIA), Valencia, Spain.