STD PONG 2.0: AN AFRICAN-CENTRIC PERSUASIVE GAME FOR PROMOTING RISKY SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR CHANGE
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This thesis presents the design, development, and field evaluation of a persuasive game for health titled STD PONG 2.0, aimed at promoting risky sexual behaviour change among African youths. The arcade-style game simulates various risky sexual behaviours that could lead to contracting STDs, their symptoms, how they are transmitted, and how to avoid them. It engages players in an interactive manner using persuasive strategies, with the aim of imparting knowledge and skills about safe sexual behaviours/practices, how to avoid risky sexual behaviours, and hence motivate desirable behaviour change. The game also uses the engaging concept of the popular ping-pong game, making them easy to learn and play, hence attractive to a wider audience. The results of the field evaluation on 62 African youths showed that STD PONG 2.0 was effective at motivating risky sexual behaviour change by promoting a positive attitude, intention, and self-efficacy against risky sexual behaviours. The game also led to a significant increase in the knowledge of the participants about sexually transmitted diseases. The results of the evaluation also showed that players had a positive experience from playing the game (play experience) and that they found the game really persuasive as shown by the overall persuasiveness measure.