Video Games and Virtual Reality as Persuasive Technologies for

Health Care: An Overview

Yang-Wai Chow
1, Willy Susilo1+, James G. Phillips2, Joonsang Baek1, and Elena Vlahu-Gjorgievska3


1Institute of Cybersecurity and Cryptology, School of Computing and Information Technology

University of Wollongong, Australia

{caseyc, wsusilo, baek}


2Department of Psychology, Auckland University of Technology

Auckland, New Zealand


3Centre for Persuasive Technology and Society, School of Computing and Information Technology

University of Wollongong, Australia



Over the last two decades, persuasive technology has gained much of interest and attention. One of the major disciplines of focus for persuasive technology is health care. The vast majority of persuasive technologies for health care are predominantly based on web and mobile platforms. Nevertheless, video games and virtual reality are recognized as effective persuasive platforms, as computer simulation is a platform for enabling users to observe the immediate and long term relationships between cause and effect. As such, the use of these persuasive technologies can potentially facilitate change in a personís attitudes or behaviors. This paper considers persuasive technology in the form of video games and virtual reality as a means to change attitudes and/or behaviors in the area of health care. The role of these types of computer simulation, their advantages and challenges, along with the incorporation of persuasive strategies in the design of such interactive simulations are discussed in relation to health care.


Keywords: Health Care, Persuasive Technology, Video Games, Virtual Reality


+: Corresponding author: Willy Susilo
School of Computing and Information Technology, University of Wollongong, Northfields Avenue,
Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia, Tel: +61-2-4221-5535


Journal of Wireless Mobile Networks, Ubiquitous Computing, and Dependable Applications (JoWUA)

Vol. 8, No. 3, pp. 18-35, September 2017 [pdf]