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Serious Games for Emergency Preparedness: Evaluation of an Interactive vs. a Non-Interactive Simulation of a Terror Attack
Authors: Chittaro L., Sioni R.
Published in: Computers in Human Behavior, Vol. 50, September 2015, pp. 508–519.
Abstract: Emergency preparedness is a relevant emerging application of serious games. A general issue in exploiting such approach concerns the breadth of the population that can be reached by serious games. Indeed, serious games need to be actively played and this can restrict their user population, because there are people who have no experience with video games or do not like them or do not have the proper hardware to play them. Moreover, there are organizational contexts in which a noninteractive presentation is preferred because it can be given in a more convenient and less costly way with simple traditional media, i.e., printed materials, slides or videos. This paper deals with the possibility of generating and using a non-interactive version of the experience provided by serious games. First, we propose a serious game that simulates a mass emergency caused by a terror attack in a train station. To obtain design guidance, we explore psychological models that explain how people are motivated to protect themselves from danger. Then, we generate the non-interactive version of the terror attack simulation and we contrast it with the interactive version. Results of our study show that both versions of the simulation can provide positive outcomes in learning, risk severity perception and self-efficacy, but they differ in how much they affect user’s threat appraisal and emotional response.