The Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam started a project in 2010 with the aim to increase the wellbeing of ROC-students by stimulating purposeful behavior. Compared to other students their age, ROC-students experience a worse physical and mental health. Theories on well-being suggest pursuing intrinsic authentic goals contributes to mental health. To start the proces of meaningful goal pursuit, students need to think about what they really want, what is important to them and what they want to do with their lives. The goal of this graduation project is helping the target group discovering these intrinsic authentic motivations in life by persuading them to answer questions concerning their personal identity and life goals. This will provide the fundament of goal pursuit, which will further be supported in the education program developed by Erasmus MC. This classroom intervention program, which is called “Droom denk doe” (Dream think do), teaches the students to set goals and how to succeed in pursuing them step-by-step.
Applying Visch’ persuasive game design model (2013), an iterative design process resulted in the concept ‘Legacy Tag’. A website ‘Legacy Life’ has been developed on which the students can create a legacy consisting desired life experiences, passions, skills, characteristics, and a motto. By persuading the users to self-expression the website facilitates the creation of a legacy to brings intrinsic authentic goals to the surface. The user is persuaded by building up the challenge of self-reflection from inspiring and choosing to self-generation and making the user curious about the outcome. A wooden tag with the legacy text engraved in it transfers the insights from the game world to the real world. This ‘Legacy Tag’ reminds the user of this personal legacy and can facilitate a link to short-term goals. By evoking feelings of pride and hope the tag could support self-determined action to pursue authentic intrinsic goals.
The website has been developed and improved after a final user evaluation study to make the concept fully functioning, and arrangements with a laser cut company have been made in order to make production and distribution of the legacy tags possible. As such, the design has been included in a large-scale study to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention program throughout the school year 2013-2014. This study will teach us more about the effect on self-determined pursuit of intrinsic authentic goals and the effect on well-being of ROC-students.
V.T. Visch, G.J. Pasman
master thesis, November 2013