Evaluation of a serious gaming intervention to prevent child marriage in Uganda

Kathryn Sharratt, Esther Nanfuka, Sam Mason, Eric Ochen, Florence Turyomurugyendo, Melanie Barwick, John Pearson, Hayley Royston, Nadia Wager

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Prosocial video games have potential to promote prosocial outcomes for players and there has been a recent rise in the use of serious gaming interventions to address gender-based violence. In this study, the effectiveness of a prosocial video-game, ‘Peace’, to prevent attitudes and beliefs that are supportive of child marriage in Uganda was assessed. Additionally, barriers and facilitators to successful implementation in schools were assessed. Uganda has one of the highest rates of child marriage globally, with recent statistics indicating that one in three girls get married or enter a union before the age of 18 (UNICEF, 2021b). This study, using a mixed-methods design, involved 289 young people aged 14–18 from four secondary schools in different regions of Kampala, Uganda. The results suggest that Peace could be utilised as an intervention for educating Ugandan youth on Gender Based Violence issues and preventing the drivers of child marriage and associated issues. The game was found to have modest, short-term positive impacts for both girls and boys on attitudes towards child marriage and feeling empowered to prevent child marriage. Deeper and more sustained learning from the game would require scaffolding though the use of additional curricular activities to create meaningful, sustained changes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107627
Number of pages15
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Early online date1 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023


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