Designing Game-based Moral Courage

Wolfgang Hochleitner, Jeremiah Diephuis, Anke Schneider, Julia Himmelsbach

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingsChapterpeer-review


We describe an approach to designing games that convey the principles and actions related to moral courage. We show that these games can be categorized as persuasive social impact games because they aim to trigger a specific behavioral change, namely acting morally courageous to become an active bystander ready to intervene when necessary. We base our design strategies on findings from the literature that identify relatedness and autonomy as important aspects of moral courage. Together with a list of factors that enable morally courageous behavior, we develop a narrative used in three distinct game designs for a hybrid card game, a virtual reality experience, and an urban game. We give a list of essential considerations that should be considered for the narrative as well as aspects of the VR experience. We also describe the games, report findings from user tests and discuss the paradox of agency that can occur with such games. Our results indicate that these games were effective as people could expand their repertoire of actions and initiate a process of reflection.
Translated title of the contributionGestaltung von spielebasierter Zivilcourage
Original languageEnglish (American)
Title of host publicationFreedom | Oppression | Games & Play
Subtitle of host publicationFROG22 Anthology
EditorsNikolaus Koenig, Natalie Denk, Alexander Pfeiffer, Thomas Wernbacher, Simon Wimmer
PublisherUniversity of Krems Press
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-903470-08-8
ISBN (Print)978-3-903470-07-1
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 13 Oct 2023
Event16th Vienna Games Conference FROG 2022: Future and Reality of Gaming - University for Continuing Education Krems, Krems, Austria
Duration: 25 Nov 202227 Nov 2022
Conference number: 2022


Conference16th Vienna Games Conference FROG 2022
Abbreviated titleFROG
Internet address

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