Games for Health Journal

Learn more about this journal

The deadline for manuscript submission is October 1, 2015. Please submit your papers online to the web-based manuscript submission and peer-review system Manuscript Central.


For manuscript submission guidelines and further information about the Journal, please visit the Games for Health Journal website. We look forward to receiving your manuscripts and to your active participation in the Journal!

Questions?  Contact the Journal Editorial Office.



Deadline for manuscript submission is October 1, 2015

Editor-in-Chief Tom Baranowski, PhD plans to publish a special issue dedicated to Points in Games for Health in 2016. Many have considered points in games to be a form of reward. Rewards have had a checkered history in behavioral science.

Proponents of Operant Conditioning have argued that behavior is a response to rewards: behaviors can be controlled through the control of rewards. Alternatively, proponents of Self Determination Theory have argued that applying rewards to behavior devalues the perception of the behavior, and once rewards are removed, behavior reverts to baseline performance. Proponents of behavioral economics believe rewards initiate change, and once the changes are valued, they continue. Others have considered points as a form of feedback that informs learning within the game. 

Little analysis has been conducted of the role of point systems in games in general, or in games for health in particular. Better understanding of point systems in G4H could inform more effective G4H for behavior change. 

Games for Health Journal is seeking high-quality primary research or review articles for the topics listed below. All accepted papers will be published rapidly online-ahead-of-print. Please submit a primary research or review paper for consideration in this special issue if you have work addressing:

  • What are the common point systems in games for health?  Which types appear to be most effective in changing determinants and/or behaviors? Do different people experience different point systems differently?
  • Do point systems function more as rewards or as feedback for learning?
  • Do the point systems transfer or generalize changes made in the game to behavior changes outside the game and maintain these changes?
  • Do the players value the behavior changes made while earning points?  Do they value doing the behaviors when the point systems are removed?
  • How can we manipulate point systems to optimally enhance behavior change and health outcomes?