Reimagize – a digital card-based roleplaying game to improve adolescent girls’ body image
(1) Pathways World School, (2) N/A
The perceived importance of beauty and physical appearance in 21st-century society is immense. Research has previously been found that being thin and/or muscular has become associated with being “hard-working, successful, popular, beautiful, strong, and self-disciplined,” whereas being “fat” is associated with being “lazy, ignorant, hated, ugly, weak, and lacking in will-power.” These stereotypes can negatively affect one’s self-esteem and ultimately result in poor performance or eating disorders. With that in mind, Reimagize, a role-playing with decision-making, was conjured, implementing social psychological concepts like counter-stereotyping and perspective-taking. As the game works implicitly to influence body image, it even counters image issues beyond personal body dissatisfaction. This study explored whether a digital role-playing card game, incorporating some of the most common prejudices of body image (like size prejudice, prejudices from the media, etc.) as identified by a digital survey/questionnaire completed by Indian girls aged 11-21, could counter these issues and reduce personal body dissatisfaction. The real-world effectiveness of the game was tested among 44 high school-age Indian girls using the Body Esteem Scale. In the pre- and post-game phases, there was a significant increase in the scores of the girls in the experimental group, specifically in weight concern and physical condition. Subscores in sexual attractiveness remained stagnant. With this success, there is scope to expand to other genders to improve body image, creating a positive change.
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