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LinkIT: A Ludic Elicitation Game for Eliciting Risk Perceptions


Address correspondence to William L. McGill, College of Information Sciences and Technology, Penn State University, PA, USA;


The mental models approach, a leading strategy to develop risk communications, involves a time- and labor-intensive interview process and a lengthy questionnaire to elicit group-level risk perceptions. We propose that a similarity ratings approach for structural knowledge elicitation can be adopted to assist the risk mental models approach. The LinkIT game, inspired by games with a purpose (GWAP) technology, is a ludic elicitation tool designed to elicit group understanding of the relations between risk factors in a more enjoyable and productive manner when compared to traditional approaches. That is, consistent with the idea of ludic elicitation, LinkIT was designed to make the elicitation process fun and enjoyable in the hopes of increasing participation and data quality in risk studies. Like the mental models approach, the group mental model obtained via the LinkIT game can hence be generated and represented in a form of influence diagrams. In order to examine the external validity of LinkIT, we conducted a study to compare its performance with respect to a more conventional questionnaire-driven approach. Data analysis results conclude that the two group mental models elicited from the two approaches are similar to an extent. Yet, LinkIT was more productive and enjoyable than the questionnaire. However, participants commented that the current game has some usability concerns. This presentation summarizes the design and evaluation of the LinkIT game and suggests areas for future work.