Note: In 2013, Health Games Research completed its work. This web site is now an archive and will not be updated. Please visit the web site of the Center for Digital Games Research at UC Santa Barbara to find current information about health games and the broader field of digital games, and to use the Health Games Research online searchable database.

Debra Lieberman, Director

Debra Lieberman, Ph.D., is a communication researcher at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she directs the Health Games Research national program. Her research focuses on processes of learning and behavior change with interactive media, with special interests in games, health media, and children's media. Before joining UC Santa Barbara, Debra was vice president of research at Click Health, Inc., where she designed Nintendo-platform health video games based on established principles of health promotion and behavioral health. Clinical trials found that the games significantly improved players’ health outcomes by improving their prevention and self-care behaviors for asthma self-management, diabetes self-management, smoking prevention, and other health areas. Prior to working at Click Health and at other companies that developed health media and home-to-clinic telehealth systems, she was a faculty member in the Department of Telecommunications at Indiana University, Bloomington. Debra holds a Ph.D. in Communication from Stanford University and an Ed.M. in Media and Learning from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.


Curriculum Vita (Resume)

Selected Publications

Lieberman, D.A. (2013). Designing digital games, social networks, and mobile technologies to motivate and support health behavior change. Chapter in R.E. Rice & C.K. Atkin (Eds.), Public communication campaigns (4th Edition). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, pp. 273-287.

Lieberman, D.A. (2012). Video games for diabetes self-management: Examples and design strategies. Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, 6(4), 802-806.

Lieberman, D.A. (2012). Digital games for health behavior change: Research, design, and future directions. Chapter in S.M. Noar & N.G. Harrington (Eds.), eHealth applications: Promising strategies for behavior change. New York: Routledge, pp. 110-127.

Mayer, R.E. & Lieberman, D.A. (2011). Conducting scientific research on learning and health behavior change with computer-based health games. Educational Technology, 51(5), 3-14.

Lieberman, D.A., Chamberlin, B., Medina, E. Jr., Franklin, B.A., McHugh Sanner, B.M., & Vafiadis, D.K. (2011). The Power of Play: Innovations in Getting Active Summit 2011: A science panel proceedings report from the American Heart Association. Circulation, 123(21), 2507-2516.

Lieberman, D.A., Bates, C.H., & So, J. (2009). Young children's learning with digital media. Computers in the Schools, 26(4), 271-283.

Lieberman, D.A., Fisk, M.C., & Biely, E. (2009). Digital games for young children ages three to six: From research to design. Computers in the Schools, 26(4), 299-313.

Lieberman, D.A. (2009). Designing serious games for learning and health in informal and formal settings. In U. Ritterfeld, M. Cody, & P. Vorderer (Eds.), Serious games: Mechanisms and effects. New York: Routledge, pp. 117-130.

Lieberman, D.A. (2006). What can we learn from playing interactive games? Chapter in P. Vorderer & J. Bryant (Eds.), Playing video games: Motives, responses, and consequences. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp. 379-397.

Lieberman, D.A. (2001). Management of chronic pediatric diseases with interactive health games: Theory and research findings. Journal of Ambulatory Care Management, 24(1), 26-38.

Lieberman, D.A. (1999). The researcher’s role in the design of children’s media and technology. Chapter in A. Druin (Ed.), The design of children's technology. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, pp. 73-97.

Brown, S.J., Lieberman, D.A., Gemeny, B.A., Fan, Y.C., Wilson, D.M., & Pasta, D.J. (1997). Educational video game for juvenile diabetes: Results of a controlled trial. Medical Informatics, 22(1), 77-89.