Dressing Activities as a Game is Enough to Shift Motivation

Or at least, that’s what  our study at Aarhus University found. Something had been bothering me for a while about gamification – both as a game scientist and as a psychologist trained in evidence based practice. All this talk of gamification involves a lot of hype and claims about game elements like badges, levels and achievements, but pundits never bother to dissociate the effects of each such mechanic. Would it make a difference if we removed, say, the leaderboards? What if we took all the game rules out? What if visually and verbally presenting something as a game is just as important as the game mechanics? Continue reading

Flow in Gamification

Flow  – a state of optimal experience characterized being fully focused and engaged in an activity – has been regarded as one of the most important psychological outcomes of gamification and games. It is most commonly understood to comprise of nine dimensions: challenge-skill-balance, clear goals, control, (immediate) feedback, autotelic experience,loss of self-consciousness, time transformation, concentration, and merging action-awareness. Currently, there are few studies investigating flow particularly in the context of gamification (See Hamari, Koivisto & Sarsa, 2014) and therefore there is little knowledge as to which dimensions of flow would be especially emergent in the context of flow. To this end we conducted a two-fold study: 1) We investigated the salience of the different dimensions of flow in gamification and 2) the psychometric properties of the DFS-2 flow measurement instrument. Continue reading