How to gamifty? A method for designing gamification

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During recent years the enhancement of information technology via design features borrowed from (video) games, also known as “gamification”, has become a notable development both in academia and industry. Gamification primarily aims at increasing users’ positive motivations towards given activities or use of technology, and thereby, increasing the quantity and quality of the output of the given activities. Business analysts suggest that more than half of all organizations will have gamified parts of their processes by 2015 (Gartner 2011; IEEE 2014). In the academic realm, several studies in various contexts have shown that gamification can be an effective approach to increase motivation and engage users or participants in a given activity (see e.g. Hamari et al. 2014; Morschheuser et al. 2016 for reviews).

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Gamification in Crowdsourcing

During recent years modern ICT technologies have spawned two interwoven phenomena: gamification and crowdsourcing (CS) . The rapid diffusion of these technologies can be seen both in industry as well as in the academia. Today, multitude of different organizations employ CS as a way to outsource various tasks to be carried out by ‘the crowd’; a mass of people reachable through the internet. At the same time, business analysts have estimated that at least 50% of organizations have gamified some of their processes by 2015. As illustrated in the Figure, the body of literature on both CS and gamification has been rapidly growing. Moreover, these technologies appear together frequently: CS is one of the major application areas for gamification. Naturally, the main goals of CS in general are either cost savings or the possibility to innovate solutions that would be difficult to cultivate in-house. However, CS relies on the existence of a reserve of people that would be willing to take on tasks for free or for a minute monetary compensation. Therefore, CS tasks are increasingly gamified, that is, organizations attempt to make the activities more like playing a game in order to provide other motives for working than just the monetary compensation.

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The Use of Games and Play to Achieve Real-World Goals

This is a guest post written by the graduate student Gustavo Tondello of the HCI Games Group. It has appeared on Medium and on the group’s homepage before. We encourage the discussion on Medium.

In the last few years, there has been a growing interest in the application of game elements to real-life goals and tasks. These efforts are often directed towards self-improvement, encouraging positive lifestyle changes, and increasing motivation to complete work objectives. The idea of using games to modify activities that are not traditionally considered games is not new. Games have been used to support real-life objectives many times in the past, such as sports being used to motivate exercise and healthy habits, or simulation games being used for training or skill development. This idea has now become especially popular. In the past decade, it has drawn a fair amount of interest both from academics and practitioners, because of two trends in modern culture: 1) Digitalization, which results from increased access to digital and mobile technologies that are now pervasive in our everyday lives, and 2) Ludification, which consists of the introduction of elements of playfulness into our lives and culture.

But how can games and play help achieve real-world goals? Play is often viewed as an activity of pure entertainment or leisure, which lacks the commitment to accomplish real-world goals, such as personal, educational, or business objectives. Thus, by introducing elements of play into the execution of similar tasks, will we not risk undermining commitment to the accomplishment of the intended goals? Or is it possible to instead use playful and gameful design to increase motivation to accomplish these tasks? Continue reading