The proceedings of the 2011 MindTrek conference are finally online in the ACM Digital Library, and with it, the paper I co-wrote with Rilla Khaled, Dan Dixon, and Lennart E. Nacke on “defining the damn thing” – that thing being “gamification,” of course. Here’s the abstract:
Recent years have seen a rapid proliferation of mass-market consumer software that takes inspiration from video games. Usually summarized as “gamification”, this trend connects to a sizeable body of existing concepts and research in human-computer interaction and game studies, such as serious games, pervasive games, alternate reality games, or playful design. However, it is not clear how “gamification” relates to these, whether it denotes a novel phenomenon, and how to define it. Thus, in this paper we investigate “gamification” and the historical origins of the term in relation to precursors and similar concepts. It is suggested that “gamified” applications provide insight into novel, gameful phenomena complementary to playful phenomena. Based on our research, we propose a definition of “gamification” as the use of game design elements in non-game contexts.
Here’s the link to the ACM digital library download: http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2181037.2181040
And here’s the presentation:
It’s been a while since we wrote this paper (almost a year, actually), and my own thinking has changed a bit since – if anything, I have become even more sceptical of what on earth a “game design element” could be, let alone how to determine whether X “is” or “isn’t” one. So just between me and myself, I’m ruminating whether just saying “using game design in non-game contexts” might be enough and even less problematic. Other than that, I think the paper holds up quite well. So enjoy :).
Sebastian Deterding, Dan Dixon, Rilla Khaled, and Lennart Nacke. 2011. From game design elements to gamefulness: defining “gamification”. In Proceedings of the 15th International Academic MindTrek Conference: Envisioning Future Media Environments (MindTrek ’11). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 9-15. DOI=10.1145/2181037.2181040 http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/2181037.2181040
Designer and researcher working on gameful and playful design. Editor of Gamification Research Network. Co-editor of "The Gameful World" (MIT Press, 2014). Associate at Hubbub.