Post written by Joseph Macey
In the last few days and weeks the relationship between digital games and gambling has become a topic of interest to mainstream society with both national media and politicians debating the topic 4, 30. This is the latest aspect that has seen increased attention placed on the role of gambling, and gambling companies, in contemporary society 46, 13, 11. The international journal Computers in Human Behavior has just accepted one of the first academic articles specifically addressing gambling connected to video games: “Investigating Relationships Between Video Gaming, Spectating Esports, and Gambling”, by Joseph Macey and Juho Hamari. The timing could not be more relevant and the growth of media interest in this area has inspired the following discussion.
In recent decades we have seen a general trend toward liberalisation of gambling practices internationally 29, 15, 35, 28. Against this background active participation in gambling has been growing, as have rates of at-risk and problem gamblers in both adolescent and adult populations 8. Gambling is big business, and big news.
Seamless cooperation between individuals is essentially a crucial aspect of any successful endeavor. A host of literature has been published both in the academic realm as well in more popular venues about how cooperation could be cultivated. However, true cooperation often forms organically without external enforcement. Continue reading
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).
Pervasive student disengagement is an international problem. Gamification and games are increasingly proposed as a promising technology for increasing engagement in a meaningful way.
In an ideal educational game setting, Continue reading
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.
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