Positive Computing: a novel research field to promote human wellbeing

Originally published on the ACM XRDS blog. Technology has undoubtedly improved at vertiginous speeds in the last decades. However, there is no evidence that all this technology is helping increase the people’s general wellbeing. Calvo and Peters have attributed this to the fact that most technology professionals keep a machine-focused view of their work, avoiding to look at anything related to the user’s’ wellbeing. Nevertheless, recently there has been a growing body of efforts related to using technology to improve human […]

Children happy

Personality-targeted Gamification

Recently, a number of research studies have been investigating how to personalise gameful applications to each different user. One of these studies was presented at CHI 2016 and investigated how different people respond to various gamification approaches in health-related habit tracking applications. The researchers asked 248 participants to rate how helpful and enjoyable different game design elements seemed to be. Additionally, they seek to understand if there was any relation between the participants’ preferences and their personality traits, measured by […]

Personality-targeted Gamification

Gamification of Cognitive Assessment and Training

The JMIR Serious Games journal has recently published an article in which researchers reviewed 33 studies reporting results of the use of gamification and serious games for cognitive assessment or training. The review identified 7 reasons that led researchers to apply gamification in the reviewed studies: to increase participant motivation; to increase usability or intuitiveness for the target age group; to increase long-term engagement; to investigate the effects of game-like tasks; to increase ecological validity; to increase suitability for the target […]

Chess game

Pokémon GO is not Gamification! (It’s a game!) 5

During the past week, considerable attention has been given in the media to Niantic‘s new game, Pokémon GO! Lots of people are talking about the game’s potential benefits and dangers. One of the many claims that have taken the media is that Pokémon GO is a great example of gamification. Let’s just make something clear: Pokémon GO is not gamification! It’s a game! I know the distinction might often seem not important. However, both approaches are related but not equal. […]

Pokémon Centre

Gamification: An Introduction slide deck

An introduction to gamification with examples of applications, platforms, and methods. I put these slides together for a lecture I’ve given at the University of Waterloo, July 2016.  

Gamification

What is Gamification?

Find out what gamification is and how it differs from traditional games in this video published by the HCI Games Group.  

Children happy

Momentary Pleasure or Lasting Meaning in Interactive Technologies

A research project from the Universities of Basel and Copenhagen sought to understand the differences between momentary pleasure and lasting meaning in positive experiences with interactive technologies. These ideas come from a long tradition in both history and user experience research. Momentary pleasurable experiences are referred as hedonic experiences, a word that was introduced by ancient Greek philosophers. In contrast, experiences that express virtue and that are meaningful are identified as eudaimonic experiences. We also refer to living a eudaimonic […]

man with tablet

Civilization V in High Schools: How To Motivate Different Students?

Civilization V screenshot (by Wikipedia) The Verge has recently reported that Civilization V is going to be used in North American high schools beginning next Fall. Publisher Take-Two Interactive announced that the modified version will be called CivilizationEDU and will “provide students with the opportunity to think critically and create historical events, consider and evaluate the geographical ramifications of their economic and technological decisions, and to engage in systems thinking and experiment with the causal / correlative relationships between military, technology, political, […]

Civilization V

Octalysis Prime campaign exceeds $ 50k on funding

Gamification consultant and expert Yu-kai Chou has recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund his new initiative: Octalysis Prime. The campaign reached its $ 15,000 goal in 12 hours and ended in just 9 days with the amazing mark of $ 51,529 funded by 370 backers. Octalysis Prime will be a gamified learning community where Yu-kai Chou will share his research in Behavioural Science, Gamification, and Motivational Psychology. Members will have access to text and video content produced by Yu-kai where they will learn about […]

Octalysis Prime

An Introduction to Gamification in Human-Computer Interaction 1

Originally published on the ACM XRDS blog. User experience (UX) is a field within Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) that studies the whole experience of a user with a product, system, or service. UX focuses on  issues such as usability, ergonomics, cognitive load, and affective experiences. However, in the last years, there is a particular growing interest in understanding users’ motivation to use a product, system, or service. This interest is spawned by observable low engagement rates: it is not enough to have […]

Gamification between games and play, parts and whole.