Gustavo Tondello


About Gustavo Tondello

Gustavo is a Gamification Consultant and Ph.D. Student in Computer Science at the University of Waterloo, Canada. He is ranked one of the top Gamification leaders in the world by Rise's Gamification Gurus Power 100 leaderboard. His main interests include gamification, and games for health and learning. His research focuses on the design of gameful applications. Before coming to Canada, he worked for several years as a Software Engineer in Brazil. Gustavo is also a researcher of Logosophy, and he is affiliated to the Logosophical Foundation of Brazil and of the USA.


Understanding How the Context Supports Autonomy

Self-determination theory posits autonomy as a basic need that fuels intrinsic motivation. Thus, we consider it an important characteristic of intrinsically enjoyable tasks, including games. We often say that game playing is a voluntary activity. However, when we think about serious games or gamification, there is a risk that the seriousness of the context and the obligation to interact with the system may thwart the user’s autonomy. Several gamification scholars and designers have pointed out that good gamification must be […]


Defining Clear Goals in Gameful Applications

I have previously talked about the prominent role of challenges in games and gameful applications. Challenging oneself to overcome unnecessary obstacles just for the fun of it is at the heart of a gameful experience. Moreover, good challenges only work together with clear goals and clear paths, i.e., the player must know what she wants to achieve and how to do it. Games and gameful applications must always support the player in defining goals and immediate objectives. This can be […]

Minecraft

The Gamification User Types Hexad Scale 2

Several studies have indicated the need for personalising gamified systems to users’ personalities. However, mapping user personality onto design elements is difficult. To address this problem, Marczewski developed the Gamification User Types Hexad framework, based on research on human motivation, player types, and practical design experience. He also suggested different game design elements that may support different user types. However, until now we were still lacking a standard assessment tool for user’s preferences based on the Hexad framework. There was […]


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 […]


Personality-targeted Gamification 3

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 […]


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!) 6

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

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