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