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 […]


Gameful Design Fundamentals: Challenge, Progression, Rewards

These slides are a summary of the post series focused on better understanding some of the most widely used gameful design elements. If you’re interested in reading more, also check the original blog posts: Part 1: Challenge Accepted! The role of challenge for gameful design Part 2: I’m in it for the prize! The role of rewards for gameful design Part 3: Level Up! The role of progression for gameful design  


Level Up! The role of progression for gameful design 1

Welcome to the final post in this series focused on better understanding some of the most widely used gameful design elements! This post will address progression, one of the basic design elements to help foster users’ intrinsic motivation from competence and mastery. If you have not done so yet, check the first two posts of the series out before you continue, the first one in particular, as it presents some important background on what is needed for a system to […]


I’m in it for the prize! The role of rewards for gameful design 2

In my previous post, I talked about the important role of challenge as an element for gameful design. Today I will talk about rewards, a game element that is present in many gameful applications. But before you continue, if you did not read part 1 yet, please take some time to review it because I will readdress the importance of challenge that I mentioned there. Part 1: Challenge Accepted! The role of challenge for gameful design Let’s then recall that […]


Challenge Accepted! The role of challenge for gameful design 6

There are dozens of different game elements that can be employed for gameful design, from the most well-known points, badges, and leaderboards, to levels and progression, social interaction, competition, rewards, and many others. But there is one important game element that is perhaps underestimated: challenge. Let’s take a look at the important role of challenges for games in general and for gameful design! What’s in a game? One of my favourites definitions of game playing comes from Bernard Suits’s book […]


Personalization in Serious Games and Gamified Applications

Personalization in serious games and gamified applications is a new and important research field with several questions that still need to be investigated. Results from initial research suggest that is very important to personalize serious games, but it is yet not clear how to do it. This presentation highlights some of these initial findings and some of the open questions. Personalization in Serious Games and Gamified Applications from Gustavo Tondello  


4 Interesting Research Informed Games for Health

A profusion of gamified applications and games for health exist or are being developed every day. However, not all of them are informed by quality theoretical or practical research in order to establish the effectiveness of such applications in achieving the proposed goals. Last Fall I had the opportunity to review several research informed examples as part of a Games for Health course at the University of Waterloo. Below are some of the examples which I found most interesting and thought-provoking. Please note that this is by […]