Points and Rewards in Gameful Design

This week’s article brings a detailed review of some of the research about points and rewards in gamification. I started by thinking about points, but then I found it hard to separate then totally from rewards as they are often presented as a form of reward. So, the article talks about them both. In the article, you will find: A table describing eight different types of rewards; A table describing five ways to use points effectively and one way to […]


Leaderboards in Gameful Design: Their effects, types, and guidelines for their correct use

Like the topic of my previous article (badges), leaderboards are also one of the most used elements in gameful design. But despite the prevalence of leaderboards in gamification, few sources explain exactly what role they fulfill in a gameful system, how users interact with them, what is their psychological effect on users, and how to design leaderboards. Although they have been often suggested to promote intrinsic motivation through relatedness or competence, the academic studies that focused on the psychological effects […]


Badges in Gameful Design: How users perceive them and how are they motivational 4

Badges are the most used element in educational gameful design and the third most used element in gamification in general. They have been listed by many different gamification researchers and experts as one of the basic gameful design elements. But do you know exactly what role do badges perform on a gameful application? How do users perceive them and interact with them—do you know that there are at least nine different ways? How do badges motivate users to engage with […]


Expanded content on Patreon

One of my goals as a content creator is to help gamification professionals keep up to date with the latest research and help them find the takeaways to apply the research on their daily practice. Therefore, many of my blog posts are summaries of original academic research from myself or other authors. However, I feel that the format of a blog post is often not enough to give enough information to actually use the research in practice. Although short blog […]


Personalized Gameful Design – Part 2 1

In Part 1, I discussed what is personalized gameful design. If you have not read it yet, please take a moment to do it before you continue reading this part. The method to design personalized gameful applications that I proposed as part of my thesis has three sequential steps: (1) modelling user preferences, (2) selecting the gameful design elements that are more likely enjoyable for each user, and (3) evaluating the motivational potential of the design. However, please note that these […]

Steps for personalized gameful design: 1-classification of user preferences, 2-selection of gameful design elements, 3-evaluation of the design.

Personalized Gameful Design – Part 1 2

I recently presented and published my Ph.D. Thesis describing a method for personalized gameful design. I will now begin publishing a series of posts in this blog introducing and detailing this method so everyone can apply it without needing to read the whole thesis. 🙂 But first, what is Personalized Gameful Design and why should you learn about it? Definition of Personalized Gameful Design In my work, I adopt the following definition of personalization, which is detailed in Chapter 3 of […]

Steps for personalized gameful design: 1-classification of user preferences, 2-selection of gameful design elements, 3-evaluation of the design.

Gamification User Types or Player Traits: When should I use each one of them?

At the HCI Games Group, we have been working for the past few years in two related projects: the validation of the Gamification User Types Hexad and the study of player typologies, which recently led to the creation of our Five-factor Player Traits model. Therefore, a question that people have been asking us is when they should use each one of these models. Are they interchangeable, or are there specific situations when one is more appropriate than the other? Short […]


Interview for GamFed

I was recently featured on an interview for GamFed, the International Gamification Confederation, where I spoke about my research into personalised gameful design, the state of gamification research in general, what we can look forward to, and the role GamFed can play in furthering gamification. Follow the link below to read the full interview.


Gamification Insights from Professional Development Event in Toronto

Last week, Ryerson University‘s Chang School of Continuing Education organized a one-day professional development and networking event in Toronto, Canada. The event focused on serious games and gamification for three specific application areas: higher education, healthcare, and corporate. Several dozens of attendees spent the day discussing how to efficiently employ gamification for their needs, what are the pitfalls to avoid, and what are the general guidelines for success. I attended the corporate track, so I can comment on the presentations […]


Understanding Gamification Through Goal-Setting Theory

Goal-setting theory has been used for decades to explain how to motivate people to perform better in work-related tasks by setting and monitoring goals. Gamification is also inherently a goal-oriented activity, aimed at fostering motivation; therefore, it is logic to expect that these two practices would fit very well together and help us design better motivational experiences. Surprisingly, very few research works so far have seriously explored the use of goal-setting theory to explain and inform gameful design, with most literature […]

Goal Setting Theory x Gamification