research


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 3

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 […]


New! 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 […]


Preparing and Conducting Studies in HCI Research

Based on his experiences, Gustavo will discuss how to prepare and conduct graduate studies in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), presenting tips about how to choose topics and plan studies and publications. He will share suggestions on how to plan and carry out experimental studies in HCI, such as how to choose and define research questions, how to select a type of study, and how to document the results and prepare them for publication.

Collection Interfaces for Digital Game Objects

Originally published by the HCI Games Group. The HCI Games Group collaborated with a research project that also involved the Play & Interactive Experiences for Learning Lab at the New Mexico State University and the University of California at Irvine to investigate player behaviour regarding the collection of digital objects in games. The study aimed to understand what kinds of objects players collect and why. It was firstly presented at the CHI PLAY 2016 Conference, where it received an Honorary […]


How do students differ in gamified education? 1

Originally published in the ACM XRDS blog. Gamification of University-level courses is becoming a common practice, as many professors decide to try offering their students a more engaging learning environment. Nevertheless, we still do not have a clear idea on how individual students engage differently with a gamified course. But now a detailed, long-term study from the University of Lisbon has presented some insightful observations on this topic. During the course of their study, the researchers observed three editions of […]


The peak-end rule influences enjoyment of games

The peak-end rule is a psychological heuristic that explains how people judge an experience largely based on its peak (i.e., its most intense point) and its end, rather on the whole experience. A research from the Universities of Saskatchewan and Canterbury and Autodesk sought to verify if this effect would influence player’s enjoyment of (casual) games. They manipulated the difficulty or balance of three simple games to vary the peak and end experiences, keeping the playing experience otherwise unchanged, and […]


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 […]


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 […]