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Designing Cooperative Gamification: Conceptualization and Prototypical Implementation


Abstract and Figures

Organizations deploy gamification in CSCW systems to enhance motivation and behavioral outcomes of users. However, gamification approaches often cause competition between users, which might be inappropriate for working environments that seek cooperation. Drawing on the social interdependence theory, this paper provides a classification for gamification features and insights about the design of cooperative gamification. Using the example of an innovation community of a German engineering company, we present the design of a cooperative gamification approach and results from a first experimental evaluation. The findings indicate that the developed gamification approach has positive effects on perceived enjoyment and the intention towards knowledge sharing in the considered innovation community. Besides our conceptual contribution , our findings suggest that cooperative gamification may be beneficial for cooperative working environments and represents a promising field for future research.
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Designing Cooperative Gamification:
Conceptualization and Prototypical Implementation
Benedikt Morschheuser
CR, Robert Bosch GmbH
Renningen, Germany
Alexander Maedche
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Karlsruhe, Germany
Dominic Walter
CR, Robert Bosch GmbH
Renningen, Germany
Organizations deploy gamification in CSCW systems to en-
hance motivation and behavioral outcomes of users. How-
ever, gamification approaches often cause competition be-
tween users, which might be inappropriate for working envi-
ronments that seek cooperation. Drawing on the social inter-
dependence theory, this paper provides a classification for
gamification features and insights about the design of coop-
erative gamification. Using the example of an innovation
community of a German engineering company, we present
the design of a cooperative gamification approach and results
from a first experimental evaluation. The findings indicate
that the developed gamification approach has positive effects
on perceived enjoyment and the intention towards
knowledge sharing in the considered innovation community.
Besides our conceptual contribution, our findings suggest
that cooperative gamification may be beneficial for coopera-
tive working environments and represents a promising field
for future research.
Author Keywords
CSCW systems; gamification; cooperation; collaboration;
design research; innovation community; experiment.
ACM Classification Keywords
H.5.3. Information interfaces and presentation (e.g., HCI):
Group and Organization Interfaces - computer-supported
cooperative work
During recent years, information systems have been increas-
ingly enriched with design features originating in the field of
computer games. This rising phenomenon is typically called
gamification and has raised significant interest in industry
[30] and academia [24,28,47]. For instance, business ana-
lysts have estimated that over 50% of organizations manag-
ing innovation processes will gamify their business by 2015
[15]. Reviews of scientific gamification studies [24,47,60]
have shown that gamification is applied in various contexts,
specifically including computer supported cooperative work
(CSCW) systems, such as crowdsourcing approaches [47],
online communities [18,19] and intranets [48]. Typically,
gamification is used with the intention to positively influence
human motivation and behavior [10,24,47,60]. Numerous
empirical studies provide indicators for the effectiveness of
different gamification implementations, however the under-
standing of the phenomenon is still in its infancy [24,47].
Most of the research that has been conducted on gamification
has focused on studying approaches that motivate users by
social comparison and competition or by setting personal
goals (e.g. [5,18,33,37,44,48,74]). Gamification approaches
that engage individuals to cooperate and, therefore, to strive
toward a shared goal or purpose [11,65] have been of minor
focus in gamification [5,7,17] and game-design research [40]
thus far. This is somewhat surprising, since information sys-
tems that support users to cooperatively create joint out-
comes, such as crowd-creation platforms [16], innovation
communities [3,29] or co-creation approaches, are rising and
demand incentive approaches that promote cooperation, ra-
ther than competition. The joint development of ideas [3,29],
the creation of wiki contents [61], open source development
projects [1] and many more group work scenarios may profit
from incentives that engage individuals to form groups and
support collective intentions [64]. On the other hand, mas-
sive multiplayer online games (MMOG) and cooperative
video games demonstrate that people enjoy playing together.
Many of these games show that design features, such as team
challenges or complementary abilities, can engage millions
of players to form virtual teams, guilds or clans in order to
exchange game-related knowledge, develop shared strate-
gies and cooperate to achieve common goals
Thus, we are aiming to understand the design of cooperative
gamification for CSCW systems.
In this paper, we are drawing on the social interdependence
theory [11,32] and previous work on gamification [9,28] to
propose a novel classification framework for gamification
features, to characterize cooperative gamification features
and to conceptualize cooperative gamification. Using the ex-
ample of an innovation community of a large German engi-
neering company, we present an exemplary design of a co-
operative gamification approach and results from a first ex-
perimental evaluation. Finally, we close with a discussion on
our findings, gathered insights on the design of cooperative
gamification and an outlook on future planned studies.
Classification of gamification features
Looking at incentive mechanisms in the information systems
field, gamification is one of the most popular developments
in recent years [20,24]. Especially, in context of CSCW sys-
tems, such as crowdsourcing approaches or innovation com-
munities, gamification is used to increase motivation and
Pre-print. Please find the original paper at
participation [24,47,73]. Following Huotari & Hamari [28],
gamification can be considered as the use of design features
known from (video) games with the aim to give rise to simi-
lar experiences as games commonly do. In order to explain
the effects of gamification, gamification is often conceptual-
ized as the enriching of a system or service with motivational
affordances [71,72] for gameful experiences [9,28,33]. In the
HCI field the term affordance has become established and
refers to "the actionable properties between an object and an
actor" [71,72]. Motivational affordances comprise features
of an object that can stimulate certain motivational needs of
an actor [71,72]. The conceptualization of gamification fea-
tures as motivational affordances highlights several im-
portant characteristics of gamification: (1) the offering of
stimuli designed with the intent to address motivational
needs and invoke mental states such as flow experience; (2)
the possibility to influence behavior; (3) and that the adop-
tion is always voluntary and influenced by subjective percep-
tions [28]. Several studies indicate that gamification af-
fordances can increase intrinsic motivation of actors in a
given activity and influence behavior (see [24,47,60] for an
Although many empirical studies have shown positive ef-
fects of various gamification features in different contexts,
science has just begun to understand gamification in more
detail [9,24,28,47,60]. Publications that have focused the
conceptualization of the gamification phenomenon or the ef-
fects of gamification in a specific context, highlight that the
setting of goals and the providing of immediate, positive
feedback about the achievement of these goals are essential
characteristics of gamification implementations
[5,10,20,24,33,42,44,53,74]. Therefore, the goal-setting the-
ory [41] has often been applied in order to explain and ana-
lyze the effects of gamification features, such as points,
badges or leaderboards [18,21,33,36,44,53]. On the other
hand, several empirical studies indicate that considerable dif-
ferences exist between cooperative, competitive and individ-
ualistic gamification features, such as leaderboards, badges
or team challenges [7,17,37,43,44]. However, frameworks to
explain and compare the effects of different gamification fea-
tures are missing. Based on the insight that the setting of
goals is obviously a fundamental part of gamification and a
possible reason for the effects of different gamification fea-
tures, we propose to classify gamification features along
their applied goal structures. We assume that this could help
to understand and describe the differences of various gami-
fication features more precisely.
The social interdependence theory [11] has often been used
to explain and study the effects of different goal, task and
reward structures on psychological and behavioral outcomes
[32,62,63]. The theory with an external validity and general-
izability rarely found in the social sciences [32] has also been
adapted to the context of video games to differ between in-
dividualistic, cooperative, competitive and cooperative-com-
petitive game designs [40]. Following the theory, game
designs can be seen as individualistic when individual ac-
tions have no effect on others (no interdependence), cooper-
ative when individual actions promote the goals and actions
of others (positive interdependence) or competitive when in-
dividual actions obstruct the goals and actions of others (neg-
ative interdependence) [40]. In individualistic games the
players commonly compete against given or self-defined
goals and constraints (e.g. unlock a badge, reach the next
level, achieve a better result than in the last round, solve a
puzzle with a maximum number of moves, beat the time),
whereas in cooperative, competitive or cooperative-compet-
itive game designs players interact with other players and try
to achieve goals that are related to the multiplayer environ-
ment (e.g. surpass the result from another player or achieve
a shared goal). Since gamification approaches apply the
same goal and reward structures as games commonly do
[10], the social interdependence theory is highly compatible
to conceptualizations of gamification and can provide a con-
tribution to the classification of gamification approaches.
Drawing on the social interdependence theory [11,32,62] we
propose to classify gamification features into: (1) individual-
istic gamification features, which provide motivational af-
fordances for gameful experiences without creating interde-
pendence between goals of individuals (e.g. by the setting of
independent goals); (2) cooperative gamification features,
which provide motivational affordances for gameful experi-
ences by using goal structures that invoke positive goal in-
terdependence (e.g. the setting of shared goals); and (3) com-
petitive gamification features, which provide motivational
affordances for gameful experiences by using goal structures
that invoke negative goal interdependence (e.g. the setting of
competitive goals). In accordance with Liu et al. [40], we
also adopted the concept of (4) cooperative-competitive
gamification features that provide motivational affordances
for gameful experience based on groups, with positive goal
interdependence within and negative goal interdependence
between the groups (e.g. a team competition) [40,63] (Figure
1). Numerous psychological studies that have been con-
ducted with the aim to analyze situations with individualistic,
cooperative or competitive goal structures (e.g. [63] see [32]
for an overview) indicate that cooperative structures can pro-
mote greater efforts than individualistic or competitive ap-
proaches. Furthermore, these studies indicate that group
work scenarios with positive goal interdependence can pro-
mote the creation of positive relationships and support psy-
chological health [32]. Therefore, we assume that gamifica-
tion approaches, which promote cooperation rather than
competition, can be of particular interest for the use in
CSCW systems that support cooperative work and the crea-
tion of joint outcomes, such as crowd-creation platforms, in-
novation communities or co-creation approaches.
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Figure 1. A classification of gamification features
Design characteristics and requirements of cooperative
gamification features
The above conceptualization of cooperative gamification
features implies two essential design characteristics of coop-
erative gamification features:
First, cooperative gamification features apply goal structures
that can invoke positive goal interdependence between two
or more individuals. Second, in accordance with the general
conceptualization of gamification [9,24,28], cooperative
gamification features offer motivational affordances for
gameful experiences [28]. The combination of both describes
cooperative gamification features as a unit consisting of the
cooperative nature and the expected effects. These character-
istics can also be seen as requirements for the design of co-
operative gamification features. Existing research on coop-
eration, cooperative games and motivational affordances can
help to further understand these characteristics and support
the design of cooperative gamification features.
Previous research in context of the social interdependence
theory identified that situations in which individuals cooper-
ate require positive goal interdependence between two or
more individuals or in other words that the “amount or prob-
ability of a person’s goal attainment is positively correlated
with the amount or probability of another obtaining his goal”
[12]. In such situations individuals can benefit, if they com-
bine their efforts and cooperate. As described above, gamifi-
cation commonly uses the setting of goals and immediate
feedback as mechanism to influence behavior and psycho-
logical outcomes [18,24,33,44,74]. Studies that have been
conducted in the context of sports [63] or education [32,45]
indicate that situations with positive goal interdependence
can be designed by setting shared goals or by creating posi-
tive correlation between individual goals. Research on coop-
erative game design [13,55] found that cooperative video
games typically implement shared goals by providing quests
or challenges to many players simultaneously that can be
completed through cooperation in a group. In addition, sev-
eral design patterns for creating positive correlations
between individual goals and for stimulating promotive in-
teractions can be found in cooperative video games [13,55].
These patterns include e.g. special abilities (abilities that can
only be used to support other players), complementarity be-
tween players (e.g. abilities that complement each other),
special rules for teams (e.g. rules that protect users who co-
operate), limited resources (limitations that encourage shar-
ing) or intertwined goals (the setting of different goals,
which require mutual support for their achievement) [13,55].
Empirical studies on the effects of these patterns indicate that
most of them, but especially the setting of shared goals, can
have strong effects on enjoyment, excitement and coopera-
tive behavior (expressed in form of active knowledge ex-
change, mutual assistance, as well as the development of
shared strategies) in several popular cooperative video
games [13]. Similar results have been found by psychologi-
cal studies about the effects of cooperative goal structures on
perceived enjoyment and performance [63]. Therefore, we
assume that design patterns of cooperative games, but espe-
cially the setting of shared goals, are promising approaches
to design cooperative gamification features. The positive ef-
fects of the above mentioned cooperative game design pat-
terns on enjoyment [13] indicate that the application of these
patterns may be suitable to invoke gameful experiences in
gamified applications. However, since cooperative game de-
sign in general [40] and cooperative gamification in particu-
lar [5,7,17] has been studied less to date, little thoughts were
made on the motivational affordances of cooperative gamifi-
cation features.
The theory of motivational affordances has often been used
in context of gamification to conceptualize and design gam-
ification approaches [9,24,28,33]. This conceptualization
highlights that gamification affords a subject: the opportuni-
ties to experience the satisfaction of motivational needs when
interacting with a gamified artifact. Based on this theoretical
consideration, gamification literature recommends to design
gamification features with the intention to satisfy needs in
the way as games commonly do (e.g. focus on mastery, curi-
osity or competence satisfaction) [10,28,33]. One possible
approach to design motivational affordances has been sug-
gested by Zhang [71,72]. His work proposes 10 design prin-
ciples related to five different motivational sources for the
design of motivational affordances. These principles focus
the fulfilling of basic human needs and include the design for
(1) autonomy and the self; (2) competence and achievement;
(3) social relatedness; (4) power, leadership, and follow-
ership and (5) emotion and affect. Previous research on gam-
ification identified competence satisfaction as a core factor
for the experience of enjoyment in individualistic and com-
petitive gamification approaches [10,22,33,53]. The setting
of challenging goals and instant feedback are part of Zhang’s
design principles for competence and achievement and have
often been applied by designers of gamification approaches
with the aim to create motivational affordances for gameful
experiences [5,10,24,25,28,33,42,53]. In cooperative video
Pre-print. Please find the original paper at
games, challenging goals are often designed as team chal-
lenges that can only be overcome or lead to better results by
cooperation and mutual support [13,54,55]. Research on mo-
tivational factors in online multiplayer games indicate that in
addition to competence, cooperative games can satisfy the
need for social relatedness (4) [54,56]. Especially, socializ-
ing with other players, the desire to form meaningful rela-
tionships with others, as well as satisfaction from being part
of a group effort have been identified as important motiva-
tional gratifications of players of online games with cooper-
ative features [58,70].
Consequently, we assume that cooperative gamification fea-
tures may provide motivational affordances for gameful ex-
periences through both, competence satisfaction by the set-
ting of goals and instant feedback, as well as the experience
of social relatedness by its social aspects. Therefore, it could
be recommended that designers of cooperative gamification
features should focus Zhang’s [71,72] design principles for
competence satisfaction (2), but also the principles for social
relatedness (3), which include the support of human-human
interaction and the representation of social bounds.
Cooperative gamification approaches
Our classification above helps to identify and describe dif-
ferent features of gamification approaches. However, a re-
cent review of gamification implementations [47] indicates
that gamification approaches may contain manifold gamifi-
cation features, including combinations of cooperative, com-
petitive and individualistic features that in sum motivate spe-
cific behavior. On the basis of the literature discussed above
and considering the behavior that causes a gamification ap-
proach, we define cooperative gamification, as the use of
gamification features that promote cooperation. This does
not exclude the use of different features in a cooperative
gamification approach. However, based on the social inter-
dependence theory that identified positive interdependence
as essential requirement for every cooperative behavior
[11,32], we postulate that the core of every cooperative gam-
ification approach is a cooperative gamification feature that
invokes positive goal interdependence.
Innovation communities as exemplary application area
for cooperative gamification
Innovation communities are typical CSCW systems that sup-
port the collaborative creation of ideas in organizations. Typ-
ically, competitions and incentives such as prizes or career
opportunities are used in innovation communities to engage
participants to share and discuss ideas [38]. With the rise of
gamification, the use of competitive gamification approaches
is gaining popularity in innovation communities
[29,33,46,59,73]. However, empirical studies indicate that
strong competitive configurations can have negative effects,
such as a decrease of peer feedback, perceived enjoyment or
quality of ideas [3,17]. On the other hand, gamification fea-
tures with a social and more cooperative character seem to
be particularly suitable for increasing participation [59] and
idea quality [29] in innovation communities. For example,
Scheiner [59] found that social points, which allow users to
reward the contributions of others, are more important for
long-term motivation and participation in an innovation
community than other individualistic and competitive gami-
fication features. The study emphasizes that a reason for their
positive effects may be the motivational affordances cooper-
ative gamification features provide, especially those that are
based on the fulfilling of social needs, such as the need for
social belonging. Several studies indicate that cooperative
gamification may be particularly useful to engage peer feed-
back (comments from other users) in corporate innovation
communities (cf. [29,34,73]), which in turn can positively
impact the quality of user-generated ideas [2,3,69]. There-
fore, it could be expected that further knowledge on the de-
sign of cooperative gamification approaches that motivate
knowledge exchange, will provide a contribution to the de-
sign of successful innovation communities [3,29,59,73] and
similar CSCW systems.
With the aim to investigate the design of cooperative gami-
fication approaches and their practical application in modern
CSCW systems, we apply the design science research (DSR)
methodology [27,52]. Its key characteristic is that it seeks to
extend boundaries of current research by creating new and
innovative artifacts that solve practical problems based on
theoretical and conceptual knowledge [27]. Hevner [26,27]
describes DSR projects as an “embodiment of three closely
related cycles” (Figure 2). First, the relevance cycle that in-
puts practical problems of a contextual environment and pro-
vides opportunities for field tests. Second, the rigor cycle that
provides grounding theories as well as existing design
knowledge and adds new design knowledge from the re-
search to the growing scientific knowledge base. Third, the
design cycle, which is the core of every DSR project and
compromises the iterative construction, evaluation and re-
finement of a design artifact. Our project focuses on the prac-
tical problem of low cooperation and participation in CSCW
systems. Drawing on the above described conceptualization
of gamification and the social interdependence theory, we
suggest that cooperative gamification may be an appropriate,
innovative solution to motivate cooperation in CSCW sys-
tems. According to DSR we build an exemplary instantiation
of a cooperative gamification approach as DSR artifact and
evaluate it in two design cycles [26,27]. In the following we
describe our first DSR cycle, which encompasses the instan-
tiation of the above specified theoretical concept of coopera-
tive gamification, as well as a first evaluation of the thus de-
veloped prototype with users of the contextual environment
(Figure 2). Whereas this first cycle focuses the theoretical
conceptualization and investigation of the design of cooper-
ative gamification, the empirical effects of cooperative gam-
ification will be mainly investigated in the second cycle.
Based on the insights we gather in the first cycle; we will
refine the artifact in the second cycle.
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Figure 2. Design Science Research project based on [26,27]
We have chosen an innovation community of a large German
engineering company with around 1.400 active members as
practical object for our research. This community has been
selected for three reasons: First, innovation communities can
be found in many large organizations and are typically used
as platforms to support the cooperative development of new
innovations [2,33,73]. Second, during the last years, the ac-
tivity in this community decreased noticeably from around
498 comments on ideas in 2013 to 279 comments in 2014.
Third, previous research on cooperation identified peer feed-
back and knowledge exchange (such as comments in an in-
novation community) as a typical form of cooperative inter-
action [32,51]. The innovation community we selected for
this research provides employees the possibility to submit
new ideas and evolve those over four stages from ideation to
realization. By using a comment feature members of the
community can discuss ideas, exchange knowledge and rate
ideas. Previous studies on innovation communities showed
that cooperation of participants in form of constructive dis-
cussions and the sharing of knowledge is crucial for the out-
put quality of such systems [3,14,57,69]. Therefore and un-
der consideration of previous research on gamification in in-
novation communities [29,34,59,73], we assume that a coop-
erative gamification approach, which increases the motiva-
tion to exchange knowledge and to provide peer feedback,
can be beneficial for the investigated community. In the fol-
lowing we describe the design of a cooperative gamification
approach for this community.
In order to design a cooperative gamification feature, we fol-
lowed a two-step approach. First, we conducted interviews
with active users of the innovation community, to better un-
derstand the context and the target group. Second, we de-
signed a cooperative gamification feature for the considered
community that instantiates the above defined design char-
acteristics of cooperative gamification features.
The majority of methods on the design of gamification (see
[10] for an overview) suggests a detailed analysis of the con-
text and the users in order to understand the problems and
opportunities of the given situation. Therefore, we conducted
semi-structured interviews with active users of the innova-
tion community. The system administrator carefully selected
15 participants from different hierarchical levels and with
different age, gender and experience in using the system, in
order to represent the entire population of users. The inter-
views were conducted in German during working hours on a
voluntary basis and took 26 minutes on average. The inter-
view guideline was grounded in goal-setting [33,36,41] and
knowledge-sharing [4] theories, contained open questions
and focused concrete use cases in the system. Here, we took
a specific look on experiences, individual motivations and
personal problems, related to the sharing of knowledge and
discussion of ideas within the innovation community. The
results indicate that almost all interviewees that have pub-
lished ideas wish to get more peer feedback on their ideas,
especially in the first stages of the stage-based ideation pro-
cess. We also identified that the lack of motivation to provide
feedback on ideas of others relies mainly on the following
perceptions: (1) that inputs are not recognized by others; (2)
that feedback has no or little influence on ideas; (3) that using
the system is boring and work-related. During our analysis
we identified 3 different types of users: (I) users that are gen-
erally not interested in supporting ideas of others, (II) users
that are motivated to give peer feedback but expect that their
contribution will not be recognized and (III) users that often
give feedback and like the possibility to share thoughts, help
others and enjoy socializing in the community. A more de-
tailed analysis of these different user types showed that
community members who are intrinsically interested in an
idea are also generally willing to provide a contribution to
this idea. Furthermore, the interviews indicate that users who
provided feedback in the past, did that with the intention to
support the success of ideas and to help the inventors. How-
ever, we also recognized that several users of the system,
which have given feedback, did often not perceive them-
selves as part of a team that develops the idea.
Guided by our theoretical approach and based on the insights
from the interviews, we designed a cooperative gamification
feature for the considered innovation community. Several
interviewees reported that their contribution behavior is
positively linked with the goal to support the success of an
idea. Therefore, we decided to choose the success of an idea
as the core of our gamification feature. Inspired by the idea
that a rocket development could be used as visual metaphor
for the development and success of an idea, we created a set
of graphics that could be used to visualize the success of an
idea in the four-stage ideation process of the community. For
stage 0 (initial setup of a new idea) we used the visualization
of an inventor’s garage, for stage 1 (ideation) the develop-
ment of the rocket engine, for stage 2 (maturation) the devel-
opment of the main body and finally, for stage 3 (project
preparation) the nose and the launch of the rocket (Figure 3,
Figure 4). Furthermore, we designed a set of different un-
lockable visual objects for each of these four visual scenes.
We linked the unlockable visual objects of each stage with
the writing of comments. If no comments were provided the
visualization of the rocket was “naked”, but by writing com-
ments, members of the community got the possibility to
Pre-print. Please find the original paper at
unlock various visual rocket elements, such as color strips,
engines, wings, windows etc. and background elements such
as planets, UFOs, a mobile sculpture, robots etc. (see Figure
Figure 3. Screenshot of an idea within the gamified innovation
Figure 4. Examples of unlockable elements
In other words, we have created a mechanism that rewards
the writing of comments for an idea, by unlocking visual ob-
jects for the visualization of an idea. We assume that the pos-
sibility to achieve a “rich” visualization for an idea could act
as a challenge and shared goal for users that are interested in
the success of this idea. The implementation of our mecha-
nism ensured that the contribution of different users is re-
quired to unlock all visual features of an idea rocket (cf. spe-
cial abilities pattern of Rocha et al. [13,55]). Consequently,
a rich visualization can only be achieved through coopera-
tion. Based on [32] positive goal interdependence exist when
individuals perceive that they “can attain their goals if and
only if the other individuals with whom they are coopera-
tively linked attain their goals“. Therefore, we expect that
our gamification feature, which defines a rich visualization
of an idea as a clear and explicit (shared) goal and creates
mechanism-based mutual dependences between the users,
could arouse positive goal interdependence. Especially,
among users who share an affinity for a particular idea and
are interested in the public representation of this idea.
Furthermore, we followed Zhang’s principles [71,72] with
the aim to design an approach that provides motivational af-
fordances. Zhang recommend the use of challenging goals
and instant, positive performance feedback in order to extend
information systems with motivational affordances for com-
petence satisfaction. Previous research on knowledge shar-
ing indicates that helping others by providing valuable
knowledge can be challenging and a source for competence
satisfaction, especially in organizational contexts [39,67].
Our approach attempts to support this by providing instant
positive performance feedback after submitting a comment
to an idea. This feedback appears in form of a popup with a
short ‘thank you’ message and the option to unlock one of
three randomly selected visual elements for the correspond-
ing idea rocket. Research has shown that the use and promo-
tion of unlockable visual objects as reward for performing
specific activates is a common goal setting practice of gami-
fication [18,19]. Furthermore, the study of Jung et al. [33]
shows that such gamification-based positive performance
feedback related to the submitting of comments provides a
suitable approach to create motivational affordances for
competence satisfaction in innovation communities. We
therefore assume that unlocking visual features by writing
comments may offer motivational affordances for compe-
tence satisfaction.
In order to address the need for social relatedness, our gami-
fication feature was designed with the intent to make the co-
operative behavior more clear and tangible. Following
Zhang’s [71,72] design principles we designed the coopera-
tive rocket graphic as a visualization, which demonstrates
that each individual contribution is part of a group effort. Pre-
vious research emphasizes that the perception to be part of a
cooperative effort may cause experiences such as social re-
latedness, social relevance and again, competence satisfac-
tion [54,56]. Therefore, we expect that our approach may
provide a motivational affordance for the experience of so-
cial relatedness, similar to other cooperative game designs
with shared goals [54,56,58].
To summarize, grounded on the above described theories we
assume that the presented gamification approach fulfils both
requirement of cooperative gamification features (Table 1).
Consequently, we expect that the designed cooperative gam-
ification feature may increase cooperation in form of
knowledge exchange and peer feedback in the considered
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Design decisions
Social interde-
pendence the-
ory [32]
Cooperative gamifica-
tion features should
create situations with
positive goal interde-
Setting of a shared goal
that can be achieved by
cooperation and visuali-
zation of the coopera-
tion progress.
affordance the-
ory [71,72]
Gamification features
should provide moti-
vational affordances
for gameful experi-
Providing opportunities
for competence satisfac-
tion, as well as the expe-
rience of social related-
Table 1. Meta-requirements and design decisions
Instantiation of the feature as part of a cooperative gam-
ification approach
In cooperation with our partner company, we developed an
instantiation of the proposed cooperative gamification fea-
ture as a plugin for the innovation community. As described
above, a cooperative gamification approach may contain dif-
ferent types of gamification features. A recent, comprehen-
sive review of the use of gamification in crowdsourcing rec-
ommends the use of manifold gamification features in
crowd-creation approaches that seek for creative and hetero-
geneous contributions [47]. Therefore, we assume that a
combination of the presented cooperative gamification fea-
ture with e.g. individualistic gamification features, such as
private badges or a level system, might invoke stronger and
more appealing gameful experiences and increase the overall
effects. Badges seems to be an appropriate addition, since
they also utilize the setting of challenging goals in order to
provide motivational affordances for competence satisfac-
tion [18,19]. Following previous research, which found that
badges can positively influence contribution behavior in
communities [19], we defined several goals related to contri-
bution and helping behavior and linked them with several
unlockable private (by default not visible to other users)
badges, such as a badge for writing more than 5 comments.
With the aim of investigating the effectiveness of the de-
signed gamification approach for the considered community,
we conducted a simple experiment in a field setting. Follow-
ing the gamification conceptualization of Hamari [24,28] and
the concept of motivational affordances [33,71,72], gamifi-
cation features influence motivation and behavior of users.
Therefore, we selected both, an indicator to operationalize
the psychological outcomes and an indicator to operational-
ize behavioral intentions. Several studies found positive ef-
fects of gamification on perceived enjoyment [24,47,49] and
positive correlations between enjoyment of gamification ap-
proaches and behavioral outcomes [23,24]. Recent reviews
of empirical studies on gamification [24,47] found that per-
ceived enjoyment is typically considered as an indicator for
the motivational affordances a gamification approach pro-
vides. Especially, motivational affordances that satisfy hu-
man needs, such as the need for competence or social relat-
edness, have been identified as source of enjoyment
[28,56,70]. Our prototype was designed with the intention to
provide motivational affordances that target these needs.
Therefore, we assume that perceived enjoyment is higher
with the developed gamification approach than without (H1).
In order to operationalize the intention to cooperate we meas-
ured the intention to share knowledge in the considered in-
novation community. Several empirical studies indicate that,
generally, gamification approaches can have positive effects
on participation behavior [17,33,37,43,47] and knowledge
sharing [66] in similar CSCW systems. On the other hand,
previous studies in organizational [51] and educational [32]
contexts indicate that promotive interactions, such as
knowledge sharing [51], are typical outcomes of positive
goal interdependence. The gamification approach that is pre-
sented in this paper has been designed with the intention to
support positive goal interdependence and engage coopera-
tive behavior in form of peer feedback and knowledge ex-
change. Therefore, we propose that the developed coopera-
tive gamification approach will increase the intention to
share knowledge in the considered innovation community
Experimental Design
We developed a complete new user interface for the consid-
ered innovation community to minimize novelty effects of a
solely gamification plugin. Based on this interface we cre-
ated two versions, one with gamification (treatment T) and
one without (control C). The experiment was carried out in a
meeting room at our partner company with current users of
the innovation community. 50 users have been selected by
the system administrator and were invited to participate in
voluntary individual sessions of 60 minutes during the work-
ing hours. Finally, 42 participated. We randomly divided the
participants into a treatment and a control group, 21 partici-
pants each. The experiment was performed on a computer,
where we opened one of the two implemented versions. Par-
ticipants of the treatment group, started with a predefined set
of ideas on the screen. They were asked to select an interest-
ing idea and to provide a comment to that idea. In this con-
text, the cooperative gamification feature (the rocket) was
visualized beside the idea. After posting a comment, the par-
ticipants were informed by a popup about the unlocked
rocket feature and were able to witness the sequence-change
of the rocket visualization. During the experiment this task
was repeated with other ideas, in order to demonstrate that
further parts can be unlocked for the rocket. Next, the partic-
ipants of the treatment group were asked to submit a new
idea. Finally, the profile page was shown to the user, where
in the gamified version, the personal achievements (e.g.
overview of supported rockets, a score that represents the
personal contribution performance and unlocked badges)
could be explored. Participants of the control group followed
a comparable process, in which they searched for an idea,
selected an idea, left a comment to this idea and submitted a
new idea. Finally, also their profile pages in the new interface
design were demonstrated. All data were collected using a
Pre-print. Please find the original paper at
digital questionnaire immediately after the simulation. We
collected demographic information, level of experience with
the analyzed community (five-point Likert scale very low
very high) and frequency of use (five-point Likert scale very
seldom - very often) as control variables. In order to validate
the realism of the experiment, we asked the participants to
rate the perceived realism of the experiment with two items
I think the simulation was realistic” and “I believe it is likely
that I execute the simulated activities during work” [68] on a
seven-point Likert scale (strongly disagree - strongly agree).
Differences between the two groups were measured by eight
items in the questionnaire (Table 2), which asked for per-
ceived enjoyment (four items) and knowledge sharing inten-
tion (four items) on seven-point Likert scales (strongly disa-
gree - strongly agree). All items were based on previously
published research and were asked in random order.
Perceived enjoyment
based on [23]
Knowledge sharing intention
based on [4]
Table 2. Questionnaire constructs, corresponding items and
reliability of the constructs
C:2 T:2
C: 9 T:
C: 6 T: 6;
C: 4 T: 0
Table 3. Age of the participates
Age (Table 3), gender (each group 4 female, 17 male), level
of experience with the analyzed community (mean C: 3.09
T: 3.14), as well as the frequency of use (mean C: 2.83 T:
2.85) was homogeneous distributed in both groups. The ap-
plication of Pearson’s Chi-Squared tests found no significant
difference between the two groups.
We conducted Mann-Whitney tests to investigate the effects
of gamification on the dependent variables, according to our
hypotheses H1 and H2. For perceived enjoyment and
knowledge sharing intention the medians were higher in the
group with gamification and the tests showed one-tailed sig-
nificant differences between the control and the treatment
group (Table 4).
The realism of the experiment was rated high with a median
value of six for each group and item, which is equal to “I
agree”. This gives an indication that the participants have
perceived the experiment as realistic, which supports the ev-
idence of the measured effects. We assessed the internal con-
sistency of the dependent variables by computing
Cronbach’s alpha coefficients for each of the constructs.
Both (0,792 and 0,917) showed an acceptable internal con-
sistency (Table 2).
Perceived Enjoyment
Knowledge sharing in-
M=median (1=low; 7=high); *exact p < .01; **exact p < .001 (1-tailed)
Table 4. Results
The findings indicate that the analyzed gamification ap-
proach may increase the perceived enjoyment of users of the
innovation community (H1). This result is in line with nu-
merous gamification studies (e.g. [23,35,49], cf. [24,47]) and
typically interpreted as an indicator for the motivational af-
fordances a gamification approach provides [24,28,47]. Con-
sequently, we assume that the presented cooperative gamifi-
cation approach enriches the innovation community with
motivational affordances. We also measured a significant in-
crease in the intention to share knowledge within the consid-
ered innovation community by the use of gamification (H2).
This indicates that the developed gamification approach has
the potential to increase motivation of community members
to exchange knowledge, provide peer feedback and support
other community members in the development of their ideas.
Previous research in context of the social interdependence
theory found that such kind of promotive interaction (e.g.
knowledge exchange or mutual assistance) is an essential as-
pect of cooperation and a result of positive goal interdepend-
ence [32]. Therefore, our findings indicate that the presented
gamification approach may, increase the behavioral intention
to cooperate.
Based on these findings, we assume that the presented gam-
ification approach fulfills the derived meta-requirements
(Table 1) and represents an example of cooperative gamifi-
cation. Furthermore, our results give an indication that coop-
erative gamification meets the expectations. Although no
comparison between different gamification features has been
conducted in this research project so far, our results show that
both, perceived enjoyment as typical psychological outcome
of gamification features, as well as behavioral intentions can
be influenced by cooperative gamification approaches.
Pre-print. Please find the original paper at
Although our study provides some reasonable indications for
the possible effects of cooperative gamification, the small
sample size, the operationalization with only two variables,
the measurement of perceptions and intentions, the short du-
ration, the selected evaluation method and the generalizabil-
ity of our experiment are strong limitations of the presented
evaluation. As described above, we see this experiment as a
first cycle of an ongoing design science research project
(Figure 2). In the next cycle we will roll out different ver-
sions of the developed gamification prototype in the innova-
tion community of our industry partner to conduct a large
field experiment. Our goal is to offset the limitations of the
preliminary evaluation and to derive empirically tested de-
sign propositions about the design of cooperative gamifica-
tion. Additionally, we will examine the differences of several
gamification features, in order to determine whether more
manifold cooperative gamification approaches, as high-
lighted by Morschheuser et al. [47], will increase the out-
come and effectiveness of gamification solutions that try to
engage creative and heterogeneous contributions. Neverthe-
less, we are convinced that the theoretical contribution and
the empirical insights provided in this paper extends the
boundaries of current gamification research (cf. [5]) and may
already help designers of CSCW systems to design coopera-
tive gamification approaches.
In this paper, we conceptualize cooperative gamification and
provide theoretical foundations for the design of cooperative
gamification approaches. Furthermore, we present a novel
classification framework for gamification features, which al-
lows to subdivide gamification elements along their applied
goal structures into individualistic, cooperative, competitive,
and cooperative-competitive gamification features. In order
to investigate the design of cooperative gamification and to
examine the practical applicability of the proposed frame-
work, we developed an exemplary cooperative gamification
approach for an innovation community of a large German
engineering company. We demonstrate that design patterns
of cooperative video games, such as the setting of shared
goals, as well as design principles for the design of motiva-
tional affordances can support the development of coopera-
tive gamification features. As part of an ongoing research
project on the effects of cooperative gamification, this paper
also reports the results from a first experimental evaluation
of the developed approach. Our results indicate that the de-
veloped approach can have positive effects on perceived en-
joyment and the intention towards knowledge sharing in the
considered innovation community. This encouraged our in-
dustry partner and us to further investigate the empirical ef-
fects of cooperative gamification in future research. Based
on this study and previous research [5,7,17], we can summa-
rize that cooperative gamification is a less researched but
promising research field. Compared to typical competitive or
individualistic gamification approaches, cooperative gamifi-
cation seems to be an interesting alternative, especially for
crowdsourcing platforms, innovation communities, co-crea-
tion approaches and other CSCW systems. We are confident
that our classification and the derived design principles for
cooperative gamification features will help designers of
CSCW systems to design more effective and purposeful in-
centive mechanisms. We hope that this paper will encourage
other researchers to develop and investigate cooperative
gamification approaches and that our contribution provides a
foundation to guide future research in this new direction.
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... The descriptive characteristics of the chosen papers is to be found in the Appendix of this paper. In terms of publication dates, the papers date from 2015 (Helms et al., 2015) to 2021 (Souza et al., 2021;, with 8 publications stemming from 2020 (Aljabali et al., 2020;Almujally & Joy, 2020;De Troyer et al., 2020;Dincelli & Chengalur-Smith, 2020;Holzer et al., 2020;Silic & Lowry, 2020;van der Merwe et al., 2020;Wesseloh et al., 2020), one paper from 2019 (Park et al., 2019), and further two publications from 2017 (Marques et al., 2017;Morschheuser et al., 2017). The ratio of conference papers (N = 7) and journal articles (N = 8) is rather balanced. ...
... The ratio of conference papers (N = 7) and journal articles (N = 8) is rather balanced. The citation count analysis showed that the most cited publication received N = 58 citations at the time of writing (Silic & Lowry, 2020), followed by the second most influential paper with N = 45 citations (Marques et al., 2017), while the third most cited paper received N = 37 citations (Morschheuser et al., 2017). ...
... The highest ratio of papers (N = 8) strengthen the social dimension of sustainable development, mainly focusing on the 4 th Sustainable Development Goal, quality education (Aljabali et al., 2020;Almujally & Joy, 2020;De Troyer et al., 2020;Helms et al., 2015;Park et al., 2019;Wesseloh et al., 2020), followed by papers entering to the domain of the 3 rd Sustainable Development Goal, thematically encompassing good health and wellbeing (Holzer et al., 2020;Marques et al., 2017). Papers in the economic dimension of sustainable development were mostly aiming to improve organizational and employee-related issues and conditions, linked therefore to the 8 th SDG, namely decent work and economic growth (Dincelli & Chengalur-Smith, 2020;Morschheuser et al., 2017;Silic & Lowry, 2020;Souza et al., 2021) and one further publication discussing the enhancement of scientific process, communication and networking, relating therefore to the 17 th Sustainable Development Goal, namely partnerships for the goal. The final set furthermore included one record related to environmental sustainable development, subjecting SDG 6, clean water and sanitation. ...
Conference Paper
The use of gamified designs has been gaining exponential research interest during the last decade, centered around user-centric designs aiming to persuade individuals to a successful individual behavioral change. In the focus of scientific interest are those, which lead to a maintained behavioral change led by intrinsic motivation. Such designs are at the center of attention in diverse sustainability-related topics as well (e.g., education, crowdsourcing, healthcare, individual wellbeing, eco-friendly behaviors, etc.). A focal point of such approaches lies in their rigorous conceptualization, for which design science offers detailed guidelines, resulting in successful artifacts, generated to deliver tailored solutions for users, providing value creation. The present paper aims to investigate, in what types of sustainability-related contexts are gamified approaches proposed as design science artifacts for successful value reaction. The goal of the paper is to identify and explore these research areas and hand a holistic overview about promising and innovative, applied approaches, conducted as design science artifacts. This goal is reached through a narrative synthesis method, searching and selecting papers at Scopus, Web of Science, and ACM Digital Library as databases, following the PRISMA 2020 Guidelines, interpreting N = 14 records. The results of this study deliver a structured summary about successfully gamified design science artifacts centered around value creation in pro-sustainability areas, offering a snapshot of the present standing of research in this applied domain of interest
... In recent years, gamification has grown in popularity and has become an established research area in the fields of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) [43,96,125,143]. The concept behind gamification is simple: if people enjoy playing games, then why not apply those same principles to other areas of life? ...
... Research has shown that a cooperative goal structure improves psychological health and enhances productivity [64]. Furthermore, based on the same theory, Benedikt et al. propose a classification method to divide gamified elements into four types: individualistic, cooperative, competitive, and cooperative-competitive [96]. They also list certain guidelines on how to develop a cooperative gamification system and adopt it in a real-world cooperative context to achieve positive outcomes such as higher levels of enjoyment and sharing of knowledge. ...
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In recent years, studies on the user experience have emerged as an indispensable part of any gamification research. The study of user experience enables gamification designers and practitioners to design or adapt their gamification schemes in a more knowledgeable and efficacious manner. However, one popular gamification scheme that has largely remained under-researched in terms of user experience is promotional gamification, which refers to an optional and time-limited gamification program that usually mounts an already gamified platform to increase user incentive and engagement for a short span of time (e.g., during the holiday season). The current study undertakes the first steps necessary to explore users' experiences of working with a promotional gamification scheme in a large-scale online community. To this end, we conduct an extensive qualitative case study of users' experiences with a promotional gamification scheme on the Community Question Answering Website (CQA) of Stack Exchange, called Winter Bash (WB). Notably, the purpose of WB is to operate as a makeshift solution that prevents the decline in user contributions during the holiday season. However, like many other gamification schemes, WB is not devoid of issues, and our research helps identify those issues without overlooking the WB's strengths. Our study denotes not only the first (empirical) typology of users' affective responses to promotional gamification schemes but also the first classification of (de)motivational factors involved in user engagement. At its core, this study comprises two salient parts: (1) a content analysis of user-generated data regarding WB (from the past eight years), and (2) a series of semi-structured interviews with 17 international users who are familiar with WB. We triangulate our findings from (1) and (2) by performing a similar content analysis for two other promotional gamification schemes, namely "Answerathon" (from Travel Meta) and "Discussion Tournament" (from Reddit). Based on the findings of this study, we present certain guidelines for gamification designers and practitioners, enabling them to deploy or adapt their promotional gamification schemes in a more knowledgeable and effective manner. Finally, our work is concluded by highlighting a few novel research opportunities for researchers invested in the fields of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW).
... Evidences in literature show differences in cooperative and competitive modalities of gamification and that different game elements support the different modalities [7,15,25,27,28,30]. Hence, we inserted a modality component to analyze the game modality (such as single player, co-op, multiplayer, and so forth). ...
Conference Paper
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Gamified solutions provide similar experiences and motivations as games do; in recent years, they have been increasingly used to motivate and engage users in several domains. Despite their wide use, the results after the use of gamified solutions are not always as good as expected. This can be due to several factors: there isn’t a standard procedure for gamification design, there’s a lack of methodological rigor and control over the data collection and data analysis. In this work, we present GamiDOC, a web-based solution to support designers during the software design, development and analysis through the use of a gamification design model and its review, a methods design control, an aid in the code generation, and an exhaustive list of standardized UX questionnaires according to the context of use.
... Gamified learning has been seen as a learning methodologies that can engage and motivate high school students to participate actively in learning through collaboration and association (Morschheuser et al., 2017). The positive association can be created through gamifying learning as rewards usually come with each achievement. ...
Conference Paper
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The aim of this paper was to present the findings from an empirically grounded investigation into the perception of Students on gamifying learning in high schools within African countries, informing the current literature on gamification in learning within African contexts and providing a new approach on how gamification can be incorporated into learning within African countries namely Namibia, Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya. The study was conducted in four countries in Africa. 800 quantitative survey questions were distributed among high school students in these countries. However, 525 questionnaires were completed. Simple random sampling technique was used. Descriptive Statistics was used to analyse the findings using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The findings revealed that students are already actively involved in gamified learning activities in class and found them useful for their learning. However, there is a need to look at the distractive tendencies it poses in class. Recommendations on how to incorporate gamification in learning within African countries are proposed.
... Players must maintain awareness of each other and establish a common ground for communication [9]. Cooperative games also provide players with a variety of explicit and implicit communication mechanics, including awareness cues and cooperative communication mechanics [2,12,67,87,92]. These mechanics help teams communicate with each other and maintain high level of awareness. ...
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Step-by-step tutorials have emerged as a key means for learning complex software, but they are typically designed for individuals learning independently. In contrast, cooperative learning, where learners can help each other as they work, is a fundamental pedagogical technique with many established benefits. To extend these benefits to learning 3D-design software, this work investigates the design of remote cooperative software tutorial systems. We first conduct an observational study of pairs of participants working on 3D-design tutorials, which reveals a range of potential benefits, challenges, and strategies for cooperation. Our findings inform the design of TwoTorials, a cooperative step-by-step tutorial system that helps pairs of remote users establish shared 3D context, maintain awareness of each other's activities, and coordinate their efforts. A user study reveals several benefits to this approach, including enhanced cooperation between learners, reduced effort and mental demand, increased awareness of peer activities, and higher subjective engagement with the tutorial.
... Gamification is linked to increased competition in games that rely on cooperative-competitive features, even when it is undesirable [51]. Traditional sports have similarities to eSports in many aspects, and their competitive nature is expected [21]. ...
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eSports is a growing economic activity and is receiving international recognition as a sport, including in the next Olympics. This paper explores the collaboration challenges that professional eSports players face during competitions. This is important to understand this relatively new computer-mediated profession allowing for the better management of teams as well as the development of games and supporting systems that consider the challenges of professional collaboration. The data for the study was collected through an online questionnaire answered by Brazilian eSports professional players and it was further analyzed. The results show which roles exist in eSport professional teams and how important non-verbal communication is during matches, and how competition and collaboration occur in a team.
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The primary objective of the AIR-BREAK mobility campaigns is to disseminate information to the general public and increase their awareness of the sustainable mobility services available. This is intended to promote the adoption of alternative, more environmentally friendly, mobility practices. Due to human heterogeneity, different individuals are motivated by different factors and for this reason the effect of intrinsic and extrinsic rewards vary from subject to subject. Depending on the citizen’s personality and preferences, specific rewarding mechanisms can have different impacts in terms of behavior change. The goal of this article is to report the rewarding mechanisms developed in the context of the project to raise citizens’ awareness, encourage participation, break bad habits and promote behaviour change towards more sustainable lifestyles. It also presents an analysis assessing the impact of the implemented rewarding systems to evaluate their real influence on eco-sustainable behaviors. The results indicate that every campaign successfully achieved its objective of modifying user behavior. Furthermore, the implementation of incentivizing mechanisms proved to be a pivotal factor in attaining this goal, exerting an impact on both the experienced fun and the behavioral outcome.
This research aims to understand how cooperative game features lead to teamwork behaviors as a step in developing gamified testbeds where human-human and human-autonomy teaming can be evaluated. Multiplayer video games incorporate features that encourage cooperation and interdependency, making them potential task environments for evaluating team metrics. This study analyzed three cooperative video games through annotating play sessions by tracking cooperative features and teamwork behavioral markers. The results show how cooperative features lead to a high frequency of teamwork behaviors, including coordination, planning, backup behavior, and mutual monitoring. Additionally, game features such as complementary and shared obstacles and puzzles, community survival, and team spirit led to the highest frequencies of behavioral markers. This study can serve as an initial assessment to develop a list of requirements for the gamification of teaming testbeds that can support objective quantification of team measurement.
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Cooperation is in many ways a meaningful behavior and understanding how cooperation can be fostered among humans is integral to solving the many global challenges we are facing. Thus, one of the major current developments exists in exploring the potential of gamification to engage people in cooperative activity. However, while the literature on this phenomenon is growing in numbers, it remains unclear how gamification motivates cooperation and how effective it is in cooperative settings. This lack of understanding obstructs us from designing gamification that appropriately supports cooperation and from comprehending what potential hurdles need to be considered. We close this gap by theorizing a framework for gamifying cooperation. Guided by this framework, we systematically review and synthesize the existing literature (n = 51) to understand how gamification has been previously employed to motivate cooperation and what is known about the effects of gamification in cooperative contexts. The main contribution of the present study consists in deducing three different approaches (i.e., based on individualistic, cooperative, and hybrid use of features) to motivate cooperation by gamification and in providing a strategic platform for future research by proposing 11 agenda points regarding thematic, theoretical, and methodological future research avenues for gamifying cooperative activity.
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In this paper, we approach the subject of Cooperative Video Games and their Design. We start out by examining Cooperative Game Mechanics-these include common Design Patterns used currently in Cooperative Video Games and how the challenge archetypes are currently used in Cooperative Video Games. We then proceed to examine our experience in designing a cooperative two player video game using the previously mentioned patterns and challenges, and we present some preliminary evaluation data of the game.
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“Gamification” has gained considerable scholarly and practitioner attention; however, the discussion in academia has been largely confined to the human–computer interaction and game studies domains. Since gamification is often used in service design, it is important that the concept be brought in line with the service literature. So far, though, there has been a dearth of such literature. This article is an attempt to tie in gamification with service marketing theory, which conceptualizes the consumer as a co-producer of the service. It presents games as service systems composed of operant and operand resources. It proposes a definition for gamification, one that emphasizes its experiential nature. The definition highlights four important aspects of gamification: affordances, psychological mediators, goals of gamification and the context of gamification. Using the definition the article identifies four possible gamifying actors and examines gamification as communicative staging of the service environment.
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Crowdsourcing—outsourcing a job to external contributors through an open call—has become an important part of innovation process and product development. However, many crowdsourcing initiatives fail due to low engagement and participation. In the current paper, we aim to explore how companies can employ gamification—game elements and design techniques—to motivate contributions to a crowdsourcing project. Based on an exploratory case study of Threadless, a web-based apparel store, we propose implications that can assist companies in leveraging global capabilities for new product development. Threadless employs game thinking through a wide array of game elements and game mechanics including challenges, achievements, countdowns, discovery, points, reward schedules, and status. Our analysis shows that consumers are fun seekers. They will carry out activities without expecting anything in return, if they perceive it as being fun. Moreover, companies should openly acknowledge consumers’ contributions and give them recognition by using flexible reward system, statuses, and challenges. Despite the importance of extrinsic rewards, it is also essential to realize that intrinsic factors are crucial for maintaining consumers’ continued engagement and therefore we strongly recommend companies to build a strong virtual brand community around their crowdsourcing projects.
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The paper motivates, presents, demonstrates in use, and evaluates a methodology for conducting design science (DS) research in information systems (IS). DS is of importance in a discipline oriented to the creation of successful artifacts. Several researchers have pioneered DS research in IS, yet over the past 15 years, little DS research has been done within the discipline. The lack of a methodology to serve as a commonly accepted framework for DS research and of a template for its presentation may have contributed to its slow adoption. The design science research methodology (DSRM) presented here incorporates principles, practices, and procedures required to carry out such research and meets three objectives: it is consistent with prior literature, it provides a nominal process model for doing DS research, and it provides a mental model for presenting and evaluating DS research in IS. The DS process includes six steps: problem identification and motivation, definition of the objectives for a solution, design and development, demonstration, evaluation, and communication. We demonstrate and evaluate the methodology by presenting four case studies in terms of the DSRM, including cases that present the design of a database to support health assessment methods, a software reuse measure, an Internet video telephony application, and an IS planning method. The designed methodology effectively satisfies the three objectives and has the potential to help aid the acceptance of DS research in the IS discipline.
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Adding game elements to products and services has become a popular approach for enhancing users' experiences. Accordingly, gamification is widely considered an important method for intrinsically motivating users toward a preferred behavior. But what exactly about gamification is actually novel? In a broad literature review, we compare and contrast gamification to similar concepts such as hedonic, persuasive and intrinsically motivating information systems. By decomposing and classifying game elements found in the literature, we distinguish between already existing elements and ones that can be considered new. In order to drive this area of research forward, we develop an extended framework for gamification, identify gaps in the literature, and propose future avenues for research.