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Gamification Reloaded: Current and Future Trends in Gamification Science

Authors:
  • ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics

Abstract

Gamification can help to increase motivation for various activities. As a fundamental concept in HCI, gamification has connections with various fields involving mixed reality, health care, or education. This article presents the expertise of 106 gamification specialists who participated in four workshops called “Gam-R — Gamification Reloaded.” The extraction of current and future trends in gamification is the result of this. Four general topics, four in-depth topics, and seven emerging fields of application for gamification are depicted and enriched with the current state of research to support interested academic scholars and practitioners. Technical and less technical areas, which are the fields of work and research in gamification, are demonstrated. Some areas are already trending, while others are just beginning to show a future trend.
i-com 2021; 20(3): 279–294
 
Athanasios Mazarakis*
 
      
https://doi.org/10.1515/icom-2021-0025
 Gamication can help to increase motivation
for various activities. As a fundamental concept in HCI,
gamication has connections with various elds involv-
ing mixed reality, health care, or education. This article
presents the expertise of 106 gamication specialists who
participated in four workshops called “Gam-R Gamica-
tion Reloaded.” The extraction of current and future trends
in gamication is the result of this. Four general topics,
four in-depth topics, and seven emerging elds of appli-
cation for gamication are depicted and enriched with the
current state of research to support interested academic
scholars and practitioners. Technical and less technical ar-
eas, which are the elds of work and research in gamica-
tion, are demonstrated. Some areas are already trending,
while others are just beginning to show a future trend.
 Gamication, Motivation, Trends

Gamication has developed into a well-known approach
in human-computer interaction (HCI) and is here to stay. It
represents a shift in organizations, systems, services, and
activities to provide experiences, incentives, and capabil-
ities similar to those found in good games [48]. The ap-
proach is being recognized and used in many research and
application elds [43, 107]. From a scientic standpoint,
gamication can aid in increasing motivation for educa-
tion [5], taking part in a healthy lifestyle [2], adopting psy-
chological elements for persuasive systems [62], and pro-
viding the groundwork for emerging elds such as esports
[15].
This article covers current and future trends in gami-
cation and insights gained from four workshops held at
the Mensch und Computer conference series from 2018 to
    Department of
Computer Science Web Science, Kiel University, Kiel, Germany;
and ZBW Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, Web Science,
Kiel, Germany, e-mail: a.mazarakis@zbw.eu, ORCID:
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9943-0382
2021. Researchers and practitioners can use the article’s
insights to gamify various areas, identify new objectives
that gamication ideas address, and explore novel gami-
cation approaches. In addition, this article proposes po-
tential gamication research topics for future exploration.
The article is structured in three chapters. The rst
chapter briey outlines what gamication is and distin-
guishes this area of research from other elds. In addition,
the workshop series “Gam-R Gamication Reloaded” is
briey presented, including the topics that were primarily
discussed. This is followed by the second chapter, which
serves as the key part, highlighting current and future
trends in gamication science. The article nishes in the
last chapter with a summarizing conclusion.
        
Gamication is widely known as the use of game design
elements in a nongame context [23]. An alternative de-
nition of gamication is “the process of making activities
more game-like” [133, p. 2]. Gamication is therefore based
on bringing the motivating eect associatedwith games to
nongame situations by employing game elements as an in-
centive system but without actually playing a game. How-
ever, individuals are often under the misconception that
gamication is, in fact, a game [93, pp.1379–1380]. Gam-
ication is not a product by itself, and it is not created in
the same way that a game is; gamication is closer to game
design and not to games and in a particular case, can lead
to gamied applications that are not even intended to be
fun [66, p. 317].
By applying gamication, individuals are inspired to
engage in an activity for a longer time or enhance their
performance by doing specic tasks in this manner [116].
Gamication comprises several parts [134] and can in-
clude theoretical aspects such as goals, feedback, simpli-
ed user experience, and social comparison [63].
Dening gamication, however, is not as conclusive
as presented thus far. Many approaches try to give an
overview of gamication denitions, but most fail to pro-
vide signicant support for the gamication community or
researchers. For example, Schöbel etal. try to separate the
Open Access. © 2021 Mazarakis, published by De Gruyter. This work is licensed under the Creative CommonsAttribution 4.0 International
License.
 | A. Mazarakis, Gamication Reloaded
denitions into four dimensions, ending with most deni-
tions being in 2 or 3 dimensions at the same time while
making it questionable if the “setting” dimension is in-
deed a dimension and whether this categorization is help-
ful at all [111, pp. 707708]. At the same time, however, it
must be acknowledged that this is an approach that has
failed others as well, which is why the relatively simple
denition by Deterding et al. about game design elements
in a nongame context [23] is still relevant.
   
 
The international workshop series “Gam-R Gamica-
tion Reloaded” was established after the Mensch und Com-
puter conference 2017 in Regensburg, Germany. The work-
shop allows scholars and practitioners to present and dis-
cuss new and (yet to be completely matured) research
ideas. Furthermore, applications and research regarding
gamication that meet a good scientic standard are ap-
preciated. The presented research can then be analyzed
at the workshop by gamication researchers to gain in-
put from the community, e. g., for future initiatives and re-
search. Thus far, four workshops have been conducted:
1st International Gam-R Gamication Reloaded
workshop 2018 in Dresden, Germany, with 30 par-
ticipants [79]. Four presentations were given, with a
strong focus on industry.
2nd International Gam-R Gamication Reloaded
workshop 2019 in Hamburg, Germany, with 33 partici-
pants [80]. In 2019, the focus of the four presentations
was learning in the broadest sense.
3rd International Gam-R Gamication Reloaded
workshop 2020 in Magdeburg, Germany (virtual) with
26 participants [81]. Supporting novice coders was the
topic of two presentations, and an ignition talk on how
to link AI and gamication was the cornerstone of the
2020 workshop.
4th International Gam-R Gamication Reloaded
workshop 2021 in Ingolstadt, Germany (virtual) with
17 participants [82]. An ignition talk on gamication
in drug counseling for youth kicked o the workshop.
This was followed by two presentations on the top-
ics of smart homes and gamication in the workplace.
The workshop concluded with a bar camp on gamica-
tion in the banking sector, audio gamication, quan-
tied self, and gamication in MOOCs.
The workshop welcomes topics on dierent themes, such
as the use of gamication in various contexts, gamica-
tion for dierent groups of users, e. g., for children or
the elderly, and the analysis of individual game design
elements. The full-day workshops oer the possibility of
presenting accepted articles, networking with other re-
searchers, and increasing the visibility of gamication in
research and practice. Usually, the workshop is split into
two parts: The rst part consists of the presentation and
in-depth discussion of accepted submissions, while the
second part consists of a discussion on open (research)
aspects, further research goals, and where a future joint
approach takes place [79–82]. In this second part of each
workshop, four topics were discussed in formal and infor-
mal settings:
Missing aspects of gamication research Where are
we right now? (Section 1.3).
Element’s design of gamication (Section 1.4).
Drawbacks and threats of gamication (Section 1.5).
Benets and opportunities of gamication (Sec-
tion 1.6).
A brief summary of each of the four topics is presented in
their respective sections (1.3–1.6). These four topics were
the main topics around which the general discussion took
place. This then gave rise to the four more detailed top-
ics. The idea to cluster these four main topics emerged af-
ter the rst workshop, where participants collected ideas
individually with large presentation cards, and afterward,
the group clustered the topics. At the second workshop,
the topics were provided on four large posters, and rotat-
ing focus groups added ideas and remarks. The third and
fourth workshops incorporated the ndings from the rst
two workshops, and participants could provide additional
input and remarks on virtual whiteboards, have the previ-
ous results displayed, or just give feedback verbally.
The topics discussed most are included in the second
chapter, Current and Future Trends in Gamication Sci-
ence.” Overlaps between the sections are intended to show
the dierent interconnections within this multifaceted re-
search topic.
    
    
For the participants, the most crucial aspect of each work-
shop was the so-called issue of “missing gamication.” As
a result, a vast mix of topics was discussed, including con-
text, methods, implementation, and denitions of gami-
cation. A brief overview of these four areas mentioned fol-
lows, whereby this has always been by far the workshop
A. Mazarakis, Gamication Reloaded | 
discussion part with the most debate and includes to a
large extent Section 2.1 (Focusing the Research Area).
Context, which is covered in Section 1.4, also seems to
be a source of innite discussions, which at the same time
represents the importance of the perception of the work-
shop participants. Long-term eects (see Section 2.4) and
target group-specic research are always among the rst
topics discussed. In this regard, despite (or perhaps be-
cause of) cultural and demographic dierences, it is essen-
tial to consider these dierences for successful gamica-
tion design to achieve improved accessibility [60]. Dier-
ent gamication services have to be considered [42], and
in addition to the usual gamied areas such as commerce
or education [14], less frequent but also very important ar-
eas, such as occupational safety, are moving into the focus
of gamication [18].
Methods of gamication science have been and still
are a challenging eld, leaving much to be desired. The
classic method approach is to obtain self-reported data via
storyboards [39], questionnaires, or surveys [61]. These are
usually easier to conduct but provide fewer insights be-
cause these ndings are less equivalent in terms of validity
to well-executed inferential studies such as experiments
[43]. Controlled studies are required to enhance gami-
cation research and gain knowledge about the actual im-
pacts of gamication, ideally over a longer period (see also
Section 2.4).
The workshop participants frequently expressed a de-
sire for a method toolbox, where they could simply reach
in and nd a gamication solution for any problem. While
research has been conducted on various frameworks, e.g.,
Mora et al. analyze 18 dierent gamication frameworks
[87], the panacea hoped for has, unsurprisingly, not yet
been found.
Moving away from the points-badges-leaderboards
triad (see also Section 2.3) and implementing less fre-
quently used game design elements such as narrative
while considering ethical issues (see also Section 2.5.7) are
also often articulated aspects. However, simultaneously,
the “quality” of gamication, or rather to achieve the de-
sired goals with gamication, leads to a dissent in the
game design elements to be used, as expressed by the
workshop participants.
Last, there was always a debate at the workshops
about various denitions of gamication, which is not
new to gamication research [48, 66, 121]. Depending on
the perspective and context, dierent denitions may well
come into question. An in-depth analysis of this situation
would go beyond this article’s scope. It is not surprising,
however, that gamication and games are often confused
with each other because, in some cases, such comparative
(scientic) research is carried out [69].
    
The second point in the workshop participants’ discussion
was related to the design of the game design elements. The
main focus of the discussions was on two aspects: com-
plexity and context.
The workshop participants prefer a low barrier for us-
ing a gamied system, not only in general but also for in-
dividuals with disabilities [119]. In addition, gamication
should be intuitive to understand and use. In particular,
an emotional design should generate a feeling of immer-
sion [136]. At the same time, the gamication design must
also be created for mobile devices [138], and usability must
be considered [40, 50, 95]. However, this has led to contro-
versy in the discussions because usability tends to make
systems self-explanatory, while gamication can also con-
tain game design elements that may be surprising [138].
This is thus a challenge for traditional designers.
It is essential to consider the context of the intended
use, such as whether something is public or even represen-
tative or “just” for self-motivation. The gamied system’s
goals and stakeholder objectives must be aligned while
also keeping the organization’s or experimental setting’s
constraints in mind [12, 32, 102]. Finckenhagen identies
28 dierent contextual factors, such as age, gender, level of
education, and personality [32], which can inuence gam-
ication. For example, if we wish to gamify online shop-
ping vs. education, the contexts are fundamentally dier-
ent. In the rst case, an individual wants to boost website
activity, but in the second situation, the emphasis is on
maintaining a high level of learning attention [71].
These two topics, complexity, and context were over-
shadowed entirely by general discussions about game de-
sign elements. Further workshop discussions and ideas
about individual, joint, and user-related eects of game
design elements can be found in Section 2.2.
     
Various risks and disadvantages of gamication were con-
sidered at the four workshops. The most frequently raised
issues were those concerning motivation, system imple-
mentation, legal and ethical considerations. Interestingly,
motivational aspects have dominated the discussions.
“Too much gamication” could lead to a tiring perception,
and too much repetition can lead to a risk of habit so that
 | A. Mazarakis, Gamication Reloaded
the desire for the task fades. Additionally, intrinsic moti-
vation could perhaps disappear [45].
According to implementation aspects, the monetary
costs to implement and design good gamication can be
underestimated or worse, have a budget that is too small.
This could lead to “bad gamication, e. g., “pointication”
and a decrease in intrinsic motivation, which is also al-
ready being addressed in gamication science [103]. A dis-
advantage is that the external perception of gamication
could be problematic, and that gamication may be asso-
ciated with games rather than work, according to the work-
shop participants.
Legal and ethical issues were also introduced into the
discussion. With social scoring in China as a prominent
example [101], data protection due to data collection and
monitoring, which functions as an incentive to cheat or
trick the system, risk of abuse and social pressure due to
competitive orientation, and even the risk of addiction,
have all been identied as potential drawbacks of gam-
ication. This topic is examined in more detail in Sec-
tion 2.5.7.
    

Finally, the participants in the workshops discussed the
benets and opportunities of gamication. The most
salient feature of gamication was the ability to stimulate
(self-)motivation for boring and unpleasant activities. Ad-
ditionally, gamication is perceived as a strategy for cre-
ating or promoting a ow state [41]. However, unlike ow
theory, which needs complete attention to achieve ow
[20], gamication combines game design elements in such
a manner that they are experienced both consciously and
unconsciously.
Another benet is the opportunity to use gamication
to create a connection between people, i.e., a sense of be-
longing. This ts very well with the assumptions of self-
determination theory, a prominent theory in gamication
science [84, p. 2], where social relatedness is a basic psy-
chological need [21].
Interestingly, as already briey discussed in Sec-
tion 1.4, adaptive and tailored gamication, which ts the
context and complexity of a given situation, is expected
to be a critical opportunity in gamication research. How-
ever, the workshop participants were at the same time
somewhat hesitant and did not believe in a swift and tar-
geted implementation, despite the slow but steady publi-
cation of new scientic research about this aspect [10, 38,
59, 68]. The hesitation is mainly based on disagreement
with existing models about various learning and player
types [47, 109].
Fourth, the use of gamication with augmented reality
(AR) and virtual reality (VR) was increasingly noted. This
topic is examined in more detail in Section 2.5.3.
    
 
Not all future trends are meant to be found in the future.
For example, ethical aspects of gamication are already
under discussion but only as niche research. This chap-
ter will provide a longer summary of the (additional) re-
sults of the four workshops with 106 participants from sci-
ence and practice in the eld of gamication. The rst
four sections will discuss issues about focusing on gam-
ication research, the dierent eects of game design ele-
ments, chances for less frequently used game design ele-
ments, and in Section 2.4 thoughts about long-term eects
and experiments in gamication science. This is followed
by a section about seven emerging elds of application for
gamication.
    
Many dierent denitions plague gamication and eorts
have been made to align them over time [104]. Further-
more, even if it seems surprising, scientic engagement in
the self-understanding of gamication is a contemporary
and future trend in scientic research.
The dispute starts with whether we are dealing with
game mechanics [16] or game design elements, which also
consist of dynamics, mechanics, and components [134,
p. 78]. The ambiguities continue with terms such as gami-
cation, serious games, game-based learning, simulation
games, business games, or even just games [50, 63, 134].
These terms are often used interchangeably, although they
are dierent domains. For example, serious games have
the primary purpose of educating rather than entertain-
ing [65]. It is beyond the scope of this article to address
each denition individually, so here only reference is made
to the literature that has dealt with the dierences exten-
sively [50]. Along with this, further theory building is ap-
propriate to advance the eld and it will have implications
for practice [63].
Finally, there is some dispute about the denition of
gamication itself. The denition by Deterding et al. is
probably the most frequently cited, according to which
A. Mazarakis, Gamication Reloaded | 
gamication use game design elements in a nongame con-
text [23]. Alternative denitions have emerged that on the
one hand criticize the vagueness of the aforementioned
denition and propose new denitions [48, 116, 134] but at
the same time are themselves only valid for limited areas or
remain vague, e.g., “the process of making activities more
game-like” [133, p.2]. Some authors even argue for the use
of a nondenition of gamication [121]. Further research
will show whether such approaches are promising.
The workshop participants engaged much less in
heated discussions about denitions. Instead, they ac-
knowledged the dierences between, e. g., serious games
and gamication and focused more on practical issues
and whether denitions can pose boundaries for specic
gamication implementations. As a result, the discussion
of gamication denitions was frequently deemed “aca-
demic,” and a shift to other topics was encouraged.
    
   
The main feature of gamication revolves around the game
design elements [23], which led to some vivid discus-
sions among workshop participants, especially what can
be considered a game design element. The number of
existing game design elements varies in the literature.
For example, Werbach et al. mention 30 game design el-
ements divided between game dynamics, game mechan-
ics, and game components [134]. Rado identies 42 ele-
ments that are fun to play and proposes them for usage
in nongame contexts [100]. However, other authors have
identied over 100 game design elements [129].
To complicate the issue even more, game design el-
ements can be mapped according to dierent aspects.
Blohm and Leimeister, for example, have done this based
on motives [9]. Sailer et al., on the other hand, on the foun-
dation of (basic) psychological needs [108].
Usually, points, badges, and leaderboards, also
known as the PBL triad, are used [71, 134] and are also
the most examined game design elements in gamica-
tion research [61]. Points are considered essential for any
gamied system [138] and have dierent properties, such
as experience points and skill points [107]. In addition,
points can keep score, determine the current status, pro-
vide feedback, and can be seen as an external display of
improvement [108], [134, pp. 72–73]. Badges are digital
artifacts that have some visual representation [4, p. 1].
Antin and Churchill also argue that “the most obvious
function of badges is as a goal-setting device” [4, p.2].
Badges can be judged to be very eective for increasing
user activity [40]. Recent studies, on the other hand, do
not show such positive results or conclusions [64, 88]. Fi-
nally, leaderboards are used to compare individuals and
are again a visual display of progression and achievement
[134, p. 80]. Various forms are possible, such as a social
ranking that (again) acts as a feedback mechanism [73, 74].
Research has shown that it is unclear whether and
how to choose the use of individual game design ele-
ments in contrast to joining multiple game design ele-
ments. Usually, gamication research often combines dif-
ferent game design elements but does not explain these
combinations, as in Morschheuser et al. [89]. This leaves
unanswered the individual eect of game design elements
[85]. Hamari et al. state that “[…] most of the quantita-
tive studies concluded positive eects to exist only in
part of the considered relationships between the gami-
cation elements and studied outcomes.” [43, p.3029] and
Hanus et al. conclude that “[…] the eectiveness of various
gamication elements have not been suciently tested.”
[45, p. 152]. Finally, Cermak-Sassenrath summarizes many
studies where the eects of individual game design ele-
ments are either not clear or are not desirable and even de-
motivating [14, pp. 123–125]. In a recent series of studies by
Groening and Binnewies, they argue “that a high amount
of game design elements benets motivation and perfor-
mance” [36, p. 1130]. However, at the same time, they need
in an experiment three game design elements to outper-
form a control condition without any game design element
in terms of motivation and performance [36]. This also sup-
ports the unclear situation regarding the eect of individ-
ual game design elements.
Possible eects of individual elements often remain
undetected. However, this detection is required to support
eective design decisions, which is also recognized as a
research gap in gamication research [61]. In general, re-
search that compares gamication versus no gamication
without properly separating elements or relevant element
clusters has minimal theoretical relevance and should be
avoided [66, p.330]. Nonetheless, there are currently rela-
tively few experimental studies that reect the eects of in-
dividual game design elements [12, 17, 49, 67, 74–76, 108].
However, using several game design elements at the
same time does not always have to be designed to enhance
or neutralize an existing eect. It is also possible to ac-
tively control the user’s actions by making only one game
design element responsible for them, even if others exist
and are used alongside them. Kizina et al. provide exper-
imental ndings using a “booster” element to push other
activities, in addition to the provision of other game design
elements [58]. Overall, much research is still needed, par-
ticularly on the eects of individual game design elements
 | A. Mazarakis, Gamication Reloaded
and especially how individual game design elements dif-
fer.
Finally, user-related eects need to be considered. The
eects of game design elements tend to have dierent ef-
fects on dierent individuals [107]. A dierence in the ef-
fect can often be explained by age and gender dierences,
with usually higher mean eects for males but with higher
variances for females, including the higher proportion of
those individuals who are particularly strongly motivated
[12, 51, 60]. However, many dierent interactions between
gender and personality appear to have an impact on per-
ceived game design elements [22].
Debates at the workshops acknowledged insucient
empirical evidence about individual game design ele-
ments and that only points, badges, and leaderboards are
usually considered. This issue is briey investigated in the
following section.
      
   
Game design elements such as points, badges, leader-
boards, and feedback are heavily researched game design
elements [40, 85, 116, 138]. Despite the PBL triad’s popular-
ity and perceived success, it is well known that it can have
a negative impact on motivation and performance in a va-
riety of ways [84, 85], with leaderboards being a prime ex-
ample [12, 46, 134]. In addition, Kapp states that the “most
eective gamication eorts include morethan points and
badges they contain elements of story, challenge and
continual feedback […]” [53, p. 52].
On the other hand, game design elements rarely con-
sidered in gamication research are, e.g., progress bars
and narratives. They are therefore, considered a niche in
gamication research compared to other game design el-
ements [24, 34, 61, 122]. Additionally, having an avatar
to support user activity is a gamication approach, but
one that is also awed, like other nontypical game design
elements, by the time-consuming creation and the high
amount of time an individual needs to dedicate in compar-
ison to, e. g., points or a leaderboard [8].
Stories or narratives are used in many games, and
gamication has a slow uptake of this game design ele-
ment [35, 76, 108]. According to Keusch and Zhang, based
on intensive literature analysis, it is critical for the impact
of a narrative embedded into an application to be contex-
tually appropriate [55]. Further studies show the poten-
tial of a narrative game design element [94] for gamica-
tion and that it can overcome the challenges of traditional
game design elements [128].
Many discussions among the workshop participants
about the PBL triad showed an ambivalent perception of
these game design elements. On the one hand, it was
accepted and there was the desire to get away from the
PBL triad because of the negative experiences with leader-
boards. On the other hand, the high cost of less frequently
used game design elements and the uncertainties about
success are real barriers to implementing other game de-
sign elements. Again, all participants agreed that more re-
search is needed.
    
Scientic results are more valid the longer an experiment
lasts. In particular, long-term experiments are considered
favorable. However, “many studies of gamication mea-
sure only short-term eects while long-term eects remain
unclear.” [14, p. 125]. Of course, this is not a problem spe-
cic to the eld of gamication, but here too, the demand
for longer evaluation periods and, in contrast, the reality
of too short evaluation periods and, in some cases, very
small numbers of subjects are evident. There is a risk (and
partly reality) that gamication’s perceived joy and useful-
ness decrease over time [60]. In a recently published study
by Silic et al., the result of a 1-year study reported that gam-
ication can also be eective over a longer period and can
even increase in its desired eect [117]. This gives hope for
further long-term studies and results, which go in the same
direction.
One classic experiment from Thom et al., shows the ef-
fects of removing gamication from an enterprise network
[126]. However, while a minimal positive eect in favor of
gamication could still be found in the long term in this
experiment, this is not the case in other studies. For ex-
ample, it was not possible to show the long-term impact
of an app-based behavior change intervention on house-
hold electricity savings in Switzerland one year after the
intervention was executed [132]. A recent analysis of arti-
cles about removing gamication provides insight in terms
of mixed results and a lack of empirical studies [115].
Some experiments show long-term positive eects of
gamication, e. g., one by Hamari [40]. What is missing,
however, is a progression of activity over time, which is not
reported. Other studies have found the same mixed inter-
pretations [45]. Additionally, mixed interpretations can be
drawn from studies that rely on long-term surveys and not
experiments, despite the large samples they accumulated
[130, 136]. Finally, Barata et al. use a 3-year study to sepa-
rate users into six dierent player types. It is interesting to
A. Mazarakis, Gamication Reloaded | 
note that the player types developed dierently over time
[6].
In general, empirical data, especially from experi-
ments, are missing. Kasurinen and Knutas also highlight
this issue by stating that “[…] it is plausible to argue that
the most pressing issue of the research work in gamica-
tion is to collect evidence on the practical applications and
their impact.” [54, p. 43]. A summary of dierent analyses
provides insight that thus far, 104 articles with empirical
data have been identied and analyzed by several authors
in meta-reviews [14, p.123]. While 104 articles are a signif-
icant number, it is important to keep in mind that these
empirical studies reect a very long period in the eld of
gamication research, at least 10 years of practical appli-
cation, or even 20 years of scientic gamication research
[14, p. 125]. The challenge is that evidence-based gami-
cation research with empirical data and preferably with
experiments, which have clearly dened control groups
and are based on theory-based hypotheses, has been very
rare thus far. The existing preference for survey studies no
longer meets the demand for reliable results. This is all the
more urgent because many of the results are described as
“mixed or inconclusive” [14, p. 123].
This issue was also always acknowledged by the work-
shop participants. A shift away from survey studies to ex-
periments, including treatment and control groups, is de-
sired by both researchers and practitioners.
     

Gamication is and has been used in many academic areas
and elds of application. Cermak-Sassenrath summarizes
these areas by including health, education, commerce,
intraorganizational systems, sustainable consumption,
work and workplace, innovation, data gathering, consult-
ing, marketing, customer loyalty,online communities, and
social networks, along with crowdsourcing [14]. It makes
no sense to extract open research gaps and new elds of
application for gamication from each of these elds. This
is beyond the capacity of this article.
Instead, this article will focus on some areas that
have been mentioned in detail at the “Gam-R Gami-
cation Reloaded” workshops and which could be of inter-
est for pioneering projects in gamication: articial intelli-
gence and machine learning, science, augmented, virtual
and mixed reality, Internet of Things, analog gamication,
gamication for individuals with disabilities, and last, eth-
ical aspects.
These seven areas have one thing in common: work-
shop participants rated them as a high priority. Therefore,
brief summaries of these areas follow, without specically
mentioning the high prioritization from the workshop, ex-
cept for gamication for individuals with disabilities in
Section 2.5.6.
     
Articial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)
methods are gaining increasing importance in various
elds, such as health [52], material science [37], educa-
tion, and many more [137], even if numerous ethical ques-
tions remain unanswered or are still being explored [120].
Khakpour and Colomo-Palacios provide an impressive sys-
tematic literature review of 43 articles about gamica-
tion and machine learning [56]. The authors highlight that
most applications of gamication and ML can be found
in the eld of learning analytics [56, p. 598]. Additionally,
concepts for adaptive gamication with ML have been in-
troduced [56, p. 599].
One issue, which is not limited to the use of gami-
cation and AI/ML alone, however, is that “there is a very
limited number of challenges reported by the researchers,
as they are normally focusing on the strengths of their
work in the reports.” [56, p. 621]. This makes it challenging
to conduct a realistic assessment of the potential of com-
bining AI/ML with gamication. In particular, the missing
randomization of the subjects for 31 of the 43 studies en-
ables only a very limited interpretation of the ndings [56,
pp. 628–631].
A novel approach has been taken by Voit, Schneider,
and Kriegbaum [129]. The authors do not use AI to de-
rive relevant information for gamication and decision-
making from user behavioral data that a live gamication
system could use to inuence behavior. Instead, they use
AI to detect game design elements in game instructions of
board games and to generate design suggestions to sup-
port the selection and combination of game design ele-
ments for nongame contexts [129]. For more than 30,000
board games, between 78% and 90 % accuracy has been
achieved, and more than 100 game design patterns have
been documented [129, p. 3].
Nevertheless, at the moment, mixed results dominate,
and movement away from the desired results is often at-
tributed to external inuences [27, p. 15]. To date, AI and
ML have been the most promising trends in computer sci-
ence, making signicant advances in, e.g., health and
medical science, but many pitfalls are scraping the hype
and showing the challenges of reality [28].
 | A. Mazarakis, Gamication Reloaded
 
Science and gamication already have some shared his-
tory through citizen science [11, 29]. At the same time,
gamication is a promising way to help researchers ad-
vance their careers, especially for collaboration and repro-
ducible research [30, 31]. Indeed, gamication can provide
incentives and benets to researchers and enhance educa-
tion and training/administration best practices in science
[31].
In addition, gamication can help to engage with open
science and open access [13, 77, 78]. Kidwell et al. showed
that badges could motivate scientists to share data [57].
Many universities, research institutes, and funding organi-
zations are increasingly promoting open access, including
open access to scientic publications, although adoption
has been gradual [97]. Gamication could act as a poten-
tial motivator and accelerator in these areas to facilitate
adoption.
     
Augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed re-
ality (MR) are quickly advancing areas in computer sci-
ence and already have ties with gamication, e. g., AR with
gamication in museums [44], VR with gamication for
medical education [123], or MR with gamication to learn
music [86]. Of course, these are just a few areas, but ex-
amples of use can be found everywhere in the main appli-
cation areas of gamication already mentioned, such as
education and health.
Just as fragmented as the dierent application areas
are, so is the state of implementation of gamication in the
dierent realities. From concepts [114] to prototypes [92]
and fully implemented experiments, in this case about or-
der picking [12], a wide variety of research methods are ap-
plied in the eld of AR, as also for VR and MR.
Embodiment with VR and gamication is a new trend
to achieve a high level of immersive VR [118] and advances
the eld of brain-computer interfaces with AR/VR/XR [98].
Furthermore, the impact of COVID-19 is already being rec-
ognized and addressed in combination with AR/VR and
gamication [7].
   
The Internet of Things (IoT) enables linked devices to
record, communicate, and gather data via a network us-
ing a variety of sensors, laying the groundwork for appli-
cations such as smart grids, smart automobiles, and smart
cities [70]. Alla and Nal provide an overview and show
that this topic has gained strong movement in the gami-
cation area since 2017, with primary settings in education,
energy consumption, and sustainability [1].
Indeed, sustainability is a topic that is trending be-
cause of climate change. Douglas and Brauer show in
a recent literature review how gamication is used to
tackle energy reduction, education about sustainability,
air quality, waste management, and water conservation
[26], which are also topics closely related to the IoT. Gami-
cation is also considered for innovation in the IoT and In-
dustry 4.0 to advance sustainability [96]. To address these
challenges, various IoT frameworks have been proposed
[70, 95].
  
It may seem strange to deal with analog gamication be-
cause gamication is usually only considered a digital
phenomenon. Nevertheless, analog gamication is trend-
ing in security scenarios such as social engineering, inci-
dent management, or data security and can be set up in
an analog education situation [112, 113]. In some cases, an
analog approach, instead of classic” digital gamication,
can provide a simple alternative with lower acceptance
barriers. For example, Kizina [58] reported in the work-
shop that their digital approach to gamication had been
analogized to ancillary activities in the oce as a result of
the study. A complex digital application was transformed
into an analog board in the coee room, where employees
could use clothespins to set tasks and goals.
Recently, Mee et al. proposed a conceptual model of
analog gamication to enhance motivation for learning,
including aspects such as engagement and attitude [83].
However, the potential is also seen in the area of public
health [99], and unusual areas such as urban gamication
[124] and the COVID-19 pandemic [125].
     
Another issue that was raised by the participants was gam-
ication for individuals with disabilities. We should hon-
estly admit that this should actually not be a trend but
a matter of course. Gamication research has also recog-
nized this and is approaching the complex terrain with sci-
entic studies. Smith and Abrams provide a very detailed
article as they prioritize gamication, take into account
A. Mazarakis, Gamication Reloaded | 
the requirements of learners, including those who iden-
tify as disabled, and highlight critical questions regarding
equality and access to digital instructional resources [119].
Colpani and Homem propose a framework includ-
ing AR and gamication to assist learning for individuals
with intellectual disabilities, mainly children. Combining
a framework and AR with gamication results in a proto-
type that could successfully address the issue [19]. A dier-
ent approach is considered by Wong, who opts to foster the
musical creativity of students with intellectual disabilities
using gamication [135].
One approach the workshop participants discussed to
support individuals with disabilities is a sort of audio gam-
ication, meaning, e. g., using gamication on audio-only
devices without any screen. Thus far, there is a (some-
what premature) concept of educational audio gamica-
tion and no pure audio gamication, but this is a step in
the right direction for the participants [105, 106]. A start-
ing point to approach audio gamication could be audio
games, which, unlike classic video games, do not focus on
visual elements [33]. However, as in classic gamication,
it is possible to extract game design elements from audio
games and to use them in other contexts.
    
Ethical aspects of gamication are receiving increasing at-
tention in the scientic community, e. g., some authors ar-
gue that addiction to game-like elements such as gamica-
tion can occur [3]. Andrade et al. also mention additional
problematic activities, such as o-task behavior or unde-
sired competition [3, pp. 178–179]. This is closely related
to misguided game design elements, e. g., a risk of using
a narrative is that the storyline can become a distraction
from the real-world situation [90, p.8]. At the same time,
providing reward-based gamication is something to try to
avoid with regard to creating long-term change in the sub-
ject’s behavior [90, p. 3].
Leaderboards appear to be the most problematic game
design element here. The reason for this is that leader-
boards may have an overly competitive eect. This would
be toxic for the individuals who negatively react to this
game design element. According to the current state of re-
search, this often seems to be the case [3, 12, 134]. Indeed,
such negative results can be found for other game design
elements, but it is particularly striking for leaderboards.
Additionally, when considering ethical aspects, gami-
cation going (totally) wrong is of importance, e.g., if in-
dividuals actually invest more time in satisfying the gami-
cation goal instead of the actual goal they want to fulll
[25]. Again, an entire article could be lled with this topic.
So besides possible addiction, aspects such as gamica-
tion being perceived as shamication or exploitationware
[72], manipulation or unwanted competition by applying
gamication [91], utilizing stealthy persuasion or stealth
marketing [127], or gamication facilitating the radical-
ization of individuals [110] are some of the facets to take
into consideration with regard to ethical characteristics in
gamication.
These ethical aspects were mentioned or discussed
during the four workshops but without arriving at deni-
tive proposals for solutions. Despite the importance of the
other trends mentioned in this article, this may have the
most pressing issue.

Gamication is becoming a fundamental concept in HCI
with an extensive professional and interdisciplinary ori-
entation. This article describes the ndings of four yearly
and consecutive workshops titled Gam-R Gamication
Reloaded” and the expertise of 106 specialists taking part
in these workshops. These ndings were supplemented
with state-of-the-art scientic literature to support their
validity and the need for further research.
Considerable research is still required on aspects such
as context, methods, and implementation of gamication,
especially with experiments and target group-specic re-
search to analyze long-term eects. For game design ele-
ments, complexity and context are still two substantial re-
search gaps. Adaptive and tailored gamication could be
helpful to deal with context but might also add complex-
ity in terms of implementation. This article presents nu-
merous examples of (mostly) successful gamication and
promising trends in this area. However, gamication is not
a no-brainer, and many risk factors can lead to the failure
of ambitious gamication projects [131, p. 1309].
Indeed, a stronger focus on the state of research could
improve the overall situation in gamication research. In-
dividual game design elements and their interactions still
contribute to many open research questions, including
moving away from the PBL triad.
However, more specic areas of application for gami-
cation were discussed at the workshops and in this article.
While the use of gamication in the current trend around
AI and ML will not come as much of a surprise, the dedi-
cated application in the eld of science is somewhat sur-
prising. In addition, AR, VR, and MR are currently and in
 | A. Mazarakis, Gamication Reloaded
the future, areas where gamication can show its full po-
tential. This can also be considered in combination with
the IoT, although standalone application areas have al-
ready been outlined in this context. Analog gamication,
gamication for individuals with disabilities, and ethical
aspects of gamication conclude the seven current and fu-
ture trends for gamication. These however, as rather non-
technical areas, have a much more signicant inuence on
the four (more or less) technical areas than it might appear
at rst glance.
Many topics in gamication have been left out in this
article, e. g., Landers et al. deal in more detail about vari-
ous theoretical foundations [66]. However, the use, advan-
tages, and disadvantages of various classications of user
types, including the issue that user types seem to be unsta-
ble [47, 109], are only briey mentioned in this article. In
addition, the contribution to various theoretical founda-
tions or the discussion about intrinsic and extrinsic moti-
vation of gamication was raised at the workshops but not
truly discussed as they were other, more pressing gamica-
tion trends to discuss. Nevertheless, these are also impor-
tant topics and are therefore mentioned here. However, in
the mixture of participants in the workshops from science
and practice, these topics played a subordinate role. Other
participants might have a dierent focus. An article about
current and future trends can therefore only represent a
snapshot and can never be complete.
Academic scholars and practitioners can use this ar-
ticle to determine current and future trends in gamica-
tion. Through extensive discussions with 106 specialists in
four workshops, a basis was created that indicates a direc-
tion of movement for gamication research. Even though
most of the topics could only be briey touched on in the
article because of the large number of topics covered, this
shows, even more, the dynamics and open challenges that
still exist in gamication science. To make a dierence in
the gamication community, this is now the time to tackle
these gamication trends.
 I would like to thank the current and
former workshop co-organizers: Sophie Jent, Thomas Voit,
Alexander Bartel, and Monique Janneck. In addition, I
would like to thank the organizers of the Mensch und Com-
puter conference series between 2018 and 2021 for provid-
ing the possibility to conduct the “Gam-R Gamication
Reloaded” workshop series. In particular, I would like to
thank Benjamin Weyers for his commitment to running
the Mensch und Computer workshops in recent years and
Dan Verständig for his support at the Mensch und Com-
puter 2020 conference. I would also like to thank Dennis
Schlüter for the rst sorting as part of his bachelor’s the-
sis, Oliver Hahn for early data preparation, Paula Bräuer
for professional collaboration, and Isabella Peters for pro-
viding mental and budgetary support. Finally, I would like
to thank Michael Koch und Jürgen Ziegler for the opportu-
nity to publish the ndings of the workshop series and to
combine these with current and promising future trends.
Ultimately, I would like to thank all the participants in the
workshops, without whom these insights would not have
been possible.

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
 
Department of Computer Science Web
Science, Kiel University, Kiel, Germany
ZBW Leibniz Information Centre for
Economics, Web Science, Kiel, Germany

Athanasios Mazarakis is a postdoc at the ZBW Leibniz Informa-
tion Centre for Economics and at the Computer Science department
(working group: Web Science) at Kiel University and has been work-
ing on gamication and incentives in the interdisciplinary eld
between computer science, economics, and psychology for more
than a decade. He holds a diploma in psychology from the Univer-
sity of Mannheim, Germany, a doctorate (Ph.D.) in economics from
the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), and worked at the FZI
Forschungszentrum Informatik (Research Center for Information
Technology) in Karlsruhe, Germany. Numerous publications on gam-
ication and successful workshop organizations (also at the Mensch
und Computer conference series) complete his competence prole.
... Audio games, which, unlike traditional video games, do not have visual elements, are an example of how games can be created without a visual component (Garcia et al., 2013). Initial results have already shown that gamification can also be implemented purely acoustically without visual elements , thus creating audio-gamification (Mazarakis, 2021). In a laboratory setting, Br€ auer and Mazarakis found that the speed of processing household tasks was increased compared to a control group by audio-gamification. ...
... When students learn a language for its utility rather than its fun, they face obstacles, such as a lack of interest and motivation, which leads to a lack of practice (Govender & Arnedo-Moreno, 2021). By using various game design elements, gamification could assist in overcoming the problem of low motivation and generate new opportunities to provide users with relevant feedback (Mazarakis, 2015(Mazarakis, , 2021. To address this research and design gap, our study examines audio-gamification in the context of IVAs for foreign language learning. ...
... The goal of current gamification research should be to demonstrate the effect of individual game design elements so that specific conclusions can be drawn (Govender & Arnedo-Moreno, 2021;Landers, 2014;Mazarakis, 2021;Mekler et al., 2017). The game design elements achievements and leaderboard were considered in two different experimental conditions in the study. ...
Article
Full-text available
Gamification can increase motivation in learning, and intelligent virtual assistants (IVAs) can support foreign language learning at home. However, there is a lack of design concepts to motivate learners to practice with their IVA. This study combines both concepts and analyzes if audio-gamification can increase engagement to address this research gap. To this end, a one-year long-term field experiment with 230 subjects using a German language learning skill for Amazon Alexa was conducted. A between-subjects design determined differences in learning behavior and learning outcomes between a control group and two gamified groups (achievements and leaderboard). The findings reveal a positive effect on the number of translated vocabulary and learning success. However, only in the group with a leaderboard was a statistically significant effect on the number of translated vocabulary found. These findings imply that audio-gamification can be a helpful tool for increasing motivation to use IVAs for foreign language learning.
... So far, there is no scientific research on whether and how purely acoustically implemented game design elements can influence motivation to use IVAs. This article addresses this fundamental research gap and presents the results of an experiment on the use of game design elements presented only via audio output, which we define as audio-gamification (Mazarakis, 2021). Our pioneering study aims to provide insight into how to design and implement gamification, which relies only on audio feedback and without any visual representations. ...
... Games for IVAs are a research area that has been almost ignored so far and where there is a need for further research (de Barcelos Silva et al., 2020). Though gamification is closer to game design than games (Landers, Auer, Collmus, & Armstrong, 2018;Mazarakis, 2021), there are many similarities, and contextual research is being performed on this paring (Leaning, 2015). By conducting research on gamification for IVAs, we can also contribute to addressing this research gap. ...
... Research into the effects of audio-gamification opens new possibilities for the further development of IVAs. Another field of application in which gamification can be implemented without visual support is applications for visually impaired individuals (Mazarakis, 2021;Sciarretta & Alimenti, 2021). Through an audio-only implementation, obstacles such as the use of color to convey instruction, to indicate an action, or to prompt a response, which often occur during the implementation of gamification, can be bypassed (Smith & Abrams, 2019). ...
Article
Full-text available
Intelligent virtual assistants (IVAs) like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant have become increasingly popular in recent years, and research into the topic is growing accordingly. A major challenge in designing IVA applications is making them appealing. Gamification as a concept might help to boost motivation when using IVAs. Visual representation of progress and feedback is an essential component of gamification. When using IVAs, however, visual information is generally not available. To this end, this article reports the results of a lab experiment with 81 subjects describing how gamification, utilized entirely by audio, can assist subjects to work faster and improve motivation. Game design elements such as points and levels are integrated within an Alexa Skill via audio output to motivate subjects to complete household tasks. The results show a substantial effect on the subjects. Both their attitude and the processing time of the given tasks were positively influenced by the audio-gamification. The outcomes indicate that audio-gamification has a huge potential in the field of voice assistants. Differences in experimental conditions were also considered, but no statistical significance was found between the cooperative and competitive groups. Finally, we discuss how these insights affect IVA design principles and future research questions.
... But how exactly different game design elements work and whether there may be differences between the individual elements in terms of supporting motivation, has so far only been investigated by a few studies (Br€ auer & Mazarakis, 2019;Christy & Fox, 2014;Groening & Binnewies, 2019;Hamari, 2017;Mekler et al., 2017). This is an open research question for many years (Mekler et al., 2013) and it is still not answered sufficiently (Koivisto & Hamari, 2019;Mazarakis, 2021). ...
... Although our study uses more game design elements than the average experiments analyzed by , still more game design elements might be beneficial (Groening & Binnewies, 2021), leaving aside whether an individual instead of a joint use of game design elements would not also be sufficient (Mazarakis, 2021). This can be seen as a research gap in our present study and thus as a possible outlook for further research. ...
Article
Full-text available
Current gamification research usually examines several game design elements at the same time, which makes it difficult to distinguish how and to what extent individual game design elements increase motivation. We address this research question by individually examining four game design elements (progress bar, narrative, feedback, and badges) in an online experiment. In addition , combinations of game design elements were tested to gain insight about additive effects on motivation. The study included 505 subjects who answered a maximum of 190 different multiple-choice questions. The subjects were told to answer questions only as long as they enjoyed answering them. The results provide statistically significant motivational gains for all individual game design elements. Interestingly, not all game design elements benefit from a combination in the same way. The results of our study indicate that an increase in motivation through gamifica-tion is already possible if only an individual game design element is added.
... But how exactly different game design elements work and whether there may be differences between the individual elements in terms of supporting motivation, has so far only been investigated by a few studies (Br€ auer & Mazarakis, 2019;Christy & Fox, 2014;Groening & Binnewies, 2019;Hamari, 2017;Mekler et al., 2017). This is an open research question for many years (Mekler et al., 2013) and it is still not answered sufficiently (Koivisto & Hamari, 2019;Mazarakis, 2021). ...
... Although our study uses more game design elements than the average experiments analyzed by , still more game design elements might be beneficial (Groening & Binnewies, 2021), leaving aside whether an individual instead of a joint use of game design elements would not also be sufficient (Mazarakis, 2021). This can be seen as a research gap in our present study and thus as a possible outlook for further research. ...
Conference Paper
Gamification aims to increase motivation in non-game contexts by using game design elements. Usually gamification research examines the impact of multiple game design elements, making it almost impossible to find out how and to what extent these elements individually contribute to user motivation. To narrow this research gap the present study uses an experimental online setting with 505 subjects to gain further insight about the individually applied elements badge, feedback, progress bar and storytelling and additionally in multiple combinations. Also, this study systematically extends a predecessor study that has researched only badges and storytelling. The aim of the studies is to observe whether the number of answered questions in a quiz can be increased by using, ceteris paribus, different game elements. Basically, the task was to answer a maximum number of 190 questions about continents, countries and space. 14 different badges could be achieved, with different completion criteria for all of them. The element feedback was designed as "correct-false"-feedback. As another element a round progress bar implemented as a slowly filling globe was added. Finally, storytelling was realized as a tale about an alien which gives us a chance to save earth from destruction because a bypass of an intergalactic highway is necessary. Participating subjects were told that they can continue as long as they want and stop at any time answering questions by clicking a designated button. The results provide support for significant motivation increases, but they vary strongly for different gamification elements in terms of their motivational potential.
... Die Varianz bei zu vielen Punkten ist hingegen sehr hoch (SD 1157,13), was leider keine eindeutigen Schlussfolgerungen zulässt, ab wann genau eine bestimmte Grenze überschritten ist. Wenn man anhand der einzelnen Platzierungen in Tabelle 2 das Verhältnis zwischen angebrachten und zu vielen Punkten vergleicht, dann scheint der Faktor 2 (zum Beispiel Platz Eine Vermutung, welche sich angesichts der Ergebnisse aufdrängt hat, ist dass der Kontext, welcher in der Gamificationforschung an sich schon relevant ist [9], auch für die Wahrnehmung einer adäquaten Bewertung durch Punkte eine Rolle spielt. Während die Kontrollgruppe ohne Szenario deutlich höhere Punktewerte vergibt, sind die beiden anderen Gruppen als homogen in der Bewertung zu betrachten. ...
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Punkte zählen zu den am meisten verwendeten Spieldesignelemen-ten im Bereich von Gamification. Allerdings existieren keine Studi-en dazu, welche konkreten Punktewerte sinnvoll sind und wann zu wenig oder zu viele Punkte vergeben werden könnten. In der vorlie-genden Umfragestudie wurden die Daten von 160 Teilnehmenden analysiert, wobei 154 Teilnehmende eingehend untersucht wurden, um die konkrete Fragestellung zu beantworten, wie Punkte wahr-genommen werden. Die Studie führte hierbei zu Erkenntnissen, welche Punktezahlen als angebracht angesehen werden und welche nicht. Insbesondere die Erkenntnis, dass durch einen gegebenen Kontext sich die Wahrnehmung von Punkten stark verändern kann, bildet eine Grundlage für weitere Forschungsmöglichkeiten.
... A recent review has shown that automatically adapting gamification design using machine learning is gaining momentum [28]. It has been suggested that artificial intelligence and machine learning are among the most promising emerging areas in gamification research [29]. Previous studies have applied clustering techniques in education to identify different types of students [30,31]. ...
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A promising solution to increase user engagement in gamified applications is tailored gamification design. However, current personalisation relies primarily on user types identified through self-reporting rather than actual behaviour. As a novel approach, the present study used an exploratory machine learning analysis to identify seven clusters of users in a gamified fitness application based on their behavioural data (N = 19,576). The clusters were then conceptually compared to common user typologies in gamification, identifying possible relationships between behavioural user clusters and user types motivated by achievement, sociability, and extrinsic incentives. The findings shed light on nuanced behaviour patterns of user types in the fitness context and how knowing these patterns can inform the way in which tailored gamification could be implemented to meet the needs of specific types. Thereby, they contribute to the discussion on utilising behavioural data and user typologies for tailored gamification design.
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This study presents a first experimental approach for the use of intelligent virtual assistants (IVA) to support political participation. In order to involve as many citizens as possible in participatory political processes, such as the search for a repository site for high-level radioactive waste, IVAs could offer a possibility to convey information in an interactive way and to arouse interest in such complex topics. However, the question arises whether an IVA can adequately convey such a topic and ensure appropriate usability despite many complex dialogues with the user. The explorative study presents the results with a prototypically implemented Amazon Alexa Skill. Compared to a website that addresses the same questions as the Skill, a slightly poorer usability was found. Based on this first study, various questions arose that need to be investigated in future studies. These include questions related to the trustworthiness of such applications and challenges related to the auditive representations of different political opinions.
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The “Gam-R – Gamification Reloaded” series hosts a regular international workshop on gamification and related topics. Gamification as a scientific concept for using game-like elements in a non-game context is here to stay. The results of the past four workshops were summarized to identify current and future gamification trends and form the basis for the new focus of the workshop. Among other areas, gamification can, from a scientific perspective, help to improve the motivation for education, engage with health-related aspects, support sustainable consumption, and improve customer loyalty.
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Gam-R – Gamification Reloaded 4th International Workshop in Conjunction with the Mensch und Computer 2021 Conference in Ingolstadt, Germany
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Despite increasing scientific interest in explaining how gamification supports positive affect and motivation, behavior change and learning, there is still a lack of an overview of the current theoretical understanding of the psychological mechanisms of gamification. Previous research has adopted several different angles and remains fragmented. Taking both an observational and explanatory perspective, we examined the theoretical foundations used in research on gamification, serious games and game-based learning through a systematic literature review and then discussed the commonalities of their core assumptions. The overview shows that scientists have used a variety of 118 different theories. Most of them share explicitly formulated or conceptual connections. From their interrelations, we derived basic principles that help explain how gamification works: Gamification can illustrate goals and their relevance, nudge users through guided paths, give users immediate feedback, reinforce good performance and simplify content to manageable tasks. Gamification mechanics can allow users to pursue individual goals and choose between different progress paths, while the system can adapt complexity to the user's abilities. Social gamification elements may enable social comparison and connect users to support each other and work towards a common goal.
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The first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic that affected many cities around the world during the spring and summer 2020 was often met with regulations requiring people to lockdown, to quarantine or to respect social distancing. Urban spaces often became off-limits and depopulated, filled with borders isolating people confined at home. Nevertheless, in these trying times new forms of urban gamification surfaced, allowing citizens to engage their surroundings playfully, to connect with others and to escape these dire situations. In this paper, we propose an overview of the many playful activities that emerged in the cities hit by the pandemic, organised according to the urban borders they engage (windows, balconies, rooftops). We then focus on how several borders can be engaged by the same play practice, through a gamified application called Window Expeditions, which aims at participatory data generation, while addressing some of the issues related to isolation and reduced mobility of its users. In the conclusions, we discuss the potential role of urban gamification during the pandemic and, in particular, its ability to comfort, connect, increase curiosity and encourage exploration.
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The concept of gamification has spread widely in recent years supported by the development of technology, especially due to the plethora of computers and video games and game apps for other devices. Gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts that support play to engage users in solving problems or created for teaching and learning purposes. Gamification does not mean creating games but making education more engaging and fun with play for learners, without undermining its credibility. In modern education, lessons delivery is associated with the lack of engagement and motivation of learners to participate actively in the learning process. Teachers are increasingly faced with the problem of how to integrate technology and to impart good language learning habits at the level of primary school in Malaysia. Hence, the aim of this study is to propose a conceptual model of analogue gamification to enhance primary school learners’ motivation and attitude.
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For decades, educators have been exploring various ways to, not only educate, but also to create engaging classrooms and to foster positive social experiences amongst students. To these ends, many educators have now taken steps towards utilizing storification in their pedagogy and classrooms in order to appeal students and positively impact their social relationships. Research, grounded theory methods, 10-day ethnographic fieldwork, participatory observations, interviews with 11 educational staff and focus groups with 79 students at a middle school employing a Harry Potter story theme, this research implies that storification can hinder antisocial behavior. The values and messages teachers delivered through the employed story and change of learning environment and pedagogy manifested teacher dedication and effort to students, which fostered their prosocial behavior in the school.
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In recent years, different studies have proposed and validated user models (e.g., Bartle, BrainHex, and Hexad) to represent the different user profiles in games and gamified settings. However, the results of applying these user models in practice (e.g., to personalize gamified systems) are still contradictory. One of the hypotheses for these results is that the user types can change over time (i.e., user types are dynamic). To start to understand whether user types can change over time, we conducted an exploratory study analyzing data from 74 participants to identify if their user type (Achiever, Philanthropist, Socialiser, Free Spirit, Player, and Disruptor) had changed over time (six months). The results indicate that there is a change in the dominant user type of the participants, as well as the average scores in the Hexad sub-scales. These results imply that all the scores should be considered when defining the Hexad's user type and that the user types are dynamic. Our results contribute with practical implications, indicating that the personalization currently made (generally static) may be insufficient to improve the users' experience, requiring user types to be analyzed continuously and personalization to be done dynamically.