All Posts By

Zac Fitz-Walter

Defining gamification – new definition by Huotari and Hamari

By | Gamification, Research, Uncategorized | No Comments

Kai Huotari and Juho Hamari have just co-authored a new paper, presented at the MindTrek 2012 conference, that provides a new definition for gamification from a service marketing perspective.

They define gamification as “a process of enhancing a service with affordances for gameful experiences in order to support user’s overall value creation“.

They argue that the previous definition by Deterding et al. (2011) highlights that “only non-games can be gamified” which has issues due to service desingers having difficulties identifying exactly what a non-game context is because “the existence of a game is dependent on the subjective perception of the player/user”.  Where past definitions are based on the use of game elements, this new definition emphasises the goal of gamification rather than the methods and it’s relation to previous service marketing research.

The definition has already spurred some interesting discussion on the Gamification Research Network mailing list, both praise and criticism.

You can read more the new definition and access the paper from here:

Achievement unlocked: Gamify Drupal community websites

By | Gamification, Uncategorized | No Comments

Drupal is a popular free and open-source content management system that can be used for anything from personal blogs and simple sites to large community and forum sites. And now badges and points are coming to Drupal via support from Badgeville, a large gamification platform available for websites and online communities. This allows Drupal administrators to award customised site interactions such as posting, commenting and voting with points. It’s difficult to find how much the solution costs but according to a techcrunch post, the pricing of a Badgeville gamification solution starts at upwards of $2000/month. So it’s definitely aimed at the larger sites and communities.

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Blurring the boundaries of the magic circle [video]

By | Gamification, Uncategorized | No Comments

Listen up all you gamification nerds, if you haven’t seen this video you should definitely take 8 minutes to watch it.

Apart from it’s beautiful visuals, it is totally creepy and raises some important questions around the ethics of merging games and real life. Traditionally games have been defined as closed, formal systems that are entered wilfully by players (Costikyan, 2002; Avedon & Sutton-Smith, 1971). Generally there is this idea of a boundary that exists at the edge of the game called the magic circle (Huizinga, 1950). When we are in the magic circle, playing the game we can have different thoughts, feelings and values than when we are out of the game (Schell, 2008). However, when we start using technology Read More

WWDC 2012

By | Nerdtastic, Uncategorized | No Comments

I just returned last week from Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference and wow, what a trip. I started to write this post while I was at the conference but didn’t get the time to finish it! So after recovering from jet lag and getting back into work I figured I should take time on the weekend to change all the present tense to past, add some sweet photos of Tim Cook and share it.

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Mobile Apps, Sensors and Gamification

By | Gamification, Research, Uncategorized | No Comments

Oh boy do I have a lot of mobile apps, I just had a look at the home screen of my iPhone and realised I’ve got 7 pages of apps there. I have to admit I probably only use a quarter of them on a regular basis, but the apps that I use regularly are ones that do something unique that often can’t be quite replicated on a desktop computer in the same way. Take for example Sleep Cycle, it’s an alarm clock app that measures my sleep patterns using the accelerometer (and it’s also telling me my average sleep time is 7h 14m over the last 54 nights… not nearly enough sleep for my liking). I also use the native Apple Maps app often as it gives me on the go location and routing information that I need when travelling to new places. It not only shows me my location, but also the direction I’m facing which is very useful. Another app that I really love is RunKeeper. I don’t exercise enough, but when I do I use this app to track my running and I really love it. It works like a breeze, has a beautiful interface, shows me exactly where I’ve been and integrates nicely with the Runkeeper website and Facebook. However, I recently stopped using it. Although though it provided me with exactly what I needed to track exercise it was missing one thing that I never thought I’d need when exercising… Zombies.

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Gamification: Thoughts on definition and design

By | Gamification, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

I might be a little paranoid but I think games are starting to follow me around. I get points and badges every time I share my location with friends using Foursquare, I’ve levelled up twice in the last week just by completing tasks on the Epic Win to do list app and I outran two zombie mobs during my run last night. These apps are part of a bigger trend that has gained immense popularity over the last year or so known as gamification. 

Gamification is being heralded as the way to engage users with products and the number of ‘gamified’ products hitting the market is increasing so much so that by the year 2015 we could see 50% of all organisations gamifying their innovation processes [1]. Gamification is also being tossed around as simply a buzzword, a meaningless word full of promises of increasing user loyalty – potentially something that could potentially provide the missing step for the gnomes from South Park?

However, difficulty arises when attempting to understand what gamification exactly means, separating it from the notion of serious or pervasive, persuasive games and then trying to classify what exactly is gamified and what isn’t. However, regardless of whether it’s game elements being used in a non-game context or if it’s a complete serious game, the drive behind using games and game elements in this way is the same; to motivate and engage through fun and enjoyment. If this is the case then the focus should be on the design of the game elements, drawing from game design theory and understanding the motivation to play games in order to create the most engaging player experience that will keep people playing.

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Gamifying University Orientation: OZCHI 2011 Conference Paper

By | Gamification, Research, Uncategorized | No Comments

The conference paper I presented at the OZCHI 2011 conference last year on gamifying university orientation is now available for reading.

You can download the accepted version here from QUT eprints.

Or view the paper on the ACM Digital Library website.

The paper was based on a play testing field study that explored technical and design aspects of the application. Another study is planned for university orientation this year that aims to measure and compare the affect of game elements on engagement between two different applications – one with game elements and one without. If you have any questions about the paper or upcoming study feel free to drop me a line via my contact form or the email address available in the paper.

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Gamifying university orientation presentation at OZCHI 2011

By | Research, Uncategorized | No Comments

I’ll be in Canberra this week at OZCHI, the Australian conference on Human Computer Interaction in Canberra this week. I’m volunteering and also presenting a paper on Wednesday at 3:15pm on gamifying university orientation so make sure to come and say hi if you’re down for the conference! I’ll make sure to post a link to slides and to the paper once I’ve presented it’s published.

Also we made an app for the event so if you have an iPhone make sure to download it: