Computing That Serves

Improving Gamification by Leveraging Endogenous Value

Brennan Smith: MS Thesis Defense 

Monday, June 5, 2017, 3:00 pm

3350 TMBC- Conference Room

Advisor: Seth Holladay 

"Gamification" is the application of game design principles to non-game contexts, such as education, personal fitness, etc. Gamification's intent is to incentivise unpalatable tasks. Current gamification efforts in the industry use some features traditionally associated with games, but fail to use game design principles as defined by the games industry. One such principle is endogenous rewards for task completion. We propose that endogenous rewards will increase the efficacy of gamification by increasing user engagement and retention. To demonstrate, we create a gamification framework where the rewards for completing real-life tasks are items with high endogenous value in the game, incentivizing the completion of those tasks. We then conduct an experiment in which we compare our framework with a commercial framework lacking endogenous rewards. Our analysis shows that it is likely that these endogenous rewards contribute to user engagement and/or retention in a gamification framework.