Archives for Papers

CHI 2013 – Designing Gamification Workshop

The papers and slides of the upcoming CHI 2013 workshop on designing gamification are online.  There are many excellent studies and works-in-progress of gamification systems for various purposes.  Click here to download the papers.

Badging Systems Designed for Learning

Barry Joseph and folks at Global Kids have published a review of various ways people are using badging systems designed for learning.  The six ways are:

  • badges as alternative assessment
  • gamifying education with badges
  • badges as learning scaffolding
  • badges to develop lifelong learning skills
  • badges as DML driver
  • badges to democratize learning

View the paper here.

State of the Industry

The 2011 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry contains a wealth of useful sales, demographic, and usage data.

I would not have guessed that “women age 18 or older represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (37%) than boys age 17 or younger (13%)” or that “91% of the time parents are present at the time games are purchased” for a user under age 18. And for those who have not heard, the average gamer is 37 years old.

The annual research was conducted by Ipsos MediaCT and released by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) at E3 2011.

The Global Video Games Investment Review shows current statistics and market trends for MMOs, casual/social games, mobile, console, and in-game advertising. The review was produced by Digi-Capital which is an investment bank focused on high growth digital companies across video games, technology, media and telecoms in Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

The investment review omits any discussion of serious games. I suppose that they are not yet considered serious investments…


Gamifying Education: Some Strategies for Achieving Project Goals

This paper examines the different strategies that may be used to develop museum games by focusing on two case studies currently underway at the Rochester Institute of Technology. The type of game and game play are the basic structural components of the game. Much like the narrative of a story, the game components must support the desired outcomes. Lack of clear definition of outcomes early in the design process may lead to games that do not address those outcomes. In addition, assessment is critical to understanding whether the game was successful and achieved the project goals. This paper reviews the different approaches taken by the development team in order to reach the educational goals and the methods of assessment incorporated into the projects from the outset.

Read more: Museum Games: Some Strategies for Achieving Project Goals |

Museum Games and the Third Space
By: Elizabeth Goins

Gamification in Education: What, How, Why Bother?

Gamification, or the incorporation of game elements into non-game settings, provides an opportunity to help schools solve challenging issues regarding student motivation and engagement.  However, if gamification is to be of use to schools, researchers, designers, and practitioners must better understand what gamification is, how it functions, and why it might be useful.

Joey J. Lee (Assistant Professor of Technology and Education) and Jessica Hammer (Mellon Interdisciplinary Graduate Research Fellow) at the Games Research Lab at Teachers College, Columbia University have published a journal article that addresses all three questions regarding gamification – what, how, and why bother? – while exploring both the potential benefits and pitfalls of such an approach.  You can download the article here.

Lee, J. J. & Hammer, J. (2011). Gamification in Education: What, How, Why Bother? Academic Exchange Quarterly, 15(2).  Available at:

CHI 2011 Gamification Papers Now Online

The CHI 2011 Conference will be having a workshop on May 7 on gamification, bringing together many academics, designers, and others interested in the use of  video game elements in non-gaming systems to improve user experience (UX) and user engagement.  The workshop aims to bring together “practitioners and researchers to develop a shared understanding of existing approaches and findings around the gamification of information
systems, and identify key synergies, opportunities, and questions for future research.

A PDF bundle of the papers can be found at

Badges in Social Media paper

Antin and Churchill (2011) have published a brief paper from the CHI 2011 conference on badges in social media.  The authors deconstruct badges and present five social psychological functions for badges in social media contexts: goal setting, instruction, reputation, status/affirmation, and group identification.  Read the paper here.