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Gamification: The Intersection between Behavior Analysis and Game Design Technologies

Abstract

Deterding et al. (Proceedings of the 15th International Academic MindTrek Conference: Envisioning Future Media Environments, USA 15: 9–15, 2011) report a recent rise in popularity of video game inspired software designed to address issues in a variety of areas, including health, energy conservation, education, and business. These applications have been based on the concept of gamification, which involves a process by which nongame activities are designed to be more like a game. We provide examples of how gamification has been used to increase health-related behavior, energy consumption, academic performance, and other socially-significant behavior. We argue that behavior analytic research and practice stands to benefit from incorporating successful elements of game design. Lastly, we provide suggestions for behavior analysts regarding applied and basic research related to gamification.

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Fig. 1

Notes

  1. 1.

    In the game design literature, there is often discussion of game elements and game mechanics and the distinction between them is not always clear. For further discussion regarding these notions, see Elias et al. (2012), Hopson (2001, 2012), and Sicart (2008).

  2. 2.

    Levels are earned by accumulating a set number of points for each category of activities.

  3. 3.

    This might be akin to one becoming “absorbed” in a good book—once you start reading you cannot put the book down.

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Morford, Z.H., Witts, B.N., Killingsworth, K.J. et al. Gamification: The Intersection between Behavior Analysis and Game Design Technologies. BEHAV ANALYST 37, 25–40 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40614-014-0006-1

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Keywords

  • Gamification
  • Games
  • Game design
  • Behavior analysis
  • Innovation