Doing Useful Work Using Games

  • Kam Star
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8605)


Games that are fun to play may also be used to carry out useful activity, for example in solving scientific problems. In this paper we review four so called games with purpose, games whose primarily objective for the designers are for carrying out tasks that would be difficult for automated algorithms as well as a game as a learning tool with the ability to generate useful metadata as a side benefit. Design elements which have demonstrated contribution to the effectiveness of the games are highlighted. Additionally an objective method for evaluating the performance of the games are discussed.


Game Design Side Benefit Human Intelligence Task Protein Structure Prediction Method Entertainment Software Association 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Arvidsson, A., Sandvik, K.: Gameplay as design: uses of computer players’ immaterial labour. Northern Lights: Film Media Stud. Yearb. 5, 89–104 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bradley, J.C., Lancashire, R.J., Lang, A.S.I.D., Williams, A.J.: The Spectral Game: leveraging Open Data and crowdsourcing for education. J. Cheminform. 1, 1–10 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cooper, S., Treuille, A., Barbero, J., Leaver-Fay, A., Tuite, K., Khatib, F., Snyder, A.C., Beenen, M., Salesin, D., Baker, D.: The challenge of designing scientific discovery games. In: Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games, pp. 40–47 (2010)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Decety, J., Jackson, P.L.: The functional architecture of human empathy. Behav. Cogn. Neurosci. Rev. 3, 71–100 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Deterding, S., Dixon, D., Khaled, R., Nacke, L.: From game design elements to gamefulness: defining gamification. In: Proceedings of the 15th International Academic MindTrek Conference: Envisioning Future Media Environments, pp. 9–15 (2011)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Dulačka, P., Bieliková, M.: Validation of music metadata via game with a purpose. In: Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Semantic Systems, pp. 177–180 (2012)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Goh, D.H.L., Ang, R.P., Lee, C.S., Chua, A.Y.K.: Fight or unite: investigating game genres for image tagging. J. Am. Soc. Inform. Sci. Technol. 62, 1311–1324 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Jesse Schell: When games invade real life | Video on TED.comGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Locke, E.A., Frederick, E., Lee, C., Bobko, P.: Effect of self-efficacy, goals, and task strategies on task performance. J. Appl. Psychol. 69, 241 (1984)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Locke, E.A., Latham, G.P.: A Theory of Goal Setting & Task Performance. Prentice-Hall Inc, Englewood Cliffs (1990)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Malone, T.W.: What makes things fun to learn? Heuristics for designing instructional computer games (1980)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Malone, T.W.: Heuristics for designing enjoyable user interfaces: lessons from computer games. In: Proceedings of the 1982 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 63–68 (1982)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Open world. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2012)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ramey, J., Boren, T., Cuddihy, E., Dumas, J., Guan, Z., Van den Haak, M.J., De Jong, M.D.T.: Does think aloud work?: how do we know? In: CHI’06 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 45–48 (2006)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Salen, K., Zimmerman, E.: Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals. MIT Press, Cambridge (2003)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Shneiderman, B.: Designing for fun: how can we design user interfaces to be more fun? Interactions 11, 48–50 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Squire, K.: Open-ended video games: a model for developing learning for the interactive age. In: Salen, K. (ed.) The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning, pp. 167–198. MIT Press, Cambridge (2007)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Sweetser, P.: Emergence in games (2008)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Tversky, A., Kahneman, D.: The framing of decisions and the psychology of choice. Science 211, 453–458 (1981)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Von Ahn, L., Dabbish, L.: Designing games with a purpose. Commun. ACM 51, 58–67 (2008)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Yarow, J.: Here’s Why $200 Million Is Cheap for Draw Something [WWW Document]. Business Insider. Accessed 1 Jan 13)

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Serious Games InstituteCoventry UniversityCoventryUK
  2. 2.PlayGen LtdLondonUK

Personalised recommendations