Do points, levels and leaderboards harm intrinsic motivation?: an empirical analysis of common gamification elements

Mekler, Elisa D. and Brühlmann, Florian and Opwis, Klaus and Tuch, Alexandre N.. (2013) Do points, levels and leaderboards harm intrinsic motivation?: an empirical analysis of common gamification elements. In: Gamification 2013 : proceedings of the first international conference on gameful design, research, and applications. pp. 66-73.

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It is heavily debated within the gamification community whether specific game elements may actually undermine users’ intrinsic motivation. This online experiment examined the effects of three commonly employed game design elements – points, leaderboard, levels – on users’ performance, intrinsic motivation, perceived autonomy and competence in an image annotation task. Implementation of these game elements significantly increased performance, but did not affect perceived autonomy, competence or intrinsic motivation. Our findings suggest that points, levels and leaderboards by themselves neither make nor break users’ intrinsic motivation in non-game contexts. Instead, it is assumed that they act as progress indicators, guiding and enhancing user performance. While more research on the contextual factors that may potentially mediate the effects of game elements on intrinsic motivation is required, it seems that the implementation of points, levels, and leaderboards is a viable means to promote specific user behavior in non-game contexts.
Faculties and Departments:07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Society & Choice > Allgemeine Psychologie und Methodologie (Opwis)
UniBasel Contributors:Mekler, Elisa D and Opwis, Klaus and Tuch, Alexandre N and Brühlmann, Florian
Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item, refereed
Conference or workshop item Subtype:Conference Paper
Publisher:The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
ISBN: 978-1-4503-2815-9
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Conference paper
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Last Modified:12 Sep 2017 07:36
Deposited On:25 Apr 2014 08:00

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