The motivation-behaviour gap in gamification

Adding game mechanics or a visual game appeal to activities can engender experiences of engagement, motivation, fun. These effects are by no means constant, but consistent enough across domains to suggest that gamification can affect motivation, given the right circumstances. Methods for assessing these effects, however, have differed wildly, and in many cases, a measurable behaviour change did not follow from self-reported positive experiences. Experimental research has matured to a point where we can begin to make assertions about not just if gamification works – the answer is clearly “sometimes” – but how and why different design elements may succeed or fail in different contexts.

In this talk, Andreas Lieberoth will draw on three recent examples to discuss the “motivation-behavior gap” in gamification in terms of design elements, behavioural domains, and research methodology. Centrally, he will point to variation in behaviour contexts as a key factor in understanding the success and failure of gamification attempts.


Andreas Lieberoth

Dr Andreas Lieberoth is an Assistant professor of Educational Psychology at the Danish School of Education, and a research fellow at the Interacting Minds Center, working in applied game psychology and method development, studying the borderlands between games, play and work -- what games do to people, and how people behave when exposed to game mechanics and social psychological "game frame".

As part of the Interacting Minds Centre, he is leading the five year PLAYtrack project funded by the LEGO foundation to develop new ways of studying and measuring play.

University of York, Computer Science, CSE/082/083