Gamification in the work environment has been extensively researched and implemented successfully by integrating game elements (such as competition, challenge or exploration) in a work environment. The Persuasive Game Design (PGD) model explains the effect of gamification by differentiating the Real World (RW) from a Game World (GW). A game designer can gamify a user’s actions which causes the user to feel fun and immersion in the GW. Once the user is in the GW, he can be persuaded to change his behavior. The behavior in the workplace context exits of engagement, enjoyment and efficient (better teamwork).
The objective of this research is to find out what effect gamification has on people’s perception of gamified activities ranked on the RW- GW continuum. The effect of gamification becomes visible when comparing the ranking of the gamified activities on the RW-GW continuum to the same activities before they were gamified. This quantifies the effect of gamification, and shows what type of activities have a greater effect than others depending on their ranked position before gamification. Furthermore, the research intends to discover a common understanding of the RW and GW and create possible player profiles depending on the individual differences of these understandings.
The work environment to measure the effect of gamification is the greenhouse agriculture. The different types of work are analyzed and structured into activities. The greenhouse employees were asked to place those work activities, along with daily life activities, in a rectangular space that represented the RW-GW continuum. After this, the employees were interviewed to find out their reasoning for their ranking of the activities on the RW-GW continuum. The descriptions of RW and GW that were connected to explicit activities were detached from those explicit activities. The descriptions were reformulated into a survey to test the RW-GW description’s value as common understanding of the RW-GW continuum. A group that was not related to greenhouse work was used in the survey.
Next, the greenhouse work environment was gamified for one week by targeting six different work activities by five different gamifications. After playing the gamifications, the employees were asked again to place the work related activities on the RW-GW continuum. After the gamifications had ended, the employees were interviewed again and they were shown their perceptions of activities on a RW-GW scale before and after participating in the gamifications.
There is a trend of the movement of the perception of gamified work activities towards the GW. The work activities that were initially perceived as more RW showed a larger movement towards the GW than activities perceived more towards GW. Based on the interviews with greenhouse employees a list of RW-GW description and description categories was created. Some of those descriptions were validated as common understandings of RW and GW, such as obligation for the RW and engagement and escapism for the GW. The rest of the descriptions were different for separate groups of participants, which can be described as player profiles.
The high amount of effect of the RW starting positioned activities were based on gamifications that had a slower adoption period by the employees, and involved gameplay that focused on creativity and player initiative. The gamifications that were adopted quickly had a smaller effect on the RW-GW scale, and existed of facilitated and less social gamifications.
Piet van Rosmalen
V.T. Visch, M.C. Rozendaal, B. van de Garde
master thesis, December 2013