What is Gamification anyway?

What is Gamification anyway?

You may have heard of word Gamification. It’s as much a buzzword as it is a new academic field. Many people are interested in what it is and how to use it effectively, but don’t know why it works. It’s clear why, since games excite us by driving our curiosity to discover something new. They make us feel accomplished when we overcome a difficult challenge or reach personal objectives. Games help us learn and encourage us to experiment, develop strategies, and learn new skills. Gamification takes core elements of what we love about games and applies them outside of traditional gameplay environments. Everyone is talking about the benefits of gamification and how it will increase engagement in the classroom, or help us stay fit and healthy, or improve our productivity in the workplace. Here is a clip from our new whiteboard #animation! Candy crush-angry birds 🎮! Watch it here: https://t.co/QgMGQZDdSC pic.twitter.com/R1v4mn59vc — HCI Games Group (@hcigamesgroup) July 14, 2016 To help you understand the basics of gamification, we created the video below, which should help you become familiar with the

Pokémon Go has arrived in Canada

Written by Lennart E. Nacke, Director of the HCI Games Group. It happened this afternoon. I was on a weekend trip. Outside of town. Pokémon Go finally arrived in Canada. I did not believe what happened next. Pokémon GO is now available in Canada! Discover and capture Pokémon all around you. pic.twitter.com/uTXwIk85IZ — Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) July 17, 2016 The public reaction — as I walked across a local park in a remote little summer vacation town — was tantalizing. All of a sudden flocks of people were moving around the streets of the little town, their phones in hand. Spotting for Pokéstops. While some folks have been playing the game with a US copy in Canada for a little over a week (it was released in the US on July 6), it is now finally and officially everywhere in Canada. Local Canadians were very excited and random conversations between strangers were happening with game knowledge exchange as these people were playing together. It’s definitely a location-based game (not really an augmented reality game like so many news outlets are keen to call it)

3 Inspiring Ways Gamification Is Being Used in Education

3 Inspiring Ways Gamification Is Being Used in Education

Written by Melissa Stocco. In my last post, I looked at the 15 ways gamification can be applied to education. I wanted to supplement my previous post by providing some concrete examples of how gamification is being used in the classroom. In addition, I made a list of tools for teachers and for students that utilize gamification for learning. 1. Gamification in the Classroom Ananth Pai is a teacher from Minnesota who uses gamification to individualize learning. Students progress through their coursework at their own pace, since some students will need more time to understand the material taught in class. With this method of teaching, students only move forward once they have mastered previous course concepts. This means that all of Pai’s students are working on different assignments or activities at the same time. 7th grade English teacher Megan Ellis talks about adding gamification into her classroom to improve her students’ study skills. Megan uses experience points to her classroom to motivate her students to complete homework, be on time for class, and improve their study habits in general. Megan

Biosignal Datasets for Emotion Recognition

Written by Mike Schaekermann. At the HCI Games Group, we love looking at emotion as a core driver of gameplay experience. One common technique used to find out how players experience a game prototype and what affective responses in-game interaction triggers, is to ask players how they feel after playing the game. For this purpose, different affective dimensions like arousal (i.e., the level of excitement), valence (i.e., good or bad) or dominance (i.e., how much the player felt in control) are often used to quantify subjective phenomena. As you can imagine, these types of self-reports are extremely valuable to iteratively improve a game prototype. However, one drawback of post-hoc questionnaires is that certain types of emotions are temporary bursts of experience which may fade over time. This becomes a problem if the goal is to investigate affective responses in real-time. To work around this problem, the use of biosignals like brain activity (e.g., through electroencephalography or magnetoencephalography), heart rate (e.g., through electrocardiography), skin conductance level, skin temperature or muscular activity (via electromyograms) has been suggested in the literature [1]. A

Three CHI 2016 Papers That Will Change the Way you Think About Game Design

Written by Lennart Nacke. If you work in the field of human-computer interaction, you are probably familiar with the field’s flagship conference: The Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems also known as CHI. The conference attracts between 3,500–4,000 attendees every year (this year 3,876 people attended [2016]) and moves across different international locations. Last year CHI was in Seoul, South Korea, and this year the conference was in the heart of Silicon Valley, San Jose, California, USA. CHI is an amazing conference that stimulates and moves people who work on the edge of technology innovation. While many of the CHI crowd are returning attendees, this year 50% of people attended for the first time. In addition, the keynotes and important talks were finally archived and live-streamed by SIGCHI. To understand #CHI2016 , I created a word cloud based on all session names (not paper titles) from Mon-Thu. #SIGCHI pic.twitter.com/TgI4ecNZP0 — Tadashi Okoshi (@TadashiOkoshi) May 22, 2016 It's so amazing seeing telepresence robots wandering around catching up with old friends #chi2016 #almostnormal pic.twitter.com/XtuReyYVcV — ACM CHI Conference (@sig_chi) May 10,

15 Ways Gamification Can Be Applied to Education

15 Ways Gamification Can Be Applied to Education

Written by Melissa Stocco. A big challenge teachers face is presenting course material in a way that peaks their students’ interest and engages them to participate. Gamification is a technique teachers can use to get students involved in classroom activities and encourage them to learn course material. Gamification does this by using “game design elements in non-game contexts” (Deterding et al., 2011). Gaming elements help motivate students by making lessons more fun and offering other incentives. For example, students answering questions in the classroom is not a gamified activity, but can be transformed into a gameful design by adding rewards or points for questions that are answered correctly. When I was in elementary school, one of my teachers had a “leaderboard” for the number of books we read that year. If you read a book in your free time, a star was added on beside your name. This gamified our independent reading by creating some healthy competition within the classroom. However, using extrinsic motivation for education is controversial, since students might lose interest once incentives like “stars” are removed. This

Repidly: A Lightweight Tool for the Collaborative Analysis of Biosignals and Gameplay Videos

Written by Mike Schaekermann of the HCI Games Group Analysing physiological biodata is often cumbersome, does often not have a fast turnaround and does not allow for collaborative annotation. In this blog post, I would like to present a lightweight collaborative web application that enables games user researchers, designers, and analysts to easily make use of biosignals as metrics for the evaluation of video games. Over the last few years, an increasing number of studies in the field of games user research (GUR) have addressed the use of biometrics as a real-time measure to quantify aspects gameplay experience (e.g., emotional valence and arousal). However, only few studies explore possibilities to visualize biometrics in a way that yields meaningful and intuitively accessible insights for games user researchers in a lightweight and cost-efficient manner. In effort to fill this gap, we developed a novel web-based GUR tool for the collaborative analysis of gameplay videos, based on biosignal time series data that aims at facilitating video game evaluation procedures in both large- and small-scale settings. In the video games industry, a rapidly growing

Gamification of Physical Activity: Spirit50

Gamification of Physical Activity: Spirit50

Written by Dennis L. Kappen and Lennart E. Nacke HCI Games Group collaborated with Erin Billowits, founder and owner of Vintage Fitness, a Toronto based health and wellness company catering to the fitness training needs of adults of age 50 years and older. Vintage Fitness aimed to engage older adults in daily exercise routines by catering to the specialized needs of  the demographic and tailoring fitness routines based on health conditions of older adults. The HCI Games Group studied the motivations of older adults to engage in physical activities through empirical research  focused on their intrinsic and extrinsic motivations to participate in physical activities. Spirit50 was the culmination of analyzing rich qualitative data about older adults motivations to exercise and  implementing an online application catering to older adults fitness with considerations to the physical and technological barriers commonly experienced by an older demographic. In an increasingly digital world, it can be difficult to engage an aging population in the online marketplace while ensuring effective, clear communication with customers and an easily understandable user interface. The online application proposed a novel approach involving the concept of gamification

Playful Interactions at CHI PLAY 2015

Playful Interactions at CHI PLAY 2015

The HCI Games Group attended and presented several works at CHI PLAY 2015, the second edition of the ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play. CHI PLAY is an international and interdisciplinary conference for researchers and professionals of all areas of play, games, and human-computer interaction, which fosters discussion of current high quality research in games and HCI as foundations for the future of digital play. This year the conference took place in London, UK, from the 5th to the 7th of October. If you played #chiplaygue at #chiplay15 we'd love to hear your feedback: https://t.co/F2F0hBdidi (this little survey will take you < 5 min) — Gustavo Tondello (@GustavoTondello) October 9, 2015 Continue reading to hear about the experience of our researchers during CHI PLAY 2015. Dr. Lennart Nacke Associate Professor at the University of Waterloo and Director of the HCI Games Group Having started CHI PLAY together with a couple of senior human-computer interaction and games researchers in 2014, it was great to see the conference move to Europe and grow in popularity and size. We had

The HCI Games Group will be at CHI PLAY 2015

The HCI Games Group will be at CHI PLAY 2015 next week in London, UK! If you are going to the Conference, come play our game CHI PLAYGUE with us! CHI PLAYGUE is a conference game designed to facilitate interaction among strangers and encourage social networking. To defend from a cybernetic alien invasion, each participant of CHI PLAY 2015 will have to interact with as many other participants as they can, to build Earth’s defenses. We hope that they will find this a playful opportunity to meet new people and get to know their work. To play this game, you will need to download the app to your smartphone, and a QR Code that will function as your ID. You will interact with other players by scanning their QR Code with your phone. Cards with the QR Code will be distributed during CHI PLAY 2015 by the HCI Games members: Gustavo Tondello, Rina Wehbe, and Lennart Nacke. The team with the highest score by the end of the Conference — Earthlings or Aliens — will be the winner. And those