Empirical Validation of the Gamification User Types Hexad Scale in English and Spanish

Gustavo F. Tondello, Alberto Mora, Andrzej Marczewski, and Lennart E. Nacke. 2019. Empirical Validation of the Gamification User Types Hexad Scale in English and Spanish. In International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 127: 95-111. Elsevier. doi:10.1016/j.ijhcs.2018.10.002


Gamification, the use of game elements in non-game systems, is now established as a relevant research field in human-computer interaction (HCI). Several empirical studies have shown that gameful interventions can increase engagement and generate desired behavioural outcomes in HCI applications. However, some inconclusive results indicate that we need a fuller understanding of the mechanisms and effects of gamification. The Gamification User Types Hexad scale allows us to parse different user motivations in participants’ interactions with gameful applications, which are measured using a self-report questionnaire. Each user type represents a style of interaction with gameful applications, for example, if the interactions are more focused on achievements, socialization, or rewards. Thus, by scoring an individual in each one of the user types of the Hexad model, we can establish a profile of user preferences for gameful interactions. However, we still lack a substantial empirical validation of this scale. Therefore, we set out to validate the factor structure of the scale, in both English and Spanish, by conducting three studies, which also investigated the distribution of the Hexad's user types in the sample. Our findings support the structural validity of the scale, as well as suggesting opportunities for improvement. Furthermore, we demonstrate that some user types are more common than others and that gender and age correlate with a person's user types. Our work contributes to HCI research by further validating the utility of the Gamification User Types Hexad scale, potentially affording researchers a deeper understanding of the mechanisms and effects of gameful interventions.