MCI - Management Center Innsbruck (AUSTRIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2021 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 2436-2440
ISBN: 978-84-09-34549-6
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2021.0612
Conference name: 14th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 8-9 November, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Apps like Nike + or Runtastic are widely known and have one thing in common, they apply game design elements, such as scoring systems, leaderboards and levels in order to influence the behavior of their users and motivate them to a better performance. This usage of game design elements in a non-game context is widely known under the term gamification. Gamification provides a multitude of possible uses. Not only fitness apps like Nike+ or Runtastic use this principle, but gamification is also used in an educational and a corporate context, for example to improve internal company interaction and communication, work processes, or learning outcomes. The general goal of gamification is to understand and influence human behavior.

The positive effects of gamification, both in the educational as well as the corporate context are widely known. In comparison, there is still relatively little research regarding the criticisms of gamification. Thus, the study at hand will highlight the criticisms for the implementation of such elaborate gamification elements in order to draw conclusions from them, and to be able to prevent future negative effects.

The aim of the following work is to use those applications already available in the literature in order to take a look at points of criticism of the gamification concept. In order to do so, first the current state of research is presented. After that, the already known positive aspects of the implementation of gamification are discussed, followed by any points of criticism found in the literature that arise from the implementation of gamification. The authors use the latter as a basis for the empirical study. Via nine in-depth interviews with employees, psychologists, HR managers, and gamification experts these points of criticism will be supplemented to get a critical view of the implementation of gamification. The evaluation of the interviews is carried out using the qualitative content analysis according to Mayring. Finally, the results of the survey are interpreted and structured, and again presented to provide recommendations for the correct implementation of a gamification system. The proposed paper results in recommendations for the avoidance of the mentioned points of criticism when implementing gamification elements.
Gamification, Critical Perspective, Motivation, Performance.