Seamless cooperation between individuals is essentially a crucial aspect of any successful endeavor. Recently, there has been one special example of a context where cooperation seemed to have effortlessly sprung up between people who might not even have had previous connections. The context is video/online games; games such as Ingress, Pokémon Go, and World of Warcraft bind people together to work against insurmountable odds and to overcome jointly held challenges.
Inspired by games, organizations of many types have recently begun to gamify their structures and services to cultivate seamless cooperation. However, before this potential of games can be successfully wielded outside video games, we need to understand better how games are able to cultivate cooperation.
Therefore, we conducted a study on cooperation in games that have been recently published in the Journal Computers in Human Behavior.
Morschheuser, B., Riar, M., Hamari, J., & Maedche, A. (2017). How games induce cooperation? A study on the relationship between game features and we-intentions in an augmented reality game. Computers in human behavior, 77, 169-183. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2017.08.026
During recent years, information systems have been increasingly enriched with design features originating in the field of computer games. This rising phenomenon is typically called gamification and has raised significant interest in industry and academia. For instance, business analysts have estimated that over 50% of organizations managing innovation processes will gamify their business by 2015 (Gartner 2011). Reviews of scientific gamification studies have shown that gamification is applied in various contexts, specifically including computer supported cooperative work (CSCW) systems, such as crowdsourcing approaches, online communities and intranets. Typically, gamification is used with the intention to positively influence human motivation and behavior. Numerous empirical studies provide indicators for the effectiveness of different gamification implementations, however the understanding of the phenomenon is still in its infancy. Most of the research that has been conducted on gamification has focused on studying approaches that motivate users by social comparison and competition or by setting personal goals. Gamification approaches that engage individuals to cooperate and, therefore, to strive toward a shared goal or purpose have been of minor focus in gamification and game-design research thus far.
Thus, we are aiming to understand the design of cooperative gamification.
A classification of gamification features: cooperative, competitive, individualistic and cooperative-competitive gamification features
Benedikt Morschheuser, Alexander Maedche and Dominic Walter (2017). Designing cooperative gamification: Conceptualization and prototypical implementation. In Proceedings of the 20th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW 2017), Portland, Oregon, USA, February 25, 2017.
Organizations deploy gamification in information systems to enhance motivation and behavioral outcomes of users. However, gamification approaches often cause competition between users, which might be inappropriate for working environments that seek cooperation. Drawing on the social interdependence theory, we developed a classification for gamification features and provide insights about the design of cooperative gamification. Using the example of an innovation community of a large German engineering company, we present the design of a cooperative gamification approach and results from a first experimental evaluation. The findings indicate that the developed gamification approach has positive effects on perceived enjoyment and the intention towards knowledge sharing in the considered innovation community. Besides our conceptual contribution, our findings suggest that cooperative gamification may be beneficial for cooperative working environments and represents a promising field for future research.
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