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Does Physicality Enhance the Meaningfulness of Gamification? Transforming Gamification Elements to their Physical Counterparts

Maximilian Altmeyer; Donald Degraen; Tobias Sander; Felix Kosmalla; Antonio Krüger
In: Proceedings of the Australian Conference on Human-Computer Interaction. Australian Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (OzCHI-2021), November 30 - December 3, Online, Australia, ACM, 12/2021.


Gamification has been shown to successfully help users in reaching their goals, and enhancing their user experience. However, it has also been criticized for adding arbitrary rewards to non-game activities, which is often perceived as being meaningless. To counter this, we investigate whether physical gamification, i.e. transforming virtual gamification elements (such as points or leaderboards) to their physical counterparts, is perceived as more meaningful by users. Based on an elicitation lab-study (N=12), we contribute concrete transformations from virtual to physical gamification elements and derive design recommendations for physical gamification systems. Next, we use these recommendations to implement a prototype for the gamification elements points and leaderboard. In a subsequent lab experiment, we investigate the perception of physical gamification elements and compare our prototype to its virtual counterpart (N=12). Our results show that physical gamification elements are perceived as significantly more persuasive and more meaningful than their virtual counterparts.