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Gamification

Gamification: increased motivation through gaming elements

Gamification describes the enhancement of applications and processes through elements used in computer games. These elements can be individual elements and functions or entire processes. The main goal is to improve the user’s motivation.

What role does it play in crowdsourcing projects?

Game elements are significant because crowdsourcing is often about having a large number of uniform tasks performed by many people within a short period of time. As a rule, motivation is derived from the material incentives for the worker. In contrast to complex tasks, a relatively minor motivation factor is derived from the challenge that is linked to the task. Gamification can help make a crowdsourcing project easier.

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What does it look like in practice?

The use of different entertaining features is conceivable in the crowdsourcing sector. Since the financial components are often fairly important to the participants, a three-dimensional gage with the current earnings status might prove to be motivating. This status increases accordingly with the work effort and adds motivation to skyrocket their own earnings. Rankings and progress bars for certain projects benefit a slightly different mechanism. All of the project participants can see what the community has achieved. If many others are also active the incentive to participate and match the competitors increases.

Gamification ©   Flikr by Buster Benson

These functions rely on the typical, human reaction to perceptible competitors. Output usually increases with competition. There is also the time pressure that is built up by the overall progress bar. If only a certain number of interesting tasks are available, the motivation to work quickly increases in order to claim a large number of tasks. Forceful feedback is also essential for successful crowdsourcing. Feedback has more than a gaming nature; it is also an important element for the quality management of a crowdsourcing platform. Feedback teaches the workers how the task can be best fulfilled. This generally increases the quality of the work. A further psychological aspect is taken into account when the feedback includes praise as well as criticism. Positive feedback, including a sense of achievement obtained with gaming elements, is usually more motivating than the absence of criticism.