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Gamification for Sustainability: Beyond the Ludo-Aesthetical Approach
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Industrial Engineering & Management. (Industriell teknik)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Industrial Engineering & Management.
2016 (English)In: The Business of Gamification: A Critical Analysis / [ed] Dymek, M. & Zackariasson, P., Abingdon: Routledge, 2016, 1, 163-181 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In recent years, using elements from game design in nongaming contexts, gamification, has become a major trend within the industry (Deterding et al. 2011). If we put our trust in Jane McGonigal, consultant and author of the book Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World (2011), gamification has the power to save the world due to its potential to promote desirable behaviors. Al Gore, former vice president of the U.S. and environmentalist, argues that gamification can be effective not least within the area of environmental sustainability, where saving the world is the ultimate goal. By gamifying ordinary life practices, such as recycling, energy saving and sustainable consumption, games could be “the new normal” (Gore 2011). Although gamified solutions have not been developed to a great extent within the area of sustainability yet, appli- cations that promotes energy-efficient behavior, make recycling fun and help us travel more eco-friendly do exist on the market today.

In this chapter, we aim to describe gamification for sustainability and its challenges for developers and researchers. Furthermore, we will situate it in relation to other ways of promoting sustainable consumption, such as through raising awareness and visualization. In contrast to these two meth- ods, we argue that the main difference is that within gamification, positive, enjoyable and fun affects are mobilized in order to promote the desirable behavior. Although we tie in to the idea of using affects for the promotion of sustainable behavior, we believe that only focusing on positive affects may not be the right way for sustainable gamification. By turning to theories of the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813–1855), we are able to introduce new ways of conceptualizing affects in the gamification discourse. We argue that in addition to fun and enjoyment, negative or neutral affects such as anxiety could prove productive for gamification for sustainability. As games could be seen as an extension of traditional media such as books or movies (Murray 1995), we further suggest that most gamified applications fail to include important aspects that could prove useful for provoking these productive affects. By drawing on narratological game theory and combining these ideas of games with our philosophical backdrop, we develop a model for conceptualizing approaches to gamification for sustainability. We pro- pose that developers and businesses should seek alternative vistas among a plethora of opportunities presented in this chapter, rather than the most prevalent approach at present (which we call the ludo-aesthetical approach) when developing gamified applications for sustainability. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Abingdon: Routledge, 2016, 1. 163-181 p.
Routledge Advances in Management and Business Studies
Keyword [en]
Gamification, Spelifikation, Sustainability, ICT4S, ICT and Sustainability
National Category
Media and Communications Philosophy, Ethics and Religion Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-310698ISBN: 113882416XISBN: 978-1138824164OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-310698DiVA: diva2:1057583
Available from: 2016-12-19 Created: 2016-12-19 Last updated: 2017-01-02

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