Browsing by Subject "gamification"

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  • Mikkonen, Kasperi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Playing video games is a popular way to spend time and mobile gaming is one of the most growing entertainment industries in the world. Gaming is often associated with high level of motivation from the user as well as many negative and positive outcomes. Commitment towards games has invited countless of researches to examine what makes them so intriguing and motivating. This growing understanding gives developers more tools to design even better games and allows game-like features to be used in other contexts as well. This master’s thesis examines automatically gathered early log-data (n=100 000) from two free-to-play mobile games in order to create a model for retention. A model created using early log-data (first three days of play) creates opportunities to recognize potential players in an early phase and to evaluate early iterations of games that are in development. Furthermore, individual features are analyzed to study, what are the factors that influence coming back to the game at a later point (30 days after the installation of the game). The research questions in this thesis are: 1) Can commitment towards mobile games be modeled using early log-data? 2) How accurate predictions the created model can do? 3) What are the most important in-game features that predict retention? The model is created using a decision tree analysis, which was selected as a method due to its transparency and because it has been used before in earlier studies with similar designs. In both games, the rate of coming back to the game after 30 days of installation was 7.6%. A working model for retention was formulated which was able to predict coming back to the game with 33% accuracy. The most important in-game features that affect retention were the number of victories, the number of starts and the number of in-app-purchases during the three-day period after the game’s installation. Surprisingly, in-game rewards and achievements were the most insignificant features when predicting retention although they are often specifically designed to elevate user motivation. These results can influence design decisions made in game development by setting the focus on the factors that influence player commitment and behavior. Achievements and in-game rewards might feel too artificial and superficial compared to winning in game. If the system gives direct feedback of the effect of time and monetary sacrifice to the player’s performance, one might be able to reduce the number of players that decide to leave the game. The results also can be used to examine how game-like features are used in non-game systems where the goal is to tie together the high-level of motivation seen in games and socially impactful endeavors. Further studies of in-game behavior might also give new insights on game addiction and its negative effects on player well-being and business.
  • Nurmi, Johanna; Knittle, Keegan; Ginchev, Todor; Khattak, Fida; Helf, Christopher; Zwickl, Patrick; Castellano-Tejedor, Carmina; Lusilla-Palacios, Pilar; Costa-Requena, Jose; Ravaja, Niklas; Haukkala, Ari (2020)
    Background: Most adults do not engage in sufficient physical activity to maintain good health. Smartphone apps are increasingly used to support physical activity but typically focus on tracking behaviors with no support for the complex process of behavior change. Tracking features do not engage all users, and apps could better reach their targets by engaging users in reflecting their reasons, capabilities, and opportunities to change. Motivational interviewing supports this active engagement in self-reflection and self-regulation by fostering psychological needs proposed by the self-determination theory (ie, autonomy, competence, and relatedness). However, it is unknown whether digitalized motivational interviewing in a smartphone app engages users in this process. Objective: This study aimed to describe the theory- and evidence-based development of the Precious app and to examine how digitalized motivational interviewing using a smartphone app engages users in the behavior change process. Specifically, we aimed to determine if use of the Precious app elicits change talk in participants and how they perceive autonomy support in the app. Methods: A multidisciplinary team built the Precious app to support engagement in the behavior change process. The Precious app targets reflective processes with motivational interviewing and spontaneous processes with gamified tools, and builds on the principles of self-determination theory and control theory by using 7 relational techniques and 12 behavior change techniques. The feasibility of the app was tested among 12 adults, who were asked to interact with the prototype and think aloud. Semistructured interviews allowed participants to extend their statements. Participants’ interactions with the app were video recorded, transcribed, and analyzed with deductive thematic analysis to identify the theoretical themes related to autonomy support and change talk. Results: Participants valued the autonomy supportive features in the Precious app (eg, freedom to pursue personally relevant goals and receive tailored feedback). We identified the following five themes based on the theory-based theme autonomy support: valuing the chance to choose, concern about lack of autonomy, expecting controlling features, autonomous goals, and autonomy supportive feedback. The motivational interviewing features actively engaged participants in reflecting their outcome goals and reasons for activity, producing several types of change talk and very little sustain talk. The types of change talk identified were desire, need, reasons, ability, commitment, and taking steps toward change. Conclusions: The Precious app takes a unique approach to engage users in the behavior change process by targeting both reflective and spontaneous processes. It allows motivational interviewing in a mobile form, supports psychological needs with relational techniques, and targets intrinsic motivation with gamified elements. The motivational interviewing approach shows promise, but the impact of its interactive features and tailored feedback needs to be studied over time. The Precious app is undergoing testing in a series of n-of-1 randomized controlled trials. KEYWORDS health app; mHealth; human-computer interaction; prevention; service design; usability design; intrinsic motivation; reflective processes; spontaneous processes; engagement; self-determination theory; autonomous motivation; gamification; physical activity
  • Rantala, Arja; Jansson, Miia M.; Helve, Otto; Lahdenne, Pekka; Pikkarainen, Minna; Pölkki, Tarja (2020)
    Background: The parents of hospitalized children are often dissatisfied with waiting times, fasting, discharge criteria, postoperative pain relief, and postoperative guidance. Parents' experiences help care providers to provide effective, family-centered care that responds to parents' needs throughout the day surgery pathway. Objective: The objective of our study was to describe parental experiences of the pediatric day surgery pathway and the needs for a digital gaming solution in order to facilitate the digitalization of these pathways. Methods: This was a descriptive qualitative study. The participants (N=31) were parents whose children were admitted to the hospital for the day surgical treatments or magnetic resonance imaging. The data were collected through an unstructured, open-ended questionnaire; an inductive content analysis was conducted to analyze the qualitative data. Reporting of the study findings adheres to the Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research (COREQ) checklist. Results: Parental experiences of the children's day surgery pathway included 3 main categories: (1) needs for parental guidance, (2) needs for support, and (3) child involved in his or her own pathway (eg, consideration of an individual child and preparation of child for treatment). The needs for a digital gaming solution were identified as 1 main category-the digital gaming solution for children and families to support care. This main category included 3 upper categories: (1) preparing children and families for the day surgery via the solution, (2) gamification in the solution, and (3) connecting people through the solution. Conclusions: Parents need guidance and support for their children's day surgery care pathways. A digital gaming solution may be a relevant tool to support communication and to provide information on day surgeries Families are ready for and are open to digital gaming solutions that provide support and guidance and engage children in the day surgery pathways.