Critical Perspectives on Gamification Design

Important dates
Workshop submissions: July 26, 2016 August 5
Workshop notification: August 12, 2016
Workshop day: October 16, 2016
If you still want to attend the workshop but you did not submit a paper by the deadline, please let us know writing to:

Gamification has gained an increasing popularity as a means for enhancing user engagement, increasing performances and changing behavior in a variety of contexts, from online education to the promotion of exercise. Scholarship in HCI on gamification is largely focused on evaluating the short-term effectiveness and usefulness of this design technique, while other, and perhaps more important aspects, are not receiving similar attention. Side-effects, long-term and systemic consequences, ethical and societal impacts and concerns are rarely raised in the present gamification rhetoric, and a variety of assumptions related to games, fun, and enjoyment are far from being taken into question.

In this workshop we want to fill this gap by eliciting a critical discourse about gamification design by using design fictions. We want to engage researchers in asking not only could it be done? but also should it be done? and how would society look like if this will be done?. Here, we want to explore possible answers to questions like: Are there fields in which gamification should not be employed? What are the unexpected impacts/side effects that a pervasive gamification design could produce on the individual and society (e.g. addiction, individualism, escapism, hedonism)? What if entire aspects of our life will be turned into a game? What if novel, more effective, immersive, and pleasurable game elements will be successfully employed in gamification design? Is gamification implicitly reinforcing some aspects of our society (e.g. consumerism, individualism)?

Primary aim of this workshop at CHI PLAY ’16 is to encourage reflection on the consequences of gamification design, by framing it in unusual, ambiguous, provocative perspectives, through the design of fictional prototypes in plausible distant futures, as well as in utopian or dystopian societies.

Topics of interest
Relevant workshop topics include but are not limited to:
i) Envisioning of future and unexpected uses of gamification techniques;
ii) Theoretical reflections about how games and gamification could change our lives in the future;
iii) Critical insights on side-effects of gamification design;
iv) Ethical issues related to the employment of gamified technologies;
v) thought-provoking designs of novel gamified applications;
vi) novel game design elements;
vii) fictional prototypes, evaluations, scenarios of “critical” gamified systems
viii) fictional prototypes and reflections on pervasive, serious and alternate reality games and the possible future pervasiveness of games

We accept submissions in three forms.
Option 1: is a standard position paper, where authors discuss one of the workshop topics (4-6 page long).
Option 2: is a contribution in the form of a “critical” design fiction (for example in the form of a short narrative/future written scenario), in which authors may explore the future consequences of their work and of gamification design (2-6 page long). Authors are also encouraged to construct a critical piece in the form of a film, storyboard, instruction manual, ppt presentation, or similar and then annotating that artifact using the extended abstract text format.
Option 3: is a manifestation of interest where authors explain how their area of expertise may be relevant for the workshop discussion, and/or why they would like to participate (2-4 page long).

Format: All the options should be in the ACM Extended Abstract Format and should not be anonymized.
Papers will be reviewed mainly on the basis of their potential to trigger insights for the design phase of the workshop. Accepted papers will be published in the workshop proceedings and posted on the workshop website. Selected submission will be considered for a special issue in an international journal.

Please submit by email to:

Workshop Organizers and Program co-chairs
Amon Rapp, University of Torino
Federica Cena, University of Torino
Frank Hopfgartner, University of Glasgow
Juho Hamari, University of Tampere
Conor Linehan, University College Cork