Points, stories, worlds, and diegesis: Comparing player experiences in two citizen science games
We conducted an experiment to examine how people perceive differences between points-based and story-based gamification approaches. We were interested in how these differences impact peoples' play experiences and perceptions of working on a citizen science task. Our findings show that the story-based game, Forgotten Island, was strongly preferred over the points-based game, Happy Match. Participants indicated that this was because of "diegesis" in Forgotten Island - in other words, a focus on story-motivated activities and rewards made the citizen science task more enjoyable and gave participants various reasons to continue play. This study suggests that story-based games can be a powerful tool for attracting participants to citizen science tasks. In particular, compared to point-based games, story-based games may be more useful for attracting and engaging participants who are ambivalent about scientific inquiry. This paper also discusses some of the challenges and possibilities for both points-based and story-based gamification.
Computers in Human Behavior
Prestopnik, Nathan R. and Tang, Jian, "Points, stories, worlds, and diegesis: Comparing player experiences in two citizen science games" (2015). Faculty Articles Indexed in Scopus. 979.