Gameful Experience Questionnaire (GAMEFULQUEST): An instrument for measuring the perceived gamefulness of system use
Video games have become a highly visible part of human practice and culture. However, the experiences they evoke are in no way limited to systems and services purposefully designed as games. In fact, during the last few years, gamification has joined such phenomena as artificial intelligence, big data, and crowdsourcing as contemporary megatrends. Gamification refers to the transformation of technology to become more game-like, with the intention of evoking similar positive experiences and motivations that games do (the gameful experience) and affecting user behavior. Systems, services, and organizational structures are increasingly intentionally imbued with game-like qualities , and gamification has been applied in widely differing contexts, such as commerce, health, sustainability, software development, and research .
However, gameful experiences is not limited to games and gamified services. Technological advances have offered ample opportunities for playful and positive experiences to be emerge in the use of more traditional systems, even though such systems are not designed for that purpose (see, e.g., ). Some researchers (e.g., ) have also argued that contemporary people and so-called “digital natives” may be more susceptible to the gameful experience even in “non-game contexts,” which would be a consequence of learning motivational orientations and ways of engaging in activities through playing games that have seeped into everyday life . As such, we believe that society is facing a cultural shift powered by the technological development of more gameful experiences in people’s lives and society.
Research into behavior change interventions based on digital services is growing, and the fact that the effectiveness of motivational strategies are dependent on the user makes the personalization of such interventions important . When gamifying such services, the gameful experience afforded by these services drives their effect on behavior . Therefore, this experience must be in focus when developing gamified services. In order to understand this gameful experience, it is necessary to be able to measure the gameful aspect of individuals’ experiences of service use, both in order to understand the effect of gamification and also to leverage the full potential of gamified services.
Thus, we sought to address the research problem of how to measure the gameful experience across a variety of systems and services, we developed and validated an instrument that measures the gameful experience as a holistic state. First, we conducted an exploratory qualitative study. In a survey with open ended questions, we investigated users of Duolingo, Nike+ Run Club, and Zombies, Run! and their experiences while using these gamified services. In a second exploratory and quantitative study, we developed the measurement instrument and evaluated its factorial and psychometric properties using data collected among users of Zombies, Run! (N=371). In a third confirmatory and quantitative study, based on the results of the second study, we improved the instrument, repeated the evaluation of the instrument’s dimensionality and psychometric properties, and utilized confirmatory factor analysis to validate it. Data for the third study was collected from users of Duolingo (N=507). As a result of this research, we developed the instrument, called GAMEFULQUEST, which can be used to measure and model the individual user’s gameful experience of systems and services.
Citation: Högberg, J., Hamari, J. & Wästlund, E. (2019). Gameful Experience Questionnaire (GAMEFULQUEST): An instrument for measuring the perceived gamefulness of system use. User Model User-Adap Inter.
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In this paper, we present the development and validation of an instrument for measuring users’ gameful experience while using a service. Either intentionally or unintentionally, systems and services are becoming increasingly gamified and having a gameful experience is progressively important for the user’s overall experience of a service. Gamification refers to the transformation of technology to become more game-like, with the intention of evoking similar positive experiences and motivations that games do (the gameful experience) and affecting user behavior. In this study, we used a mixed-methods approach to develop an instrument for measuring the gameful experience. In a first qualitative study, we developed a model of the gameful experience using data from a questionnaire consisting of open-ended questions posed to users of Zombies, Run!, Duolingo, and Nike+ Run Club. In a second study, we developed the instrument and evaluated its dimensionality and psychometric properties using data from users of Zombies, Run! (N=371). Based on the results of this second study, we further developed the instrument in a third study using data from users of Duolingo (N=507), in which we repeated the assessment of dimensionality and psychometric properties, this time including confirmation of the model. As a result of this work, we devised GAMEFULQUEST, an instrument that can be used to model and measure an individual user’s gameful experience in systems and services, which can be used for user-adapted gamification and for informing user-modeling research within a gamification context.
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