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Gamification in a Social System

By F.J. Blaauw


Since it was first mentioned in 2002, Gamification has grown in popularity. Gamification is a term for the use of game-design elements in a non-gaming context. The consulting company Capgemini has set up a rudimentary Gamification platform called Level Up. One of the goals of Level Up is to help motivating the people volunteering to organize meetings, courses and do other extra work for the company in their own spare time. In order to reward people for their extra work, they can request badges. Badges are virtual representations of achievements, depicted using an image of a shield. When an employee organizes or goes to such activities, he or she can request such a badge. A set of other employees, known as the Badgers decide whether or not the badge is granted. In the current state of the art, it is not clear whether people in a social structure exert influence on each other, with regards to achieving these badges and doing extra work. Information on influence can be interesting for companies in order to determine if they want to implement a Gamification platform and social media service. From a sociological point of view the information on influence is interesting to see how people react on each other, in a ‘gamified’ environment (an environment to which Gamification techniques are applied). To research if influence is actually exerted, Level Up is connected to an existing company social media service. The social media service used is known as Yammer, which is a private, enterprise social network. Statistical analysis on both the social graph and the Gamification data shows if there is a correlation between the social structure and the quantity of badges or types of badges one has. It is, however, not determined whether a causality relation exists between the social structure and the quantity of badges or types of badges, or whether a third factor is responsible for the effect. In the analysis the main focus is on authoritativeness of people. Authoritativeness is a measure to determine how important a person in a social network is. The conclusions drawn show that a correlation between the quantity of badges or types of badges does exist. The result makes it more visible and founded why one should implement a Gamification system and how important the social structure in the sense of social media is for the value of it.

Year: 2013
OAI identifier: oai:ub.rug.nl:dbi/51ee49bd394ae
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