Index

CUBEness

Challenge: In recent years, exploring space has become a trending topic again. Various private organizations such as SpaceX, Blue Origin, or Virgin Galactic and government organizations from the USA, China, India, Europe, or Russia compete for supremacy in space. Besides the exploration of new dimensions, this trend paths the way for innovations that will also change our life on earth. For example, an increasing number of satellites orbiting our earth, offer new possibilities for earth observation and high-speed internet anywhere on earth. This offers new challenges and opportunities, which can be tackled with approaches from game design and gamification. Thus, the task of this semester’s course on Designing Gamified Systems was to:

Design an innovative game or gamification approach in which gaming, space technology and mobility meets in order to either A) improving life on earth or B) improving life in space.

Date: Winter semester 2021

Lecture: Designing Gamified Systems

Result: 

CUBEness

Team: Heschu Qarani, Jonathan Stief, Sherwet GalalCem KaratasanGerrit Sußner

Abstract:

The interest in space is constantly increasing: From space agencies planning longer projects, such as NASAs’ Artemis mission, to private companies such as SpaceX planning to put humans on Mars. Overall, the private sector of space tourism is projected to reach a total of US$1.7 Billion by 2027. The market will expand much further in the future, with long-term missions becoming increasingly frequent.
Yet these long-term missions pose significant strains on both the human body and the mind. First among them is the deterioration of muscles, muscle atrophy, and the cardiovascular system through microgravity. These effects are so severe that even short missions (< 30 days) can cause a muscle volume loss of 5.5 to 15.9 percent. In order to combat these effects, most space agencies employ in-flight exercises of about 2.5 hours six days a week. Secondly, space missions represent the “perfect boring situation” and can invoke mental health issues.
Our VR solution addresses both aspects equally, as it gamifies the required exercise to avoid physical consequences, as well as challenge the players mentally and provides opportunities for experiencing social relatedness. For this, it uses both state-of-the-art VR equipment, as well as a Teslasuit, to not only make the experience feel even more immersive through haptic feedback, as well as the possibility to enhance training effects. The main game consists of resource collection during the exercise and a base-building type game in the phases between workouts. Both take place in VR.
In order to overcome the dullness of the monotonous environment, the game features a story putting the players in a scenario in 2075, where Mars has been colonized, and it is now their shared mission to defend and extend the colony. However, players need to collect resources through exercise to repair and build further modules, which is conducted within the VR game.
In the story mode, they are guided through their exercise by story-related messages, collecting resources while traversing the base and the landscapes of Mars. As voluntariness represents an important point in the acceptance of gamified approaches, however, players also have the option to avoid the story. While exercising, they collect resources by swiping them to the side with their controller. From the collected resources they then have the possibility to build three different types of buildings: (1) shelter domes, which set the defense for the whole colony, (2) windmills, which produce electricity for the colony, (3) greenhouses, which produce oxygen. To increase complexity, create fun, and challenge players mentally, the electricity and oxygen stats must match the shelter, or the colony will be dysfunctional, and the defense will receive a debuff. Players will have to ready their bases for increasingly difficult challenges, such as further alien attacks, sand storms, and similar difficulties that life on Mars would bring. This aims to create a long-time engagement in the player, relying on the immersion and social interaction between the crewmates of the space mission to defend their shared colony.

We use a Teslasuit, a smart textile two-piece full bodysuit, to make the experience immersive and interactive. The suit provides haptic feedback, captures motion and biometric functions. Further, a full-body haptic feedback system is built into the suit with 80 electrostimulation channels, which could be used to provide instant feedback on the players’ performance within the game. It can be functionalized in response to motion capture comparison at any time. No additional equipment will be need. The approach may be used with existing training equipment in space stations such as the ISS.

Astronaut Mark Vande Hei Expedition 53 Flight Engineer exercises on the COLBERT (Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill) in the Tranquility module – Photo by NASA

 

ParKing – A gamified crowdsourcing approach to simplify parking

Finding a parking spot in large cities is often time-consuming and stressful. Studies conducted in different cities around the globe revealed that around 30% of prevailing traffic is cruising for parking (Shoup, 2005, 2006). The traffic generated by people searching for a parking spot has great economic and ecological consequences: Searching for parking is responsible for tons of carbon dioxide emissions every day and heavily influences the time and fuel consumption of other drivers (Arnott et al., 2005; Axhausen et al., 1994; Shoup, 2005, 2006).

 

ParKing App - gamified crowdsourcing to simplify parking
ParKing App – A gamified crowdsourcing approach to simplify on-street parking

 

The idea behind the project ParKing was that a “Gamified Parking Assistant System” may help drivers unfamiliar with the parking situation of a city, such as tourists or business travellers, with getting an overview and reducing their cruising for parking. As part of the project, gamification patterns for engaging people in sharing information on parking spaces has been identified, evaluated and a working prototype of a gamified parking assistant was developed. A three-month field experiment across Germany with 372 people showed that the concept worked out and a comprehensive map of on-street parking spaces could be generated.

Results concerning the effects of different gamification design features on motivation and participation received international attention in the gamification research community and were published in the article:

Morschheuser, B., Hamari, J., & Maedche, A. (2019). Cooperation or competition – When do people contribute more? A field experiment on gamification of crowdsourcing. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 127, 7−224. doi: 10.1016/j.ijhcs.2018.10.001

Please see the paper for full details:
Article in the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies
Free pre-print on ResearchGate

 

Furthermore, several news media reported about this project, including the national radio channel Deutschlandfunk as well as the newspapers Badische Neueste Nachrichten (BNN) and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ).

 

Results ParKing Experiment
Results of the ParKing experiment

 

The website parking-app.de provides a detailed overview about the study conducted and the prototype developed with students from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the University of Mannheim. The website summarizes bothproject vision and conducted research.

 

Experimental conditions ParKing App
Comparison between the effects of cooperative, competitive, and inter-team competitive gamification features.

 

 

Based on the results of this study, Robert Bosch GmbH developed the app “Parkineers”, which has been released as iOS and Android app in Germany.

Parkineers, the new community-based parking app, allows you to become a part of the city and to find parking spots more easily. You take responsibility and share information about parking in your neighbourhood with the community. In return, you get parking spot information for places you don’t know well. Parkineers wants to simplify the search for parking spots step by step – completely free, without any commitments but with a lot of fun.Robert Bosch GmbH

 

 

References

Arnott, R., Rave, T., & Schöb, R. (2005). Alleviating urban traffic congestion. MIT Press.

Axhausen, K. W., Polak, J. W., Boltze, M., & Puzicha, J. (1994). Effectiveness of the parking guidance system in Frankfurt am Main. Traffic Eng. Control 35, 304–309.

Shoup, D.C., 2006. Cruising for parking. Transp. Policy 13, 479–486. doi:10.1016/j.tranpol.2006.05.005

Shoup, D.C., 2005. The high cost of free parking. Planners Press, Chicago.

Morschheuser, B., Hamari, J., & Maedche, A. (2019). Cooperation or competition – When do people contribute more? A field experiment on gamification of crowdsourcing. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 127, 7−224. doi: 10.1016/j.ijhcs.2018.10.001

 

Designing Gamified Systems (MA)

 

Leaderboard
CC photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash https://unsplash.com/photos/LTyDj7u_TU4

Driven by the rising popularity of digital games, technology, business and society are increasingly influenced and penetrated by games and trends of the gaming industry. One of the probably most important phenomena of this multi-faceted development is “gamification”, which refers to the use of design principles and features from games in the design of information systems, processes, and services.

Gamification’s popularity stems from the notion that games are a pinnacle form of hedonic information systems and thus are particularly effective in invoking intrinsic motivation and experiences such as autonomy, mastery, flow, immersion, relatedness and overall enjoyment. Across industries, marketers, designers and developers are thus using gamification as a design approach when engineering digital products and services with the purpose of inducing gameful experiences, influencing human motivation and even change behavior in various contexts.

This course

  • teaches the key concepts, design patterns, and approaches of motivational, hedonic (i.e. games and video games), social and gamified information systems.
  • offers deep insights into advanced concepts and theoretical foundations of game design, motivational psychology, and information system design.
  • introduces methods and frameworks for designing gamified systems and managing gamification projects.
  • discusses latest research findings and the potential impact of gamification on society, economy and everyday life.

Course Overview

Capstone Project

The course is complemented with a practical design project, where students in a team select and apply design methods & techniques in order to create a prototype of a gamified / hedonic information system. Within this project, the students can apply knowledge and skills acquired in this lecture and their studies in a challenging context.

EELISA

This course is offered as part of the European Engineering Learning Innovation and Science Alliance (EELISA – https://eelisa.eu). The EELISA cooperation will give the lecture an even more international setting and allow FAU students to collaborate in their projects with interdisciplinary students from all over Europe.

Learning Objectives and Skills

The students gain knowledge in understanding the underlying design principles of gamified and hedonic information systems and can analyze and discuss such systems. The students learn state-of-the-art methods, techniques, and tools for successfully conducting gamification projects and can select and apply them. The students can train their creativity, their prototyping skills as well as improve their collaboration and presentation skills.

Tutorials

The sessions are accompanied by tutorials, where students can learn the basics of developing games in Unity3D, as well as discuss current challenges in the implementation of their projects.

Prerequisites

Profound English skills are required. Further, creativity, experience in software design, user experience, prototyping, and software engineering are helpful. All participating students should be motivated to work in an international and interdisciplinary group on a challenging topic.

Lecturers

Prof. Dr. Benedikt Morschheuser

Tutor

Mareike Weber

 

Course details

Lecture + Capstone Project, 4 SWS, ECTS-Credits: 5

Dates

Wednesday, 09:45-13:00, LG 5.155

Module compatibility

WF IIS-MA 1 (ECTS-Credits: 5)
WF IIS-MA 2 (ECTS-Credits: 5)
WF IIS-MA 3 (ECTS-Credits: 5)
WF IIS-MA 4 (ECTS-Credits: 5)
WF WING-MA ab 1 (ECTS-Credits: 5)
WF ICT-MA ab 1 (ECTS-Credits: 5)
WF EEI-MA ab 1 (ECTS-Credits: 5)

ECTS

Credits: 5

Registration

Starts on 25. Februar 2022, 14:00 via StudOn.

Additional information

More details on course updates, materials, technical requirements, and other information will be announced in StudOn.

Keywords: Gamification, Interactive Information Systems, HCI, Customer Engagement, Social Computing, Hedonic Systems, Games

 

Inspiration from previous semesters

WS2021/2022

Capstone project topic:
Design of an innovative game or gamification approach at the intersection of gaming, mobility and space technology, which improve life on earth or travel in space. 

Focus:
Gamification, crowdsourcing, satellite techonology, mobility, augmented reality

Event:
Billionaires start space tourism

Guest lecturers:
Alexander Satanowsky – Head of in-Car Gaming – Mercedes-Benz AG
Georgina Guillén-Hanson – Researcher on Gamifying Sustainable Consumption – Gamification Group Finland
Daniel Fernández Galeote  – Game Designer and Researcher on Gamifying Sustainable Consumption – Gamification Group Finland
Dr. Michael Reinhardt – Head of OpenIT Studio – Siemens Healthineers
Nicolas Butterwegge – IT Strategy Manager – Siemens Healthineers

SS2021
Capstone project challenge:
Design of an innovative game or gamification approach in which sports, gaming, and mobility meet as part of an unforgettable mixed-reality experience for potential visitors of the 2022 Olympic Asian Games in China, Hangzhou.

Focus:
eSports, sports, augmented reality, mobility, gamification

Event:
Asian games announced to have eSports as official discipline

Guest lecturers:
Alexander Satanowsky – Head of in-Car Gaming – Mercedes-Benz AG
Georgina Guillén-Hanson – Researcher on Gamifying Sustainable Consumption – Gamification Group Finland
Daniel Fernández Galeote  – Game Designer and Researcher on Gamifying Sustainable Consumption – Gamification Group Finland