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 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




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


Research projects

adidas Logo

Gamification in the team sports of Football

In cooperation with adidas, we want to improve training and performance diagnostics in football through innovative gamification approaches. For this, we explore the impact of different gamification features using an existing adidas platform and wearable devices.

Project objectives:

  • Design and development of different gamification features
  • Evaluation of developed gamification features with regard to sociopsychological dynamics in the team and effects on the behavior of the football players
  • Derive design recommendations and principles for gamification in team sports based on the results of field experiments


Sandra Birnstiel, Siao Fang Chen, Gerrit Sußner

Designing and understanding the effects of gamified VR training on human-robot teaming

In cooperation with Schaeffler, we investigate how gameful design can be used in virtual reality trainings for improving human-robot interaction. The project aims to develop and explore different design interventions to support and optimize collaboration in human-robot teaming.

Project goals:

  • Structuring the knowledge of research on human-robot interaction, i.e., gamification of human-robot interaction
  • Developing design interventions to support collaboration of humans and robots in a virtual reality training
  • Investigation of the impact of gameful design on users’ perception and behavior


Mareike Weber

Revival of MUDs – Designing a text-based adventure game that helps children learn handwriting

In collaboration with STABILO International GmbH, we develop a text-based adventure for the STABILO DigiPen. Our aim is to transform learning and optimization of handwriting into a “gameful” and engaging experience by using design principles of multi-user dungeons (MUDs).

Project objectives:

  • Development and empirical investigation of a text-based adventure game for the STABILO DigiPen
  • Investigation of the impact of various design interventions on user behaviour and AI-based gesture recognition
  • Derivation of theoretical and practical recommendations for designing gamification and serious game approaches to optimize handwriting


Mareike Weber

Gamifying the human-AI interaction

Can digital games and their design principles improve the collaboration between humans and artificial intelligence (AI)? Funded by FAU’s Emerging Talents Initiative (ETI), we are investigating how game design principles can help to optimise human-AI teaming.

Project objectives:

  • Investigation of cooperation in games and derivation of design principles
  • Investigation of the collaboration between humans and non-player characters (NPCs) in games and derivation of insights into designing more effective human-AI collaboration
  • Conducting studies on the gamification of human-AI collaboration


Maximilian Wittmann, Sujit Thapa

Game-based solutions for logistics

In cooperation with the Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG​ we investigate how gamification can be applied in inbound logistics. The aim of the project is the development, piloting and evaluation of a gamification concept for use in a modern digital logistics center.

Project goals:

    • Structuring of the current body of knwodlege of research on gamification in logistics
    • Development of a gamification concept with the active involvement of relevant stakeholders based on the method of Morschheuser et al. (2018)
    • Implementation and evaluation of the effectiveness of gamification approaches in inbound logistics

Completed projects

More details on our previous research will follow soon. In the meantime, please see our publications.




Peer-reviewed publications













We create impactful scientific knowledge about the ongoing penetration of society, technology, economy and everyday life with digital games and emerging phenomena of the gaming industry in order to better understand these developments and to support society and organizations in solving problems in a ‘gameful’ way




Selection of our research fields and interests:

Gaming meets Product & Service Design

  • Designing gamified information systems
  • Motivational design
  • Game design patterns
  • Game thinking
  • Gamified crowdsourcing and co-creation
  • Personalized gamification
  • Gamification of future mobility and transportation (e.g. in-car gaming)

Gaming meets Marketing & Sales

  • Digital customer engagement
  • Customer steering in the omni-channel
  • Loyalty programs
  • Virtual goods and commerce in the Metaverse
  • Customer insights, gamers/players as customers

Gaming meets Work & Collaboration

  • Gamification in technology-mediated collaboration e.g. crowdsourcing, remote work
  • Gamification for creativity and ingenuity
  • Serious and educational games
  • Gamification in organizational transformation initiatives
  • Human-AI teaming and collaboration
  • Work and education in the “Metaverse”
  • Gamifying sustainable behavior at work

Gaming meets Sports & Health

  • Gamification of exercise, sports & quantified-self
  • Virtual and augmented reality in sports
  • Location-based games
  • eSports
  • Gamification in corporate health
  • Gamification of prevention, therapy and rehabilitation

Gaming meets Society and Culture

  • Inclusive and accessible games and gamification
  • Ethics of gamification
  • Gamification to prevent and counter radicalization and extremism
  • Data Privacy in the Metaverse
  • Understanding the creator economy