UniCraft: Exploring the impact of asynchronous multiplayer game elements in gamification

FEATHERSTONE, Mark and HABGOOD, Jacob (2018). UniCraft: Exploring the impact of asynchronous multiplayer game elements in gamification. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies.

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Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/...
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhcs.2018.05.006


This paper describes the development and evaluation of UniCraft: a gamified mobile app designed to increase the engagement of undergraduate students with the content and delivery of their course. Gamification projects rely on extrinsic motivators to encourage participants to engage, such as compulsory participation or real-world rewards. UniCraft incorporates an asynchronous multiplayer battle game that uses constructive competition to motivate students, without using motivational levers that may reduce intrinsic motivation. The novel battle game employed by UniCraft employs Player vs Environment (Shafer, 2012) and Player Matching (Jennings, 2014) to ensure students work together in similarly ranked small groups as a team against a shared enemy. A study was undertaken which examined students' long-term engagement with UniCraft within the context of a 12-week long undergraduate programming course. The app was initially provided with the battle feature disabled, so that the effect on motivation and engagement could be studied when it was introduced during the intervention. Detailed interaction data recorded by the app was augmented by semi-structured interviews in order to provide a richer perspective on its effect at an individual and group level. The interaction data revealed convincing evidence for the increased motivational power of the battle feature, and this was supported by the interview data. Although no direct negative effects of competition were observed, interviews revealed that cheating was prevalent and this could in turn have unintended negative side-effects on motivation. Full results are presented and case studies are described for three of the participants, giving an insight into the different styles of interaction and motivation experienced by students in this study.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Communication and Computing Research Centre
Departments - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Faculty of Science, Technology and Arts > Department of Computing
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhcs.2018.05.006
Depositing User: Mark Featherstone
Date Deposited: 22 May 2018 08:40
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 05:16
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/21261

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