Playing (with) Democracy: A Review of Gamified Participation Approaches

  • Sarah-Kristin Thiel Technology Experience, Innovation Systems Department, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology
  • Michaela Reisinger Technology Experience, Innovation Systems Department, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology
  • Kathrin Röderer Technology Experience, Innovation Systems Department, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology
  • Peter Fröhlich Technology Experience, Innovation Systems Department, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology
Keywords: e-participation, gamified participation, review, gamification, civic games

Abstract

Albeit a wide range of e-participation platforms being already available, the level of public participation remains low. Governments around the world as well as academia are currently exploring new ways to design participation methods that are more engaging to use and will foster participation. One of the strategies is gamification. By adding game elements to e-participation platforms it is hoped to motivate for citizens to engage. This paper reviewed a large number of e-participation platforms, seeking to provide an overview of the current state of the art of so-called gamified participation initiatives. Our results show that while about half of the review projects can be categorized as game-related, only a small amount employs gamification. Moreover, current gamified participation initiatives seem to focus on reward-based gamification, a strategy which is said to come with risks. In this paper we further provide recommendations for future gamified participation projects.

Author Biography

Sarah-Kristin Thiel, Technology Experience, Innovation Systems Department, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology

Sarah-Kristin Thiel works as a junior scientist at the Austrian Institute for Technology. She is further a PhD candidate at the University of Salzburg. Her work investigates the explicit effects of added game elements in digital public participation tools. She is further interested in mobile software development and technology in society.

Published
2016-12-19
How to Cite
Thiel, S.-K., Reisinger, M., Röderer, K., & Fröhlich, P. (2016). Playing (with) Democracy: A Review of Gamified Participation Approaches. JeDEM - EJournal of EDemocracy and Open Government, 8(3), 32-60. https://doi.org/10.29379/jedem.v8i3.440
Section
Research Papers