Setting a Definition, Context, and Theory-Based Research Agenda for the Gamification of Non-Gaming Applications

Association for Information Systems Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction (THCI), vol. 10(3), pp. 129–163

36 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2018 Last revised: 9 Jan 2019

See all articles by Horst Treiblmaier

Horst Treiblmaier

MODUL University Vienna

Lisa-maria Putz

Upper Austria - University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria

Paul Benjamin Lowry

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University - Pamplin College of Business

Date Written: June 9, 2018

Abstract

As a nascent area of study, gamification has attracted the interest of researchers in several fields, but little attention has been focused on creating a theoretical foundation for gamification research. The basic idea of gamification is to use game-like features in non-game contexts to motivate users and improve performance outcomes. As a boundary-spanning subject by nature, gamification has drawn the interest of scholars from diverse communities, including information systems, education, marketing, computer science, and business administration. To establish a theoretical foundation, it is important to clearly define and explain gamification in comparison with similar concepts and areas of research. Likewise, it is important to define the scope of the domain and develop a research agenda that explicitly takes into account the important role of theory. In this review article, we have set forth the pre-theoretical structures necessary for theory-building in this area. Accordingly, we engaged an interdisciplinary group of discussants to evaluate and select the most relevant theories for gamification. Moreover, we developed exemplary research questions to help create a research agenda for gamification. We conclude that using a multi-theoretical perspective in the creation of a research agenda should help and encourage IS researchers to take a lead role in this promising and emerging area.

Keywords: Gamification, Gamification Definition, Gamification Domain, Research Agenda, Theory Building, Theories in IS Research, Attitudinal Change, Behavioral Change, Nomological Network

Suggested Citation

Treiblmaier, Horst and Putz, Lisa-maria and Lowry, Paul Benjamin, Setting a Definition, Context, and Theory-Based Research Agenda for the Gamification of Non-Gaming Applications (June 9, 2018). Association for Information Systems Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction (THCI), vol. 10(3), pp. 129–163, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3202034

Horst Treiblmaier

MODUL University Vienna ( email )

Am Kahlenberg 1
Vienna, 1190
Austria

Lisa-maria Putz

Upper Austria - University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria ( email )

Franz-Fritsch-Strasse 11
Wels, A-4600
Austria

Paul Benjamin Lowry (Contact Author)

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University - Pamplin College of Business ( email )

1016 Pamplin Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061
United States

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