Enhancing User Engagement through Gamification

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-213
Journal / PublicationJournal of Computer Information Systems
Issue number3
Online published3 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2018


Gamification—the use of game elements in non-game contexts—is gaining interest among researchers and practitioners. How gamification enhances user engagement, though, remains unclear, largely due to the lack of a theoretical framework. To narrow the theory gap, this study develops a theoretical model, which draws on cognitive evaluation theory to explain the effects of game dynamics on user engagement, and tests it using data collected from 164 users of a gamified information system. The results reveal that gamification enhances user engagement through the mediation of psychological needs satisfaction (autonomy, competence, and relatedness) between game dynamics and enjoyment. The results suggest that gamification should go beyond merely providing fun and enjoyment; gamification should also generate diverse game dynamics, such as rewards, competition, altruism, and self-expression in a way that helps people to satisfy their psychological needs. The study contributes to a more nuanced understanding of the success of gamification.

Research Area(s)

  • Cognitive evaluation theory, game dynamics, gamification, intrinsic motivation, psychological needs satisfaction, user engagement

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Research Unit(s) information for this publication is provided by the author(s) concerned.