Final Thesis: A Theory of The Effects of Gamification on Social Software

Abstract:  The ability to increase the engagement of a social software platform’s users is a key influencing factor for the platform’s competitiveness and growth. In this context “gamification” is a major topic. This bachelor thesis deals with the formation and validation of a theory on the effects of gamification on social software. The formation of the theory started with a literature review on gamification – the definition, the objectives, the principles and the effects. A short glance at the characteristics of the design of gamification and some examples for gamified applications complete this review. As this thesis focuses on social software the literature review is followed by the definition and principles of social software and some examples for this kind of software. Three interviews with experts in gamification showed, that gamification is used to direct the users of a platform through motivational and behavioral psychology. The owners of social software platforms use the effect of gamification to create a feeling of being motivated in order to engage users. In this context engagement means more interaction, which is the foundation of social software. The core effect of gamification on social software was reflected in the final theory, that gamification increases the benefit of social software. The created hypotheses to the theory base on the MDA-framework of video game design and deal with the complexity of designing gamified software, the effects of gamification on the user conduct and the feeling of users. Based on confirmatory research the hypotheses have to be tested in order to validate the theory. Therefore a survey was planned and a questionnaire was created. As the amount of expected work for a bachelor thesis was reached in this stage, the validation process was ended here.

PDFs: Bachelor Thesis, Work Description

Reference: Stefan Genser. A Theory of The Effects of Gamification on Social Software. Bachelor Thesis, Friedrich Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nürnberg: 2012.