importance of gamification to increase social awareness


Institute of Computer Science, Lublin University of Technology (POLAND)
The aim of the paper is to determine if the gamification can be used to raise social awareness of a city's residents, through mobilizing the society to increase physical activity.
The gamification mechanisms and the research method were described, along with the research group. The research was conducted by team of teachers and students from Lublin University of Technology.
Data collected from two questionnaires (before starting to use the application, and after a month of using) were gathered. The answers were analysed and tested with statistical tests.

The term of gamification is not new, it's first definitions come from the middle of the XX century. Since many years, in psychological research, the idea of games is used to conduct research on human psyche and his behaviour mechanisms. The modern gamification theory owes its beginnings to socialistic idea of work competition.
The term gamification means using the mechanics, and techniques known from different sorts of games.The test application was developed in order to collect appropriate statistical data and to conduct research proving or disproving the assumption, that gamification can be used to increase the physical activity of the society. Application consists of a network service and mobile application. It employs such gamification mechanisms as points, scoreboards, levels, challenges and social commitment loops.
The subject of conducted analyses is the potential possibility of using the gamification to increase the social awareness of city residents. The research was conducted with the use of an application, which allowed the users to compete with other players in terms of sport achievements. The research method used during the research was an inquiry with the questionnaires. The application users answered questions included in two separate questionnaires.
First questionnaire consisted of three registry questions, and another three, which served to collect preliminary data, allowing to determine how often the respondents did physical activity before the usage of the application. The second questionnaire consisted of the same questions as the first one, in order to determine if, after the passing of specific amount of time of the application usage, the frequency of physical activity changed. It also included questions determining if the motivation to exercising increased due to the gamification implemented into the application. The group, which was used for testing consisted of 106 people.
The analyses presented in the paper were conducted to prove the hypothesis that gamification can be applied to increase the motivation of society to performing physical exercises. For this purpose, the case study was performed on test users. They used the dedicated application specially developed for the purpose of the case study. Two-sided T-test for dependent samples was performed on data obtained from both surveys.
A positive result was achieved for alternative hypotheses which assumed that there were differences between frequencies of undertaking physical activity by participants. The same test was performed for the frequency of changing car or public transport to bicycle or walking.
This test gave positive result for the null hypothesis, which assumed that there were no differences in average frequencies.
This result may be caused by a significant increase of time that a participant would need to spend. Some respondents work even tens of kilometres from their current place of residence.
M. Plechawska-Wojcik, M. Schmidtke, M. Skublewska-Paszkowska