Reification and Real Life Goals as Facilitators of Progression in Digital Games

Niels Peter Rasmussen, Sandra Dogg Gudnadottir, Christian Toft, Thomas Saaby Nielsen and Henrik Schoenau-Fog


Gamification is the idea of using game design elements to better motivate and engage people in accomplishing objectives in their everyday lives and is among some scholars believed to be a key factor of motivation in real life in the future. However, so far it has been difficult to assign specific values to such real life achievements and make that value redeemable within a digital game. This paper investigates how real life goals may add benefits to games much like when contemporary games offer an alternative of monetary payment, to unlock novel features and facilitate progression in the game. For such an optional currency to be meaningful, there is a need for a discussion on how to determine, assign value of and validate these real life achievements. This paper aims to discuss the use of known activities from social media and ubiquitous gaming to evaluate and describe the value for real life activities and provide a balanced discernible outcome that can be used as an alternative to payment or mundane tasks which has to be performed in order to progress in games.