The Use of Video Game Achievements to Enhance Player Performance, Self-Efficacy, and Motivation

Lucas Blair


A taxonomy of achievement design features in video game systems was created in order to evaluate the current state of the art in achievement design. The taxonomy proposed multiple mechanisms that influence player behavior. These mechanisms led to a theoretical model that served as a source of hypotheses related to improving performance, self-efficacy and motivation in players. Specific aspects of this theoretical model (expected, unexpected, before-performance and after-performance and incremental achievements) were tested in an empirical study. In addition to testing individual mechanisms of action a "combined achievement" was created with multiple mechanisms that were hand-picked. The results of the study revealed that individual mechanisms of action had little effect on players; while multiple mechanisms in a combined achievement caused significant improvements in several categories. The limitations of the current study as well as plans for future study are also discussed.