A Survey on the Design of Gamified Systems for Energy and Water Sustainability

Albertarelli, Spartaco and Fraternali, Piero and Herrera, Sergio and Melenhorst, Mark and Novak, Jasminko and Pasini, Chiara and Rizzoli, Andrea Emilio and Rottondi, Cristina (2018) A Survey on the Design of Gamified Systems for Energy and Water Sustainability. UNSPECIFIED. Games, 9 (38). pp. 1-34.

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n a world affected by the constant growth and concentration of the population in urban areas, the problem of preserving natural resources has become a priority. A promising approach to resource conservation is demand management, i.e., the ability to positively influence the behaviour of the population towards more sustainable consumption. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools have shown a great potential in influencing consumers’ behaviour, which could be exploited for the common good. However, the design of so-called persuasive systems for environmental purposes is a challenging task, because it cannot be based solely on the utilitarian motivation of users, but must be able to trigger a broader range of engagement factors deeply rooted in the human psychology. In this paper, we review the main design principles and models at the base of a class of persuasive system that exploits gamification and Games with a Purpose (GWAPs) to engage users towards sustainability; we identify the most commonly used incentive mechanisms for inducing behavioural changes; and present a selection of gamified systems for energy and water conservation. From such a survey, we distill design guidelines to be applied in the design of demand management socio-technical systems.

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