Gameful Urban Mobility: exploring the potential for gamification in various modes of transport

Stampfl, D 2016, Gameful Urban Mobility: exploring the potential for gamification in various modes of transport, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Media and Communication, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Gameful Urban Mobility: exploring the potential for gamification in various modes of transport
Author(s) Stampfl, D
Year 2016
Abstract Urban mobility poses many challenges, such as congestion and pollution, which can make moving through cities less enjoyable. Many of these issues not only affect the mobile experience of individuals, but also the liveability in an urban environment for whole communities. Creating gameful experiences, known as gamification, holds great potential for addressing these problems and helps create a more enjoyable mobile experience for urban inhabitants. Game thinking can also serve as a design approach towards conceptualising and implementing gameful applications, for example by treating the city as a game space. The core objective of this research is therefore to explore the potential of gamification when applied to urban mobility both from a bottom-up and a top-down perspective following interaction design research methodology, including design studies and design practice and guided by the research question: "How can gamification be applied to the context of urban mobility and what is a design approach to this, considering different modes (cities, types of transportation…), against the backdrop of enjoyability and liveability?" Like putting a puzzle together, the research starts with investigating literature and practice in related fields and their overlaps, such as game design, mobility, urban environments and liveability. An evaluation of liveability indices showed, that very few mobility-related indicators were included in these indices, which is why I developed a set of criteria. Based on the findings and using people-centred, participative methods as well as research-through-design, a design approach for developing mobile applications towards increasing urban liveability is suggested and reviewed in three different cities and mobility contexts. During this practical part, specific mobility challenges were identified in each city and the design approach applied in order to develop concepts for addressing them. In Beijing, a one-week workshop with students from Peking University was conducted around automotive mobility. In Karlsruhe, a concept for bicycle mobility was developed together with local authorities. And in Melbourne, a workshop was held during Melbourne Knowledge Week looking at local characteristics of the city’s mobility mix. One concept, developed during the workshop in Beijing, has already been iteratively turned into a fully functional prototype application for smartphones together with Stuttgart Media University. With these projects, I was able to explore the potential of gamification in the context of urban mobility. Evaluation has confirmed it but also showed that it is in some cases not able to fully counter-balance negative issues, e.g. congestion. Nevertheless, the idea of applying game design in this context offers manifold opportunities to contribute to the better of urban liveability.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Media and Communication
Subjects Transport Planning
Computer-Human Interaction
Interactive Media
Keyword(s) City
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Created: Fri, 03 Feb 2017, 09:20:34 EST by Adam Rivett
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