Gamification in Citizen Participation

Posted on April 5th, 2016

Before getting your hands dirty with building a citizen participation programme, rethink why citizens would participate nota bene. Understanding the motivations and motives of citizens correctly leads to a more effective participation policy. One of the instruments to increase civic engagement is called gamification. By bringing a more competitive and fun character to your next crowdsourcing project, the engagement rate can be significantly higher.

Understanding citizens’ motivations

As Jeff Howe states it in his book ‘Crowdsourcing‘:

People are drawn to participate because some psychological, social or emotional need is being met. And when the need isn’t met, they don’t participate.

Crowdsourcing has revealed that, contrary to conventional wisdom, humans do not always behave in predictably self-interested patterns. People are driven to contribute for a complex web of motivations, including a desire to create something from which the larger community would benefit as well as the sheer joy of practicing a craft at which they excel.

Basically, motivation consists of two kinds of components: intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

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