Gamification in fostering creativity
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Purpose – discuss the assumptions for gamification application in fostering creativity. Design/methodology/approach – the author analyses the precognitions that allowed gamification to attract mainstream attention, the diversity of understandings about the phenomenon, and the possible relations between usage of gamified content and the development of creativity. The paper is based on the comparative analysis of scientific literature and related sources from sociology, business, and entertainment. The engagement is analysed through the theories of self-determination and the “flow”. Creativity is understood as “any act, idea, or product that changes an existing domain, or that transforms an existing domain into a new one” (Csikszentmihalyi, 1996). Gamification is analysed as “use of game design elements in non-game context” (Deterding, Dixon, Khaled, and Nacke (2011). Findings – although gamification is gaining more public attention, studies that would reveal its relations in fostering creativity are lacking. One of the main goals of any gamified platform is to raise the engagement of the participant while keeping the subject interested in the process or activity. In some cases, there is a relation between “flow” and creativity. However, the strength of this relationship depends on the users of gamified content and the domain of interest. Research limitations / implications – there are very few empirical studies that would support correlation between experiencing the “flow” state and the raise of creativity. This issue requires more surveys that would ground the idea. Practical implications – by developing further research in the use of gamification while fostering creativity it is possible to determine, whether or not the “creative domains” should apply more measures of gamification in their activities. Value – the article emphasises the theoretical analysis of gamification and its applicability in fostering creativity. First of all, the context of the rise of gamification is examined. The Generation Y, or the Millennials, is the main target group for gamification applications. The justification of the method is based on the social context formed by a generation of people who like to be stimulated, entertained and engaged. The Millennials are used to advanced technologies; they make the game industry one of the most profitable in the field of entertainment. This creates possibilities for a wider use of game mechanic elements and game thinking in the contexts directly unrelated to games. Furthermore, the definition of gamification is also a controversial issue, since scientists do not agree as to the range of elements that gamification involves. Although gamification is created as a method to increase engagement by using elements of game mechanics, it is explained through theories of self-determination and “flow”. The possible correlation between reaching the state of “flow” and fostering creativity is a questionable issue, as only a few studies have focused on the idea.
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