Publication: The Motivational Push of Games: The Interplay of Intrinsic Motivation and External Rewards in Games for Training

Games for training aim to keep interest in training activities high by making them more enjoyable, yet interest and motivation often wane over time. Games frequently employ rewards to halt waning motivation; however, research suggests that although this approach may work for less motivated players, it may backfire for players who are already enjoying a game. To explore changing motivation patterns over time, we conducted an 11-day study of a game for training executive functioning with players who were split into two groups that reflected their intrinsic motivation induced through a manipulation of identification with an in-game avatar. Although motivation waned over time, both effort and enjoyment waned more rapidly for players who identified less. After one week, when we delivered a reward (payment), the less-identified group respond positively - increasing their effort and improving performance; however, the more identified group responded negatively - decreasing their effort and declining in task performance.

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Participants

Max Birk
University of Saskatchewan
Regan Mandryk
University of Saskatchewan
Cheralyn Atkins

Citation

Birk, M., Mandryk, R.L., Atkins, C. 2016. The Motivational Push of Games: The Interplay of Intrinsic Motivation and External Rewards in Games for Training. In The ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play (CHI PLAY).

BibTeX

@inproceedings {396-avatarCHIPlay2016_camera_ready,
author= {Max Birk and Regan Mandryk and Cheralyn Atkins},
title= {The Motivational Push of Games: The Interplay of Intrinsic Motivation and External Rewards in Games for Training},
booktitle= {The ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play (CHI PLAY)},
year= {2016}
}