Game design

Game design

Only varying rules

Only varying rules

Gameplay behavior data

Gameplay behavior data

Gameplay experience data

Gameplay experience data

G-Motiv Social || Compete or cooperate?

Changing social behavior through game elements

From fundamental to applied research through games

Poster presentation at Games for Health Europe 2012:


Rules guide behavior

In this research project the goal is to investigate social behavior change

in work environments. In the first experiment we explore collaboration
and competition in a controlled manner. By designing a game.
Games are rules-based systems. So we address games for behavior
change through “the rules that drive the system” (Bogost, 2007). The
game rules have a significant impact on player behavior and the
gameplay experience. To structurally test the effect of a rule all other
game elements are kept the same. This results in a competition and
collaboration game where the task, controls, and visuals are identical.
Only one implicit rule is different.

First results

Tests indicate that the different rules do result in a competitive or

collaborative user experience. There is a clear difference in behavior
between the two games. Also the social relation and social behavior that
players experience appear to be different. This has to be confirmed with
more tests where subjects play in separate rooms and don’t know each
We want to find distinctive behavior patterns in the gameplay
measurements. The data that seems most promising is: the distance
between the paddles, the paddles hitting each other, and the amount of
movement of the paddles. We assume that in competition there is less
distance, more hitting, and more movement.

Towards social behavior at work

The first outcome that we need to find is a significant difference in

gameplay and experience between the competition and collaboration
game. The different behavior patterns can be used for further
experiments to test the transfer toward non-game behavior, in a
negotiation task for example. Personal preferences for the different
behavior types will be of interest, and also the social context can be
Eventually we will gain general knowledge about initiating cooperation
and competition in games by changing the rules. The insights on using
game rules for social behavior change can be used in work situations,
like enhancing pro-social behavior in a merger of companies.

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Niko Vegt

In February 2011 I obtained my Master’s degree at Industrial Design at the Eindhoven University of Technology. My graduation project was about ‘Mapping new technologies for society’; a communication design project about technology assessment and design for debate.