Do games attract or sustain engagement in citizen science?: A study of volunteer motivations

I Iacovides, Charlene Jennett, C Cornish-Trestrail, Anna Cox
in CHI 2013, Conference paper (text), NY, USA


Increasingly, games are being incorporated into online citizen science (CS) projects as a way of crowdsourcing data; yet the influence of gamification on volunteer motivations and engagement in CS projects is still unknown. In an interview study with 8 CS volunteers (4 from Foldit, 4 from Eyewire), we found that game elements and communication tools are not necessary for attracting new volunteers to a project; however they may help to sustain engagement over time, by allowing volunteers to participate in a range of social interactions and through enabling meaningful recognition of achievements.