"I want to be a Captain! I want to be a Captain!": Gamification in the Old Weather Citizen Science Project.

A Eveleigh, Charlene Jennett, S Lynn, Anna Cox
in Gamifciation 2013, Conference paper (text), New York, NY, USA

Abstract

Gamification is increasingly implemented in citizen science projects as a means of motivating and sustaining participation. In a survey and subsequent interviews we explored the appeal of gamification for participants in the Old Weather project, and its impact upon data quality. We found that the same competitive mechanisms which some volunteers found rewarding and motivating were either ignored by other participants, or contributed to a decision to discontinue participation. We also identified an opportunity to use gamification to exploit the narrative appeal of a project such as Old Weather. In contrast to previous citizen science research, much of which focuses on how to support the most active or prolific contributors, we offer new design recommendations which recognise varying levels of engagement with a project.