Zombification?: Gamification, motivation, and the user | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 6, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1757-191X
  • E-ISSN: 1757-1928



Gamification is often promoted as a user-centred initiative, engaging and motivating the alienated masses. Yet is such rhetoric reinforced by the design of these programmes? By incorporating a diverse suite of theoretical frameworks that accounts for the social, cultural and psychological effect of design features, this article argues that gamification too often invokes organization-centred design, treating users as zombies: senseless mechanisms urged onwards by a desire for extrinsic rewards. Gamification still often fails to acknowledge the user’s context and innate psychological needs. This can be accomplished in practice through an incorporation of motivational psychology and a concurrent shift towards user-centred design, accounting for the situatedness of the participant. Further, this article claims that for gamification to reach its full, radical potential, it must not only transform the way the user is evaluated and rewarded but also the activity the subject is tasked with performing.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a success
Invalid data
An error occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error