Gamification in Fostering Creativity

Marius Kalinauskas


Purpose – to analyze gamification, as the method for fostering creativity.

Design/methodology/approach – Author analyses the precognitions, which allowed gamification to attract mainstream attention, the diversity of understandings about the phenomenon, and the possible relations between usage of gamified platform and the development of creativity. The paper is based on the comparative analysis of scientific literature and related sources from sociology, business, and entertainment. The engagement is analyzed through the theories of self-determination and the “flow”. Creativity is understood as “any act, idea, or product that changes an existing domain, or that transforms an existing domain into a new one” (Csikszentmihalyi, 1996). Gamification is analyzed as “use of game design elements in non-game context” (Deterding, Dixon, Khaled, and Nacke (2011).

Findings – Although the gamification is gaining more public attention, there is a lack of studies which would reveal its relations in fostering creativity. One of the main goals of any gamified platform is to raise the engagement of the participant while keeping subject interested in the process or activity. In some cases, there is a relation between “flow” and creativity. However, the strength of this relationship depends from the users of gamified content and the domain of interest.

Research limitations / implications – There are very few empirical studies which would support correlation between experiencing the “flow” state and a raise of creativity. This issue requires more surveys, which would ground the idea.

Practical implications – By developing further research in usage of gamification while fostering creativity it is possible to determine, whether or not the “creative domains” should apply more measures of gamification in their activities.

Value – The article emphasizes on theoretical analysis of gamification and its applicability in fostering creativity. First of all, the context of the raise of gamification is examined. The Generation Y, or the Millennials, is the main target group for the gamification applications. The justification of the method is based on the social context which is formed by a generation of people, who like to be stimulated, entertained and engaged. The Millennials are used to advanced technologies; they made the game industry one of the most profitable in the field of entertainment. This creates possibilities for wider variety of usage of game mechanic elements and game thinking in the contexts which are not directly related to games. Furthermore, the definition of gamification is also a controversial issue, since scientists do not agree within the range of elements that gamification involves. Although gamification is created as a method to increase engagement by using elements of game mechanics, it is explained through theories of self-determination and “flow”. The possible correlation between reaching the state of “flow” and fostering creativity is a questionable issue, since very little studies focused on the idea.


gamification; creativity; Millennials; Generation Y; serious games; gameful design

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