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Games 2018, 9(3), 38;

A Survey on the Design of Gamified Systems for Energy and Water Sustainability

Kaleidos Games, 20133 Milan, Italy
Department of Electronics, Information, and Bioengineering, Politecnico di Milano, 20133 Milan, Italy
European Institute for Participatory Media, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Department of Business Studies, University of Applied Sciences Stralsund, 18435 Stralsund, Germany
Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence (IDSIA), University of Lugano (USI), University of Applied Science and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI), 6900 Lugano, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 May 2018 / Revised: 12 June 2018 / Accepted: 13 June 2018 / Published: 21 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Good Games)
PDF [4271 KB, uploaded 21 June 2018]


In a world affected by the constant growth and concentration of the population in urban areas, the problem of preserving natural resources has become a priority. A promising approach to resource conservation is demand management, i.e., the ability to positively influence the behaviour of the population towards more sustainable consumption. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools have shown a great potential in influencing consumers’ behaviour, which could be exploited for the common good. However, the design of so-called persuasive systems for environmental purposes is a challenging task, because it cannot be based solely on the utilitarian motivation of users, but must be able to trigger a broader range of engagement factors deeply rooted in the human psychology. In this paper, we review the main design principles and models at the base of a class of persuasive system that exploits gamification and Games with a Purpose (GWAPs) to engage users towards sustainability; we identify the most commonly used incentive mechanisms for inducing behavioural changes; and present a selection of gamified systems for energy and water conservation. From such a survey, we distill design guidelines to be applied in the design of demand management socio-technical systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: behavioral change system; Human Computation; gamification; serious games; persuasive games; energy; water behavioral change system; Human Computation; gamification; serious games; persuasive games; energy; water

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Albertarelli, S.; Fraternali, P.; Herrera, S.; Melenhorst, M.; Novak, J.; Pasini, C.; Rizzoli, A.-E.; Rottondi, C. A Survey on the Design of Gamified Systems for Energy and Water Sustainability. Games 2018, 9, 38.

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