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The Gamification of Civic Participation: Two Experiments in Improving the Skills of Citizens to Reflect Collectively on Spatial Issues


  • Oswald Devisch
  • Alenka Poplin
  • Simona Sofronie


For civic participation to lead to sustainable civic engagement, participants need to go through a process of collective reflection. Games have been put forward as tools to support this process. The commercialization of the Internet, mobile communication devices, and sensing technologies precipitated a substantial increase in the development and use of games, gamified environments, and playful experiences, to the extent that scholars speak of the gamification of society. The goal of this paper is to investigate the potential of gamification to improve the skills of citizens to reflect collectively on spatial issues in their daily environment. The paper presents two gamification experiments; B3-Design your Marketplace! and Cure for the Campus. It discusses the extent to which they support collective reflection operationalized as a process during which the players are triggered to (1) observe their environment; (2) categorize their observations; and (3) structure these categories. It analyzes the first results gained based on these two cases and discusses their limitations and further research directions.

Suggested Citation

  • Oswald Devisch & Alenka Poplin & Simona Sofronie, 2016. "The Gamification of Civic Participation: Two Experiments in Improving the Skills of Citizens to Reflect Collectively on Spatial Issues," Journal of Urban Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(2), pages 81-102, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:cjutxx:v:23:y:2016:i:2:p:81-102
    DOI: 10.1080/10630732.2015.1102419

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