Sustainability, Vol. 12, Pages 712: How to Engage with Sustainability Issues We Rarely Experience? A Gamification Model for Collective Awareness Platforms in Water-Related Sustainability (Sustainability)
Collective awareness platforms offer innovative ways to engage citizens in becoming aware of and contributing solutions to sustainability challenges, such as climate change, water scarcity, or extreme weather events. Although such platforms have been successful in engaging citizens to contribute and self-organize during or directly after emergency situations, it has proven rather hard to motivate citizens to participate in preparing their local communities to address sustainability challenges whose effects are likely to be felt in the future and which they have not experienced yet. In this paper, we discuss the development, implementation, and assessment of a gamification model for a collective awareness platform for water-related sustainability challenges. The model is designed to address the motivational drivers of different user types and uses visualization elements to support gamified interaction in a way that relates otherwise intangible, abstract issues to more immediate (short-term), tangible objectives. The model was empirically validated with 507 users through a series of online experiments. The results confirmed a positive motivational effect in a large majority of participants and the suitability of the model to address different user types and various water-related sustainability issues. The findings will inform the design of gamification models for collective awareness platforms in sustainability-related domains.