NordHunt – gamification for a smooth start of university life
Thursday, June 28 11:15-11:45 AM Location: Jordaan 1
Presider: Michiko Kobayashi, Southern Utah University, United States
Abstract: The paper presents the game “NordHunt”, a team-based, alternate reality game, made to create a platform for newly arrived university students to get to know each other and work in teams, and to encourage the students to learn more about the town, university and study programs in a competitive environment. The game was run among newly arrived first-year students at a university, and evaluated through in-game statistics and a questionnaire among the participating students. The study shows that it is possible to use a mobile app to facilitate a smooth start to university life for newly arrived students. The NordHunt game succeeded in the goals of being a social startup medium, where participating students felt socially included through a collaborative gameplay. The competitive gameplay, with competition between teams and study programs, is not crucial to motivate the players in such a game, as some players are motivated by the competition, while others are not motivated by the competitive gameplay. The reward system of the game probably should be improved, as the study shows that the teams falling behind on the scoreboard, spent less energy throughout the game. Most of the participating students found the game to be fun, which is a quality criterion of a game. Several students found the game to contribute to the intended goals of getting to know each other and to learn more about the town, university and the study programs.