CO3 Gamification considerations towards the COVID-19 (LINKS)

The current situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic that we are globally facing requires reorienting the project scope, activities, and outputs towards the priorities, not only in consideration of the current phase, but especially to address and support the further phases.  

Combining Gamification and pandemic is not an easy task.  The design and implementation should be reoriented to sustain the overall reply to the contagious reductions and the support individuals, families, organizations, enterprises to know and adapt to the disruptive scenario that interest the near future. The scenario is continuously changing, affecting not only the health of the population but the mental health also, the social system and the real economy.

It is well known that Gamification is the application of game elements and game design thinking to the scope of promoting positive behavioural changes and learning in people’s everyday life.           

CO3 Gamification has been designed to exploit as much as possible the proximity and the relation with the local context. These are defining characteristics of the ACA. At the present of Covid-19, the relationship with the local entities and networks becomes even more critical, being limited. This is relevant both for social and economic reasons. Gamification design has to make even more close the link with the ACAs and more friendly the opportunities to interact with it, promoting safe behaviours.  

The promotion of safe desired behaviours would be an additional goal that in CO3 become relevant to support people to comply with safety measures and in the near future to come back to the cities more aware and supported in keeping the physical distance required to stay safe, by means of a more friendly and emotional design.  

In the following a few considerations are collected to bring the Gamification design into the CO3 reoriented proposal. 

Connection with real places

The ACA is a core construct in CO3. It includes several elements: the physical place is crucial to enable new ways and opportunities for people to enjoy services and interact with others through augmented interactions. This is very relevant in consideration of the evolving scenario. For a while, users will not be able to physically attend the urban public places, including ACAs and, even when the lock-down will be reduced, it is foreseeable to expect limitations to the number of attendees. While the physical movements are reduced, the ACA can extend the range of actions of people. 
  • Especially concerning the indoor ACAS and places that are not allowed or will be limited in the attendees, could make partial the access to the ACA experience related to the AR. CO3 app would include an additional section, (in addition to AR and map based view), inspired by the slideshow experience, that presents in an alternative way those contents. A sort of visual shortcut to the ACA. The label for this new way to browse content can be ‘Showcuts’, as a contraction for ‘Show shortcuts’. In this visualization, the ongoing or open issues/activities/contents would be presented.
  This section is relevant since it offers an additional space where both ACA facilitators and commoners can propose activities that can engage users. In terms of Gamification this view will provide a good place to collect the actions that can work as “missions” or “quests”, that are activities that the system can detect and recognize as “gamified events”, that trigger the gamification rules (per each pilot). 
  • CO3 gamification can encourage events and activities organizers to exploit better the remote participation. The same would be to reward the remote participation, nudging people to join and attend remotely to the ACA activities.
    • For instance, in the Turin scenario, for the associations and individuals that drop in ACA activities that include remote options, as well as participants that will join these activities, specific rewards would be designed.
    • The feature is enabled by First life, that includes both in Activities and Tasks the type of participation.
  The rewards on remote activities, when considered safer in comparison to the presence in ACA and the related rules have to be designed on the pilot’s specific context.

Nudging safe physical distance

With the same techniques, gamification can support the further phases of the crisis, in which people will be allowed to attend the ACAs, respecting safety measures. 
  • Gamification can support ACA Facilitators and commoners to create and manage activities, taking in consideration the proportion between the number of people and the space available. For instance: 
    • rewarding organizers that respect the safe number of people admitted in a place for the event
    • gamifying the limited access to a place/event and the distribution (when possible) between remote and proximity attendance
    • including and motivating who can only attend remotely
  • Together with pilots, it would be possible to build a contextualized storytelling, that allows to tell the vision of the new scenario and the ACA role in it. Accordingly, narrative and aesthetic elements of the experience would be designed.
    • For instance, in Turin, a storytelling of the ACAs as a place where restart with a new normality would prepare a sort of game to engage people to propose solidarity activities, or to use the public spaces around the neighborhood to make things together again in safety; the operation would have a name and specific actions would drive this type of active participation, that at same time allow people to express needs and ideas.
    • Another example would be Athens market, the possibility to use CO3 to collect resources to be redistributed is crucial, and this would be especially rewarded in terms of storytelling. Gamification would highlight the collective action of resource collection and reward it.

Awareness and soft skills for Health and Safety (“This is not a game”)

Gamification is widely applied as a method to enhance the learning in all the forms we can imagine (e-learning, mobile learning, peer mentoring, micro-learning, MOOC, …).

In this context people struggle with a growing offer of webinars, YouTube channels, newsletter that advise and suggest how to behave at home and outside to protect themselves and others from the contagious. In addition, the lockdown has unhappily freed a long time that a lot of people are spending on learning activities. 

  • Without overloading the already available offer, CO3 can provide focused tips and contents that can support people to stay safe and connected with their real environment. thanks to the AR, the tips would be site-specific and provided when people are in the ACA. The recommendations would be implemented by and with the ACA Facilitators, in order to be as realistic and effective as possible. 
  • The contents would be collected in a “Strong Place” pack designed for anyone who wants to overcome challenges and stay safe and strong during the COVID-19 pandemic. The activities (pack of suggestions) help commoners to know more about the crisis and increase the social and emotional connection with places. The pack would also include quests to complete each day and to be recognized through ad-hoc gamified rewards.


Taking these considerations, the Gamification design will be oriented to the new situation.

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