CFP: Gamification @ 54th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS 2021)

Part of the “Decision Analytics, Mobile Services, and Service Science” – track

54th annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences HICSS
January 5-8, 2021 | Grand Hyatt, Kauai

Important dates:

July 15:
Papers due
August 23:
Notification to authors
September 4:
Revision due for papers accepted with mandatory changes
September 11:
Notifications to authors of revised papers
September 22:
Final manuscripts due
October 1:
Registration deadline
January 4:
Publications of full conference proceedings
January 5-8:
February 15, 2021 (date subject to change)
(Optional) Submission deadline for extended versions of selected papers to
Internet Research (IF 4.1) or
AIS Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction



Interaction with games is considered to have positive effects on our cognitive, emotional, social abilities and motivation (5; 9; 10; 13; 15; 22; 30). It isn’t surprising, then that our reality and lives are increasingly becoming game-like (6). This is not limited to the fact that digital games have become a pervasive part of our lives, but perhaps most prominently with the fact that activities, systems and services that are not traditionally perceived as game-like are becoming either intentionally or unintentionally gameful (4; 6; 10; 13; 14).

Gamification refers to a “process of transforming any activity, system, service, product or organizational structure into one which affords positive experiences, skills and practices similar to those afforded by games, and is often referred to as the gameful experience. This is commonly but optionally done with an intention to facilitate changes in behaviours or cognitive processes. As the main inspirations of gamification are games and play, gamification is commonly pursued by employing game design” (6).

Gamification has become an umbrella concept that, to varying degrees, includes and encompasses other related technological developments such as serious games (3), game-based learning (12; 24), exergames & quantified-self (8; 9; 21), games with a purpose/human-based computation games (17; 28), and persuasive technology (20).

Secondly, gamification also manifests in a gradual, albeit unintentional, cultural, organizational and societal transformation stemming from the increased pervasive engagement with games, gameful interactions (6), game communities and player practices. For example, recently we have witnessed the popular emergence of augmented reality games (16; 17) and virtual reality technologies (2; 29) that enable a more seamless integration of games into our physical reality. Case in point are urban spaces that are increasingly becoming playgrounds for different games and -play activities. While location-based games such as Pokémon Go (1) were able to attract millions of players, concepts such as Playable Cities (19) and Urban Gamification (26) highlight the large scale changes that games are bringing about in the smart cities of the future. Moreover, the media ecosystem has also experienced a degree of ludic transformation: with user generated content becoming an important competitor for large media corporations. This transformation has led to the development of several emerging phenomena such as the Youtube and modding cultures (23; 27) and esports (7; 25), that have penetrated the cultural membrane allowing games to seep into domains hitherto dominated by traditional media.

We encourage a wide range of submissions from any disciplinary backgrounds: empirical and conceptual research papers, case studies, and reviews.

Authors of accepted papers have the option to fast-track extended versions of their HICSS  papers to
Internet Research (Impact factor 3.838) or AIS Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction.

Moreover, the Gamification mini-track is part of the Gamification Publication Track aimed at persistent development of gamification research:

Relevant topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Users: e.g. Engagement, experience, motivations, user/player types
  • Education: e.g. Serious games, game-based learning, simulation games
  • Media: e.g. eSports, streaming
  • Commerce: e.g. Game business models, free-to-play, gamification as marketing, adoption
  • Work: e.g. Organizational gamification, gameful work, games-with-a-purpose, playbour
  • Technology: e.g. VR, AR, MR, gameful wearables and IoT
  • Toys & playfulness
  • Health: e.g. Quantified-self, games for health, health benefits
  • Cities: e.g. smart cities, urban gamification, playable cities, community engagement, governance
  • Theories/concepts/methods: Contributions to science around gamification


Submission instructions:


Track Chairs

Juho Hamari (Primary Contact)
Tampere University

Lobna Hassan
University of Turku / Tampere University

Nannan Xi
Tampere University


  1. Alha, K., Koskinen, E., Paavilainen, J., & Hamari, J. (2019). Why do people play location-based augmented reality games: A study on Pokémon GO. Computers in Human Behavior, 93, 114-122.
  2. Blascovich, J., & Bailenson, J. (2011). Infinite reality: Avatars, eternal life, new worlds, and the dawn of the virtual revolution. William Morrow & Co.
  3. Connolly, T. M. Boyle, E. A., MacArthur, E., Hainey, T. & Boyle, J. M. (2012). A systematic literature review of empirical evidence on computer games and serious games. Computers & Education, 59, 661-686.
  4. Deterding, S. (2015). The lens of intrinsic skill atoms: A method for gameful design. Human–Computer Interaction, 30(3-4), 294-335.
  5. Granic, I., Lobel, A., & Engels, R. C. (2014). The benefits of playing video games. American psychologist, 69(1), 66.
  6. Hamari, J. (2019). Gamification. In G. Ritzer & C. Rojek (Eds.), The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. New York John Wiley & Sons. DOI:
  7. Hamari, J., & Sjöblom, M. (2017). What is eSports and why do people watch it? Internet research, 27(2), 211-232.
  8. Hamari, J., Hassan, L., & Dias, A. (2018). Gamification, quantified-self or social networking? Matching users’ goals with motivational technology. User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction. 28(1), 35-74.
  9. Hassan, L., Dias, A., & Hamari, J. (2019). How motivational feedback increases user’s benefits and continued use: A study on gamification, quantified-self and social networking. International Journal of Information Management, 46, 151-162.
  10. Huotari, K., & Hamari, J. (2017). A definition for gamification: anchoring gamification in the service marketing literature. Electronic Markets, 27(1), 21-31.
  11. Högberg, J., Hamari, J., & Wästlund, E. (2019). Gameful Experience Questionnaire (GAMEFULQUEST): An instrument for measuring the perceived gamefulness of system use. User Modeling and User-adapted Interaction.
  12. Kiili, K. (2005). Digital game-based learning: Towards an experiential gaming model. The Internet and Higher Education, 8(1), 13-24.
  13. Koivisto, J., & Hamari, J. (2019). The rise of motivational information systems: A review of gamification literature. International Journal of Information Management, 45, 191-210.
  14. Landers, R. N., Auer, E. M., Collmus, A. B., & Armstrong, M. B. (2018). Gamification science, its history and future: Definitions and a research agenda. Simulation & Gaming, 49(3), 315-337.
  15. Malone, T. W. (1981). Toward a theory of intrinsically motivating instruction. Cognitive science, 5(4), 333-369.
  16. Montola, M., Stenros, J., & Waern, A. (2009). Pervasive games: theory and design. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers Inc.
  17. Morschheuser, B., Hamari, J., Koivisto, J., & Maedche, A. (2017). Gamified crowdsourcing: Conceptualization, literature review, and future agenda. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 106, 26-43.
  18. Mäyrä, F. (2016). Pokémon GO: Entering the Ludic Society. Mobile Media & Communication, 2050157916678270.
  19. Nijholt, A. (2017). Playable Cities The City as a Digital Playground. Springer.
  20. Oinas-Kukkonen, H., & Harjumaa, M. (2009). Persuasive Systems Design: Key Issues, Process Model, and System Features. Communications of the Association for Information Systems, 24(1).
  21. Peng, W., Crouse, J. C., & Lin, J. H. (2013). Using active video games for physical activity promotion: a systematic review of the current state of research. Health education & behavior, 40(2), 171-192.
  22. Ryan, R. M., Rigby, C. S., & Przybylski, A. (2006). The motivational pull of video games: A self-determination theory approach. Motivation and emotion, 30(4), 344-360.
  23. Sotamaa, O. (2010). When the game is not enough: Motivations and practices among computer game modding culture. Games and Culture, 5(3), 239-255.
  24. Squire, K. D. (2008). Video games and education: Designing learning systems for an interactive age. Educational Technology, 48(2), 17-26.
  25. Taylor, T. L. (2012). Raising the Stakes: E-sports and the Professionalization of Computer Gaming. MIT Press.
  26. Thibault, M. (2019) “Towards a Typology of Urban Gamification” in In Proceedings of the 52nd Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), Hawaii, USA, January 8-11, 2019., pp. 1476-1485.
  27. Törhönen, M., Sjöblom, M., & Hamari, J. (2018). Aspects of online popularity: What do content creators believe to affect their popularity on Twitch and YouTube? In Proceedings of the 2nd International GamiFIN conference, Pori. Finland, May 21-23, 2018.
  28. Von Ahn, L., & Dabbish, L. (2008). Designing games with a purpose. Communications of the ACM, 51(8), 58-67.
  29. Wexelblat, A. (Ed.). (2014). Virtual reality: applications and explorations. Academic Press.
  30. Xi, N., & Hamari, J. (2020). Does gamification affect brand engagement and equity? A study in online brand communities, Journal of Business Research, 109, 449-460.
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