ct 17(10): e3

Research Article

Exploring avatar roles for motivational effects in gameful environments

Download920 downloads
  • @ARTICLE{10.4108/eai.4-9-2017.153055,
        author={Nooralisa M Tuah and Vanissa Wanick and Ashok Ranchhod and Gary B Wills},
        title={Exploring avatar roles for motivational effects in gameful environments},
        journal={EAI Endorsed Transactions on Creative Technologies},
        keywords={Avatar, Interface Design, Games.},
  • Nooralisa M Tuah
    Vanissa Wanick
    Ashok Ranchhod
    Gary B Wills
    Year: 2017
    Exploring avatar roles for motivational effects in gameful environments
    DOI: 10.4108/eai.4-9-2017.153055
Nooralisa M Tuah1,*, Vanissa Wanick2, Ashok Ranchhod2, Gary B Wills1
  • 1: Electronic and Computer Science School, University of Southampton
  • 2: Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton
*Contact email: N.Mohd-Tuah@soton.ac.uk


This paper explores avatar roles and design principles in helping to develop motivation in game environments. Different avatar applications could influence the experience of players in at least three ways: as a customisation tool, game strategy, and personal identification. These possible influences could be enhanced by the application of avatar design for motivational purposes, reflected through the integration between game design elements and the avatar implementation. This paper aims to situate avatar design as a design strategy to motivate users to change their behaviour and promote adherence to new habits. We start by reviewing the current papers that address avatar design utilisations for motivation in to Serious Games. Then, we analyse the main elements in gameful applications (e.g. Re-Mission, Pain Squad, CodeInGame and Monster Manor), in order to understand and explore the design of avatars. The analysis is followed by the development of a model for Avatar Design in Motivational contexts (ADAM), which could be used to provide the necessary guidance for designers and developers of gameful systems for motivational environments.