Quantifying the effectiveness of crowd-sourced serious games
Xie, Geoffrey G.
Housel, Thomas J.
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Crowd-sourced serious games (CSSGs) represent an emerging genre of games. Different from traditional games, the primary concern of the CSSGs is not player enjoyment, but contributing to difficult scientific problems or respectable social causes through incremental efforts embedded in parallel game plays by many non-specialists. CSSGs have a potential to support important tasks for humanity. Clearly, players’ contributions and the effectiveness of CSSGs is crucial for success. Further, players may have different motivations to play CSSGs than traditional games. Some players (called whales) produce more than other players possibly due to a stronger motivation. In addition, those contributions and their effectiveness must be measured and evaluated to improve CSSGs. In this thesis, we propose a methodology to quantify the effectiveness of CSSGs by analyzing mainly two VeriGames produced for DARPA’s Crowd Sourced Formal Verification project. The analyses show that low engagement rates (ERs) can be an obstacle to CSSGs and their ultimate purpose. The results also show this game genre to have a strong whale effect, and thus a strategy focusing on recruiting and retaining whales may be effective to counterbalance the low ERs.
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