Health Promotion for Adult Men Through Cooperative and Competitive Gamification Features

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Working-class adult men are prone to lifestyle diseases and premature death due to unhealthy lifestyle and illjudged health behavior. Previous research indicates that gender-specific interventions and social interaction are important motivators, but the need for novel approaches to encourage this target group remains. This paper presents an evaluation of a health promoting gamified web-platform for working-class adult men called “The Real Men Gang”. The platform utilizes gamification to encourage users to gather in teams to cooperate and compete. Gamification has shown a potential to motivate users toward target behavior by the application of game elements such as rewards and leader boards. Recent studies have focused on how game elements encourage cooperation and competition, but there is a need for empirical studies on how gamification can encourage social interaction and regular physical activity. Thus, the aim of this article is to understand how the gamified elements designed to encourage cooperation and competition have encouraged adult male users to engage in physical activity. The research design is based on a mixed-methods approach using quantitative and qualitative data. User-data is analyzed to assess the usage of the gamified elements, and interviews provide qualitative insights. The results show a general low usage and retention rate for the gamified elements. The elements which encourage cooperation between team members was mostly used, while the competitive aspects appear to be less motivating. Based on the findings we can conclude that the target users prefer the game elements designed for cooperation, while competition has mixed results. Design implications is suggested based on the findings of the study.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 12th European Conference on Game-Based Learning, ECGBL 2018
EditorsMelanie Ciussi
Place of PublicationAcademic Conferences and publishing limited.
Publication date4. Oct 2018
Article number20
ISBN (Print)978-1-911218-99-9
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-912764-00-6
Publication statusPublished - 4. Oct 2018
Event12th European Conference on Games Based Learning - SKEMA Business School Sophia Antipolis, Sophia Antipolis, France
Duration: 4. Oct 20185. Oct 2018
Conference number: 12


Conference12th European Conference on Games Based Learning
LocationSKEMA Business School Sophia Antipolis
CitySophia Antipolis
Internet address


  • Adult men
  • Competition
  • Cooperation
  • Gamification
  • Men’s health
  • Social gamification

Cite this