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Gamification in aquarium context : Intention to play game that imparts knowledge and promotes marine animal conservation

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Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consider issues related to gamification through the non-game aquarium context and explore how the intention of aquarium visitors to play a game that imparts knowledge about marine animals and promotes the conservation of these animals is influenced by visitors’ attitudes toward marine animals, motivations to visit the aquarium and perceptions of the game’s benefits.

Design/methodology/approach

This study surveyed individuals who have visited Taiwan’s National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium at least once in the past three years and who use smartphones. They were shown a description of a hypothetical game scenario that they were asked to imagine to be available while at the aquarium. The partial least squares method was used to analyze the data from 225 returns.

Findings

The study shows that gamification can satisfy a visitor’s desire to learn and enjoy the aquarium simultaneously. Gamification is limited by the visit motivation and the attitudes toward marine animals that visitors bring with them. The usefulness of gamification is limited when visitors desire relaxation during the visit.

Originality/value

This study considers the application of gamification in the context of aquariums and the tourism field and the non-technology-related antecedents to the use of gamification. Gamification is not silver bullet for every situation, and a good understanding of potential users is important for its success and targeting of players. The importance of intrinsic benefits over extrinsic benefits is confirmed. Thus, this study addresses several gaps in the gamification literature.
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Keywords: Behaviour; Computer games; Informal learning; Tourism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Program of Global Business, Chinese Culture University, Taipei, Taiwan

Publication date: December 3, 2018

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