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Does gamification satisfy needs? A study on the relationship between gamification features and intrinsic need satisfaction

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210 - 221
JournalInternational Journal of Information Management
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Gamification is increasingly used as an essential part of today’s services, software and systems to engage and motivate users, as well as to spark further behaviors. A core assumption is that gamification should be able to increase the ability of a system or a service to satisfy intrinsic needs, and thereby the autotelicy of use as well as consequent change in beneficial behaviors. However, beyond these optimistic expectations, there is a dearth of empirical evidence on how different gamification features satisfy different dimensions intrinsic needs. Therefore, in this study we investigate the relationships between the user (N = 824) interactions with gamification features (immersion, achievement and social -related features) and intrinsic need satisfaction (autonomy, competence and relatedness needs) in Xiaomi and Huawei online gamified communities that represent two large technology product-related online brand communities in China through a survey-based study. The results indicate that immersion-related gamification features were only positively associated with autonomy need satisfaction. Achievement-related features were not only positively associated with all kinds of need satisfaction, but also the strongest predictor of both autonomy and competence need satisfaction. Social-related gamification features, were positively associated with autonomy, competence and relatedness need satisfaction. The results imply that gamification can have a substantially positive effect on intrinsic need satisfaction for services users.


  • Gamification, Intrinsic motivation, Persuasive technology, Social networking, Motivational information system

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland