Games. They’ve been around since prehistoric times, just in different forms. Those games probably centered on rock rolling or stick throwing but still, they were games. The definition of a game is complex and usually changes depending on an individual’s opinion. In a general sense, according to “A Short and Simple Definition of what a Videogame is,”  Nicolas Esposito defines a videogame as, “a game which we play thanks to audiovisual apparatus which can be based on a story.”

What to do with games?

A new genre of gaming has emerged that uses gameplay for non-game applications. Gamification transforms menial and routine tasks into engaging and usually social activities. The tasks can range from health issues to inconveniences, like email overload. Gamification  provides a baseline of entertaining gameplay. However, the motivation for these games is widespread. Some participate to be entertained others want to perform important tasks. Either way, gamification is based on the definition of games. They are visually appealing and entertaining. They are engaging and incorporate the features of the average game. Citizen Sort has combined the features of gamification and the average videogames so users can “game for good”. The games on Citizen Sort provide an engaging experience, entertainment and educational opportunities. According to Gabe Zichermann, the author of Game-Based Marketing and the CEO of,   important features of game mechanics are points, challenges, badges, leaderboards and levels. They are basic components of most games and are features that encourage users to keep playing.

Citizen Sort Gamification

Most of the time, classification tasks are more time consuming than difficult. After all, some researchers take over 100,000 photos. No person can classify all those on their own. Citizen Sort therefore incorporates these classification tasks into an engaging and entertaining video game. One main feature of Forgotten Island and Happy Match! is problem solving. The user needs to classify the images based on important characteristics designed by scientists. There is a clear goal however the games aren’t all about accomplishing this goal. They are about competition, mystery solving, exploration and photography. At the end you receive more than a score and more than a feeling of winning. You also made real contributions to scientific research and even helped mold future citizen science projects.

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