Mapping Gamified Servicescapes for Physical Activity

Mapping Gamified Servicescapes for Physical Activity

Ismini Pavlopoulou
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1970-7.ch008
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Gamified systems designed to facilitate people's efforts to monitor their daily physical activity have expanded and grown in popularity. This chapter explores the servicescapes of such systems, and attempts to build a map of their possible components in which value is being created and co-created. The chapter encourages scholars to consider value creation or co-creation processes as engagement processes, and to adopt the term ‘value-in-engagement' to describe their outcome. Secondly, based on a netnographic study on a gamified servicescape for physical activity, the chapter develops a map of the system and analyses its components. Implications and potential for future implementation of this mapping approach are presented.
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According to recent reviews (Johnson et al., 2016; Alahӓivӓlӓ & Oinas-Kukkonen, 2016; Sardi, Idri, & Fernández-Alemán, 2017), gamification for physical activity has brought promising results in building and maintaining positive health behaviour, as well as improving well-being among diverse target audiences. Popular examples include Nike+ and Zombies Run. The former is a walking and running activity tracking system, accessible from mobile devices and online browsers; it involves wearable equipment, such as the ‘Fuel band’ that measure speed, distance and keep track of the routes covered. The system involves game affordances such as badges and challenges, as well as an online platform which facilitates social interactions between users. Zombies Run is a gamified fitness tracking Android application, which is based on the narrative of running to survive a zombie apocalypse. The user gathers supplies and completes missions while walking or running in the real world.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Provider Sphere: An area of the gamified servicescape map which is invisible to the customer, and value creation is facilitated through the development and maintenance of the gamified service, which appears in the gamified system joint sphere.

External Joint Sphere: An area within the gamified servicescape map which involves customer-provider interactions, either direct in real life or indirect via other providers.

Indirect Interaction: Any interaction between the customer and the provider which is not direct (see above), and may or may not involve another provider.

Gamified System Joint Sphere: An area of the gamified servicescape map where direct interaction occurs between customer and provider, as well as indirect through integrated providers. Activity tracking features and game design elements are present in this sphere.

Customer Sphere: An area of the gamified servicescape map, which involves the creation of value-in-engagement related to the servicescape, independently of the provider. It may involve real-life or online interactions between customers, non-customers, and other providers.

Gamified Servicescape Map: A visual illustration of the potential online and real-life areas of interaction between customers, non-customers, the provider of a gamified servicescape, as well as other providers. Within the areas of the map, value-in-engagement related to the main servicescape may be created, co-created or facilitated.

Direct Interaction: An interaction between the customer and the provider in real life or online, which is not mediated by another party, such as another provider.

Fitness Gamification: The application of gamification in the design of systems which aim to encourage and monitor customers’ engagement in physical activity.

Value-in-Engagement: The value which is created in a gamified servicescape across the interaction spheres and their different areas. It stems from engagement with the system, the community, and activities closely related to the system, such as physical activity or real-life meetups between customers.

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