Motivating Mobility Behaviour Change by Gamified Provision of Alternative Routes
Despite growing availability of sustainable mobility alternatives and improved information services provided e.g. by multi-modal route planners there are still many people sticking with their mobility habits. “Persuasive” measures aim at significantly increasing the interest for and the perception of these alternatives by designing the interaction with such mobility information services in an entertaining fashion. The initial idea was based on the objective to encourage playful examination of various information on mobility alternatives (alternative modes, alternative routes) in order to raise awareness of different qualities of such alternatives.
In contrary to many existing approaches using “gamified” routing services, the main focus of Virtual Pursuit was not to include gaming elements into mobility information services, in order to stimulate habit changes, but to include mobility elements into games, in order to stimulate gamers to gather information on mobility alternatives. Through this concept groups in the population are reached, that currently are not interested in multi-modal trip alternatives. As they learn about the alternatives they are more inclined to consider them as viable alternatives for their real trips.
In this way Virtual Pursuit developed different concepts for presenting decisions on multi-modal mobility alternatives in a motivating and entertaining fashion and above all persuasive. Gamers learn that goals in the game can be achieved and their own decisions in the real world have consequences. Consequently an information platform is developed for experimenting in a gaming environment with different options achieving awareness of the consequences associated with the choices.
The results of Virtual Pursuit include three game concepts addressing different target groups:
- a battle game with trading cards featuring mobility-related contents, supported by a companion app and real world challenges for gaining new cards and experiencing alternative mobility choices (see Fig. 1(a)),
- a mobile real-time betting challenge in the form of a gaming app, encouraging placing bets on specific route qualities and hereby improving mobility-related knowledge and competences (see Fig. 1(b)), and
- a board game encouraging people of all ages to commonly gain experiences with mobility alternatives and developing multimodal lifestyles.
Empirical evaluation of the concepts proved the potential of the game approaches to communicate mobility-related information and images, achieving new awareness of players and initiating reconsidering of their own mobility patterns. The results of Virtual Pursuit contain implementation concepts and system specification for different game variants directed towards different targeted groups (e.g. depending on age, game preferences, attitudes towards technology) showing high potential for succeeding in affecting the mobility habits of the targeted groups.