Intrinsic Elicitation: A Model and Design Approach for Games Collecting Human Subject Data

David Edward Gundry, Christoph Sebastian Deterding

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Applied games are increasingly used to collect human subject data such as people’s performance or attitudes. Games a ord a motive for data provision that poses a validity threat at the same time: as players enjoy winning the game, they are motivated to provide dishonest data if this holds a strategic in-game advantage. Current work on data collection game design doesn’t address this issue. We therefore propose a theoretical model of why people provide certain data in games, the Rational Game User Model. We derive a design approach for human subject data collection games that we call Intrinsic Elicitation: data collection should be integrated into the game’s mechanics such that honest responding is the necessary, strategically optimal, and least e ortful way to pursue the game’s goal. We illustrate the value of our approach with a sample analysis of the data collection game Urbanology.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 13th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games, FDG 2018
EditorsSebastian Deterding, Mitu Khandaker, Sebastian Risi, Jose Font, Steve Dahlskog, Christoph Salge, Carl Magnus Olsson
Place of PublicationNew York
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-6571-0
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


  • Applied games
  • Crowdsourcing games
  • Games with a purpose
  • Human computation games
  • Human subject data
  • Intrinsic integration
  • Validity

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