Report From the EMPAMOS Barcamp and Networking Event in Nuremberg 2023

Categories: Event Report, Community Created by Sabine Schmidt
Two people standing in front of an information poster.
Oliver Klee and Sabine Schmidt at EMPAMOS barcamp. Photo: Sabine Schmidt (CC BY-SA)
In November 2023, two members of the TYPO3 Motivation Research Team attended the EMPAMOS barcamp event to connect with others and learn more about the study of motivation through game mechanics.

EMPAMOS stands for the empirical analysis of motivational game elements (EMPirische Analyse MOtivierender Spielelemente); it is a research project at the tech-university of Nuremberg looking at the motivational elements in games and how to use them in non-gaming-environments. 

On 24 November 2023, as part of our work in the Motivation Research Team, Oliver Klee and I traveled to Nuremberg to attend the annual EMPAMOS barcamp and networking event. At the event, we met up with a broad range of people including IT specialists, psychologists, teachers, university professors, students, consultants, and gaming experts to connect and learn more about the current research in transferring motivational factors of games into non-gaming environments.

 Motivation Research Team lead Oliver Kelee and co-lead Sabine Schmidt visited the EMPAMOS Network Meeting in Nuremberg, Germany, 24 November 2024, as part of the Meet TYPO3 initiative. See upcoming Meet TYPO3 events.

Game Development Insights: Testing the Fun

To kick off, Daniel Greiner from Ravensburger introduced us to the process of game development using the board game Crazy Race as an example. He talked about the not-always-fun work as a tester when games still have incomplete or broken game mechanics, and need a lot of refining to really motivate future players.

Real-World Applications 

After this, the barcamp sessions started. In these group sessions, participants from different working environments talked about their current projects and shared their practical experiences with the EMPAMOS toolbox. Some examples were:

  • Boosting collective resilience in times of omni crises through game mechanics.
  • Helping university students to support each other in preparing for their statistics exams.
  • Experimenting with new teaching methods in the education sector that foster healthy and sustainable learning experiences.
  • Creating calming environments in hotels and airlines for families with small children.
  • Enhancing collaboration in a multinational company of the private sector.
  • Researching motivation in voluntary working contexts using the example of the open-source community, TYPO3.

We were delighted to be able to peek into the German Games Archive that stores over 40.000 games from over five centuries, and gives research projects like EMPAMOS the possibility to study motivation mechanics in games on a large scale.

Fostering Motivation Beyond Gaming

In the final presentation, EMPAMOS project lead Dr. Thomas Voit reminded us again that we do not necessarily need to turn non-gaming-situations into games to make them motivating: The underlying motivation principles are universal and not reserved for games alone. Also in working situations, where people “don’t even like playing games”, we can use these underlying motivation processes to create conditions that preserve or even increase motivation. Our task as a community is to use the findings of the EMPAMOS research and translate and adjust them to our own working contexts. This said, when it comes to motivation, analyzing game mechanics is a good starting point.

We thank the organizers for the inspiring day in Nuremberg and the possibility to learn more about the different projects and connect with other nice people from the community. We look forward to bringing what we have learned into the work we’re doing in the Motivation Research Team.

Additional contributors for this article
  • Copy Editor : Felicity Brand
  • Content Publisher : Mathias Bolt Lesniak