Abstract:Place/Space related discussion in urbanism and the associated “user experience” are the main concerns in the procedure of public urban interactions. Meanwhile this gets even more vague when we look at it through the lens in which cutting edge technology becomes an inseparable part of the daily activities. In this regard, “Place Experience” or “Place Attachment”, is an integrated object explaining how human interacts with his surrounding environment containing three dimensions developing an interlinked triangle phenomenon: Cognitive, Behavioral and Emotional interactions. Nevertheless, it is always a vague concept among all of stockholders, especially, when it comes to the “cutting-edge-technologies”. In this sense, there is a gap in the linking of cognitive, behavioral and also emotional with the mentioned emerging technologies; this paper adopting “gamification” introduces a human-centered approach toward enhancing the urban public experience.
To be more clear, the mentioned adoption of gamification would link heterogeneous aspects of cognition and knowledge saturated with the needed technology motivating the users behaviors and emotions. The main focus of the paper is defining a conceptual framework in which gamification could improve the surrounding environment within a human-centered attitude. Structuring the methodology of the paper, a body of literature review of different gamification experiences has been considered as the base for shaping a new understanding of the concept of place/space. At the end, as a solution, it has been suggested implementation of “gamification” for achieving a “human friendly” place. As a conclusion, the paper proposes a conceptual model, which shows implementation of “gamification” with the concept of place can improve “interaction” of humans with place.Keywords: Cognition, Motivation, Interaction, Citizen Engagement, Knowledge Management System (KMS)Introduction:Public spaces/places allow citizens to have interaction with each other and meet on ostensibly ground in planned and unplanned ways (Muminovic, 2017).
By definition, if we consider a “social urban place” as an integrated object, it will support the emotional expressions of sense of achievement and agonistic struggles which eventually will have made our memories and life courses (Yousefi & Azali, 2015). In this sense, the crucial importance of designing public place/space as an integral field, related to “Interaction” of human with place, is a fundamental strategy which causes dramatic effects (Muminovic, 2017). Many critics believe that the basis of the interaction rooted in the three dimensions which are: Cognitive, Behavioral and Emotional (Sendra, 2015; Hashemnezhad et al.
, 2013; Lengen & Kistemann, 2012). Cognitive dimension is the environmental elements which people use and understand during their daily navigations. The behavioral dimension explains how people act in a place/space; emotional interaction elucidates the sense of satisfaction and attachment to a place/space (Hashemnezhad et al.
, 2013). However, applying these factors is not straightforward task and it gets even more vague when we look to it through a lens in which technology is an inseparable part of our daily life in a place/ space (Azali & Yousefi, 2016). There is common general view among urban commentators and practitioners’that without considering technology and IT tools, it is impossible to achieve a sustainable public place (Alizadeh, 2017; Couch, 2016; Marsal-Llacuna & López-Ibáñez, 2014; Giesler, 2013); consequently the decision-making, accelerating progress, stimulating and etc., all depend on the associated technologies (Alizadeh, 2017).
This means that to achieve the place experience, infrastructures of it should be based on technology and in the same time this technology should promote people to interact with place (Yousefi & Azali, 2017). Consequently, intelligent decisions in accordance with different strategic level and situations in the context of a place/space, all are rooted in the emerging technologies (Alizadeh, 2017). Between set of concepts, “Gamification” is a new term in “big data” and also “Informatics”, in which focus on the elements that are mainly human-centered, technical approaches. To be more clear, gamification tries to link heterogeneous aspects of cognition and knowledge (Sureephong et al., 2016) with technology, which cause motivation in the last users behaviors and emotions (Kim et al., 2017). Regarding these fact, this paper focuses on how gamification can improve our surrounded environment within gamifying it.Place ExperienceAlthough the concept of gamification is now well understood and equipped with an array of various theoretical issues, the practical implementation of gamification in a space/place context remains a challenging task (Kunifuji et al.
, 2016). Moreover, the effectiveness or cost-benefit evaluation of game-based methods still requires more research (Hulst, 2011). Over the last decades, several theories about place and its experience circumstance, have been proposed. From a very general point of view, a specific place/space carry the meaning packages correlated to the individual’s’ internal attitude and social processes that develop rational mind cognition (Yousefi & Azali, 2017). Since human gain this cognition through internal attitudes rooted in the settings of places, the experience of place is defined as a semantic phenomenon (Richaud, 2016), which is integrated with interaction of human and the linked place (Buttimer & Seamon, 1979). Furthermore, as Seamon (2013), argues, “…Place experience relates to the process whereby people associated with a place take up that place as a significant part of their world..
.”. However, it is clear that the “semantical” approach toward the concept of the place, completely depends on the platform of “place” (Seamon, 2013). As this is a fact, each place has specified “Experience” parameters on itself (Yousefi & Azali, 2015). To be more clear, a place is the integration of some conceptualization and figuration of various domains. According to Malpas (1999, p.
36), “place” is an “…open and interconnected region within which other persons, things, spaces, and abstract locations, and even one’s self, can appear, be recognized, identified and interacted with…”. In addition, place is an abstract of “Knowledge” which represents the entities of a domain in terms of culture, economy, politic, history and etc (CHEN, 2018). Thus, the management of the mentioned knowledge can accelerate the process of decision-making in a city. Otherwise, abnormal resonance and chaos will occur over and over in the urban place/space (Yousefi & Azali, 2017).Meanwhile, what we call it “Place Experience” or “Place Attachment”, on itself has three dimensions: Cognitive, behavioral and emotional. Cognitive dimension is that environmental elements which people use and understand them during their daily life to navigate their way (Sendra, 2015; Hashemnezhad et al., 2013; Lengen & Kistemann, 2012). Furthermore, knowledge, which includes data and information about human and nonhuman behaviors and actions, introduce to human mind by cognition (Yigitcanlar et al.
,, 2012). Core components of this knowledge are mental procedure of thinking, imagining, and perception, reasoning and problem-solving (Monno, 2010). As stated Montello (2001), “…cognition is about knowledge: its acquisition, storage and retrieval, manipulation, and use by humans, nonhuman animals, and intelligent machines…”. Furthermore, shape of physical world, patterns, location, scale, distance, dimensions and directions which influence on our nervous system, known as spatial concepts and properties. We understand and also figure out these “spatial concepts” by our “spatial cognition”. As stated Montello (2014), without context of place/space cognition will be meaningless.
Hillier (1996) has argued that, in accordance to spatial objects and properties, different aspects of human activities and behaviors grow or even impede. Golledge and Stimson (1997) have also emphasized that we imagine and recognize spatial environment by critical exploration of our everyday spatial behavior, which influence on the cognitive representations of knowledge and information in real-world (Sureephong et al., 2016). Another aspect which we know as behavioral aspect is the way people act or do in a place/space. This closely, based on “Metaphors” and since instinctively we like to lump things and objects together, so we use metaphors (Portugali & Stolk, 2015). Metaphors are fundamental for grouping and classification, which cause an unfamiliar situation or conceptual domain, recognize by using familiar ones (Thagard, 2015).
Human cognition interconnected different metaphors to each other, in order to establish a classified cognitive process for upper layers of concepts (MAEKAWA, MORI, & NOMURA, 2014). As stated Schrieber (2016), if human lose his concepts and metaphors he will lose everything and every knowledge. Without concepts and metaphors to stimulate them, no one ever get anything to do or go (Trim, 2006). Thus, behavioural dimensions of place experience and how we act and do in a place directly connect with metaphors.
As mentioned in above, the last dimension of place experience is emotional interaction which means satisfaction that human feel about a place or attachment to place. Emotional interaction or what Seamon (2015), call it as “Place Release”, involves “an environmental serendipity of unexpected encounters and events” such as “meeting an old friend accidently” or “enjoying the extemporaneous performance of a street musician”.However, practical implementation all of these three dimensions in a public urban context, is not straight-forward task and architects and urban designers have long held the challenge of that the semantical analysis of “Place Experience” and understanding physical and social dynamics of public spaces, how can be a practical paradigm not only theoretical. Thus, the formation of the public urban place follows a human-centered and hierarchical procedure which provides “sense of place” (Hooshyar Yousefi & Azali, 2015).
This even get more complex when we consider technology and a knowledge/information-oriented approach. As this is a fact, applying factors of “Place Experience” gets even more vague when we look to it through a lens in which technology is an inseparable part of our daily life in a public place/ space (Giesler, 2013). In addition, urban commentators and practitioners’ ideas differentiate in the sense of the approach toward the place/space, as a contextual phenomenon, they have generally accepted, without considering technology and IT tools, it is impossible to achieve a sustainable public place (Alizadeh, 2017). Consequently the decision-making, accelerating progress, stimulating and etc., in a city all depends on technology (Giesler, 2013). Regarding to scientific scholars, nowadays, we live in a age, which known as “Information Age” and the phenomenon of technology shapes our lives. In the next section of this paper, we introduce “Gamification” as a practical technology which can make a public urban place more socialized thus more efficient and sustainable.Gamification in the Public Urban ContextThe ongoing technical development and the use of IT-based systems for managing and also designing urban places are accompanied by the question of how technology can be designed to realize assumed potential of place experience (Poplin, 2016).
As mentioned above for achieving to a successful “place interaction” and in the consequence motivating citizens to engage and also participate in the context of public urban place, we need to consider cognitive, behavioral and emotional factors (Parker, 2015). In the recent years, visual environment and also places which are enriched semantically have been introduced to the architects (Poplin, 2016). This opportunity have offered to us, for finding new aspects of “place experience”, which have a significant influence on the human being’s spatial cognition (CHEN, 2018). These places aim at intensifying and enriching the user’s experience with objects and make interactions between place and human (Oei & Patterson, 2012). Meanwhile, gamification is a new term that although it is a vague concepts in accordance with architecture and designing environment, nevertheless applying it in our design process and also develop and build environment based on gamifying a specific place, can help the issue of interaction and also place engagement (Poplin, 2016).As stated Alsop (2013), “.
..there is no methodology written down in any way, shape or form.
On the other hand, there are series of habits we fall into…”. As a matter of fact, what Alsop call it “series of habits” are some cognitive procedure that the main part of it rooted in our childhood and the way we learn to live by gaming and playing during that time (Gibson & Baek, 2009). Thus, to discover human brain capabilities is a key factor to understand the game and playing activities (Kim et al., 2017).According to Clark (1987), “…A game is an activity among two or more independent decision-makers seeking to achieve their objectives in some limiting context.
.”. Meanwhile, by definition “Gamification” is the use of games in non-game contexts and making these “non-game” contexts for achieving to a more efficient and user friendly results (Clark, 1987). Moreover, it is typically used to encourage users engaged and motivated with a subject and lead them to perform specific behaviors (Heilbrunn et al., 2016).
Nowadays, gamification is adapting in a large variety of purposes such as helping people to learn a new behavior by focusing on the motivational power of games. As stated Ioannides et,al (2017), “…Organizations incorporate gami?cation in order to encourage participants to feel a certain way, exhibit a certain behavior and/or perform a certain action, which may not occur otherwise…” . Backing to our childhood all of us know that playing a game can give us feel rewarded, fulfilled and satisfied which are directly connect with our cognition. As stated McGonigal (2012), “…When you strip away the genre differences and the technological complexities, all games share four defining traits: a goal, rules, a feedback system, and voluntary participation…”.
Although understanding how a child play and its procedure is a complex combination of several cognitive operations (creativity, reasoning, visualization of real life,…), there are very few cognitive studies focused on the associated professional activities; In a general view, cognition is defined as all mental activities and processes that relate knowledge and function which correspond to (Yousefi & Azali, 2017).
In this sense, gamification as a technical approach can be de?ned as a player-centered method which works on the “series of habits” that improve behavior, learning processes, and performance in accordance with a subject (Kim et al., 2017). To be more clear, games are structured scenarios with a highly refined set of rules, challenges, and strategies which are carefully designed to develop specific competencies that can be directly transferred into the real world (Loh et al., 2015). The strategic goal of gamification is to increase “motivation” factors and components in user and his mind in order to encourage user to remain engaged in the activity, by using physiological and also cognitive feedbacks (Bishop, 2014).
In this sense, if we apply these factors and components in the designing of a public urban place and management of it (Yanarella, 2011), then they can be used together to better achieve the goal of increased “Place Experience” capacity in the city. In fact, the study of cognition involves several different disciplines that meet on the common ground of “Cognitive discipline or domain”; so it could be considered as an independent field of knowledge and methods which is the result of the interaction of other disciplines (Yousefi & Azali, 2017). Gamification cover all mental operations performed consciously or unconsciously by a user and in the field of Human Computer Interaction HCI (Candy, 1999) it is the most commercialized attend that can develop the cognitive creation support tools which mostly contain a collective attitude. As explained by Holmes and Silvestri (2009), the main objective of this discipline is to understand how a system, natural or artificial can receive and filter information from its environment (perception) , archive and delete (memory), to develop and create (thought), communicate, make decisions and adapt the environment for and through the creation of artifacts. Based on Lorin Anderson and David Krathwohl (2001) revision to the cognitive domain, we have considered “Metacognitive” as the “knowledge about cognition and control of cognition” (Flavell, 1979) which in the sense of gamification is a level of “Knowledge” (?uriník, 2015). Furthermore, gamifying city offers numerous ways to engage citizens in the context of public urban palace (Poplin, 2016).
Citizens as players can reward for their achievements in the city. Also, gamification can enhance attention of them and by participating people in the design and management challenges in a city by playing a game (Poplin, 2016). With using the potential of games we can integrate this state-of-art concept to find out how we can design an enjoyable place which invites everyone to interact with it.
Meanwhile, a public place which enriched with gamification, improve the public awareness of the city and living places (Hulst, 2011). In fact, games can limit the complexity of understanding place and simplify the realistic knowledge management problems (?uriník, 2015) related to them by provide a visual and immersive experience (McGonigal, 2012) for users and citizenships. The cognitive aspects of gamification which directly influence on “behavioral” and “emotional” interactions in a place could be considered as process of “transformations in knowledge” and “problem solving” (Sureephong et al, 2016) approach which does fit to the context of place/space (Yanarella, 2011). Regarding this, it is important to design a gamified system/framework to contribute to the concept of self-awareness among citizens (Yanarella, 2011). Moreover, all games are played in a synthetic or virtual world structured by specific rules, feedback and mechanisms with goals/objectives (Hulst, 2011).
So, getting close to the concept of “place” with gamification allows both citizens and architects and urban designers to explore realistic situations by interacting with other people in a managed way in order to develop experience and trial different strategies in a supported environment. In a general point of view, the cause of implementation of gamification in the architectural design and also decision-making process can be categorized in three aspects: organizational, personal related aspects and the last one motivational aspect (Ioannides et al., 2017). Organizational:Regarding to Ioannides et,al (2017), traditional frameworks for organizing a group or system or in our case a public group of a society, are some formal structures that do not facilitate “Knowledge Management” (KM) or even develop a “common passion” between people who participate in same action. However, based on game philosophy, particularly the practical implementation of gamification can associate in the KM in a systematic approach (Ioannides et al., 2017). Or to be more clear, by playing a designed urban game we can capture and share knowledge in a very straight and also fun way which cause gamification to be known as a KMS. The establishment of the KMS and the associated dynamism must be through the core management approach and strategy of the contributing enterprises, providing the human, financial and material resources to the process in the design environment process.
Personal:Behavioral interactions are one of the major concerns of the architecture and urban designers and a basic for “Place Experience” (Alizadeh, 2017). New Generation of IT technologies and also technical approaches such as gamification not only provides a KMS for a team or group of people to cooperate and share their knowledge in an efficient manner, but also standardize an individual framework for each person to increase behavioral skill by seeking for more challenges, responsibilities in the context of a place. Thus, the decision-making process in the higher management layers gets easier (Ioannides et al., 2017).
Motivational:Gamification can be known as a pragmatic knowledge-based technique that focus on the main cognitive components which integrated with our emotions and also feelings. Satisfaction that occurred after reward, facilitate interaction between user and the gamified object (Ioannides et al., 2017).
Different combination of game elements propose for a player or user different set of experiences. However, the most notable issue here is that we should always notice to the rewarding system, since if we consider it a lot and make it overload again there is a risk that we might lose the motivation (Silva et al, 2016). Conclusion:Analyzing urban public places to understand the “Place Experience” would help architects and urban designers to obtain an implicit phenomenological approach toward the designable situations. Based on scholars, “place Experience” or “Place Attachment”, is an integrated object explaining how human interacts with his surrounding environment containing three dimensions developing an interlinked triangle phenomenon: Cognitive, Behavioral and Emotional interactions. Today, there is a notable enhancement in the number of cutting-edge technologies and new techniques applied to the architectural and urban planning studies in order to increase the mentioned “Place Experience” throughout an analytical perspective. Based on these topics, the paper presents a review of “gamification” as a new approach which can assist to increase “Place Experience” and in the consequence the quality of public urban place.
In this paper, the author has been discussed about three dimensions of interaction which are important for “Place Experience” and by analysing components of gamification, proves that applying game rules into a public urban place and gamifying it “Place Experience” will be enhance.