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School of Business | Department of Management Studies | MSc program in Corporate Communication | 2016
Thesis number: 14716
To Play or Not to Play?
Author: Ruokomäki, Hanna
Title: To Play or Not to Play?
Year: 2016  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management Studies
Academic subject: MSc program in Corporate Communication
Index terms: yritysviestintä; pelit; viestintä; kulttuurijohtaminen; taide; museot; kustannustoimi; sitoutuminen
Pages: 119
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_14716.pdf pdf  size:4 MB (3420448)
Key terms: yritysviestintä; corporate communication; pelillisyys; gamification; multimodaalinen viestintä; multimodal communication; vuorovaikutuksellinen viestintä; interactive communication; taide; arts industry; museo; museums; kustantamo; publishing; esittävä taide; performing arts; pelit; games; sitouttaminen; engagement
Objective of the Study

The aim of this thesis is to fill a gap in research and study a phenomenon that has thus far been neglected in corporate communication: gamification. Gamification is classically defined as incorporation of game-like elements into non-game environments. Gamification has been researched mostly in game studies, but also business is now entering the field. However, the communication contexts that utilize gamification and the multimodal ways of implementing gamification features have not been studied. The present thesis pioneers the exploration in this field. The case companies are chosen from the arts industry, as arts are struggling now in the increasingly digital era. Gamification can help these companies to engage customers in new ways.


The thesis uses a qualitative approach. To research the communication contexts gamification is used in, four case companies are chosen. The companies are from the fields of publishing, games, museums and performing arts to get a wide perspective on the industry; they are selected from among the biggest in the world and according to the amount of gamification features present on their websites. The companies are Penguin Random House (publishing), Activision Blizzard (games), Louvre (museums) and Vienna State Opera (performing arts). To research the multimodal implementation of gamification features, theories on gamification, multimodality and interaction are used as the basis for the analysis and the framework that is built in the thesis.

Findings and conclusions

Gamification is mostly used in communication contexts that introduce the company or its history one way or another. The most common gamification features on the case companies' websites are 1) Narratives and Terminology, 2) Exploration, 3) Quests and Challenges, 4) Feedback and 5) Making Choices. The most used mode is written text, which proves that even during the era of videos and images, written text is required to anchor visuals with meaning. However, many of the gamification experiences on the websites do not utilize gamification to its full potential, indicating that even though gamification features are utilized in corporate communication, even the communicators themselves do not always recognize them as gamification. Thus the subject demands more attention and research in order to truly educate communicators in the meaningful use of gamificaton, engage customers and provide value for the organization.
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