GamifIR 2014


First International Workshop on Gamification for Information Retrieval

Gamification is the application of game mechanics, such as leader boards, badges or achievement points, in non-gaming environments with the aim to increase user engagement, data quality or cost effectiveness. A core aspect of gamification solutions is to infuse intrinsic motivations to participate by leveraging people’s natural desires for achievement and competition. While gamification, on the one hand, is emerging as the next big thing in industry, e.g., an effective way to generate business, on the other hand, it is also becoming a major research area. However, its adoption in Information Retrieval (IR) is still in its infancy, despite the wide ranging IR tasks that may benefit from gamification techniques. These include the manual annotation of documents for IR evaluation, the participation in user studies to study interactive IR challenges, or the shift from single-user search to social search, just to mention a few.

The First International Workshop on Gamification for Information Retrieval (GamifIR’14) focused on the challenges and opportunities that gamification can present for the IR community. The workshop was held in conjunction with ECIR’14 in Amsterdam as a half-day event. It aimed to bring together researchers and practitioners from a wide range of areas including game design, information retrieval, human-computer interaction, computer games, and natural language processing. Over 40 people attended the workshop, representing both industry and academia. The program of the day has been structured into three sessions: keynote, poster presentations and interactive discussion (a’la fishbowl style). A detailed report about the workshop can be found in the Spring 2014 edition of The Informer, the newsletter of the BCS IRSG.


We invited the submission of position papers as well as novel research papers and demos addressing problems related to gamification in IR. Topics included but were not limited to:

  • Gamification approaches in a variety of information-seeking contexts
  • User engagement and motivational factors of gamification
  • Player types, contests, cooperative games
  • Challenges and opportunities of applying gamification in IR
  • Gamification design and game mechanics
  • Game based work and crowdsourcing
  • Applications and prototypes
  • Evaluation of gamification techniques


The keynote address was given by Richard Bartle, a Senior Lecturer and an Honorary Professor of Computer Game Design at the University of Essex, UK. He is well known for his Player Types model, which has seen widespread adoption by the massively multiplayer online game (MMO) industry. is 2003 book, “Designing Virtual Worlds”, is the standard text on the subject, and he is an influential writer on all aspects of MMO design and development. In 2010, he was the first recipient of the prestigious GDC “Online Game Legend” award. In his keynote address, titled Information Reconstruction: Unpicking the GamifIR Call for Papers, Richard Bartle presented a very deliberate, deeply serious while superbly entertaining dissection of the workshop’s call for papers (CfP) text. A key point of his keynote revolved around a seriously playful comment on the fact that “he is not in fact an expert in IR, nor in gamification, but, that after reading the CfP, he realised that he is also not alone in that regard.”

Accepted Papers

Author Title
Carlos Maltzahn, Arnav Jhala, Michael Mateas and Jim Whitehead Gamification of Private Digital Data Archive Management
Leif Azzopardi PageFetch 2: Gamification the Sequel
Karën Fort, Bruno Guillaume and Hadrien Chastant Creating Zombilingo, a Game With A Purpose for dependency syntax annotation
Juan M. Fernández-Luna, Juan F. Huete, Humberto Rodríguez and Julio C. Rodríguez-Cano Enhancing Collaborative Search Systems Engagement Through Gamification
Luca Galli, Piero Fraternali and Alessandro Bozzon On the application of Game Mechanics in Information retrieval
Mark Shovman The Game of Search: what is the fun in that?
Jiyin He, Marc Bron, Leif Azzopardi and Arjen de Vries Studying User Browsing Behavior Through Gamified Search Tasks
Carsten Eickhoff Crowd-Powered Experts
Jon Chamberlain Rewarding Contribution Using Retrospective Agreement
Christopher G. Harris The Beauty Contest Revisited: Using a Game to Measure the Ability to Predict a Consensus Ranking of Relevance
Markus Brenner, Navid Mirza and Ebroul Izquierdo People Recognition using Gamified Ambiguous Feedback
Mathias Lux, Mario Guggenberger and Michael Riegler PictureSort: Gamification of Image Ranking
Bojana Dumeljic, Martha Larson and Alessandro Bozzon Moody Closet: Exploring Intriguing New Views on Wardrobe Recommendation
Dinesh Pothineni Incentive Design to Mould Online Behavior – A Game Mechanics Perspective


09:00 09:15 Welcome and Introduction
09:15 10:15 Keynote: Information Reconstruction: Unpicking the GamifIR Call for Papers (Richard A. Bartle, University of Essex)
10:15 10:30 Boasters (1 minute per poster)
10:30 11:00 Coffee break
11:00 12:00 Poster Session
12:00 12:30 Discussion
12:30 Lunch


In response to the call for papers, 18 submissions were received, out of which 14 were accepted for presentation at the workshop. The papers have been published as part of the ACM ICPS proceedings series and can be found in the ACM digital library.

Organizing Committee

  • Frank Hopfgartner, TU Berlin (Germany)
  • Gabriella Kazai, Microsoft Research (United Kingdom)
  • Udo Kruschwitz, University of Essex (United Kingdom)
  • Michael Meder, TU Berlin (Germany)

Program Committee

  • Omar Alonso, Microsoft Research (USA)
  • Leif Azzopardi, University of Glasgow (United Kingdom)
  • Yoram Bachrach, Microsoft Research (United Kingdom)
  • Regina Bernhaupt, Université Paul Sabatier (France)
  • Jon Chamberlain, University of Essex (United Kingdom)
  • Edwin Chen, YouTube/Google (USA)
  • Sebastian Deterding, Rochester Institute of Technology (USA)
  • Carsten Eickhoff, TU Delft (The Netherlands)
  • Rosta Farzan, University of Pittsburgh (USA)
  • Christopher G Harris, The University Of Iowa (USA)
  • Shaili Jain, Microsoft (USA)
  • Hideo Joho, University of Tsukuba (Japan)
  • Mounia Lalmas, Yahoo! Labs (Spain)
  • Edith Law, Harvard University (USA)
  • David Parkes, Harvard University (USA)
  • Massimo Poesio, University of Essex (United Kingdom)
  • Falk Scholer, RMIT (Australia)
  • Craig Stewart, Coventry University (United Kingdom)
  • Elaine Toms, University of Sheffield (United Kingdom)
  • Arjen de Vries, CWI (The Netherlands)
  • Albert Weichselbraun, University of Applied Sciences Chur (Switzerland)
  • Lincoln C. Wood, Auckland University of Technology (New Zealand)