November 24, 2021

October 31, 2023

Game Design for Public Services

In this report, we explore the power of Gamification as a design toolkit to engage citizens in public initiatives.

Gamification, or the use of game mechanics in non-game contexts, has demonstrated a unique ability to capture attention and promote behaviour change in users. This is true across a number of fields that are relevant to public sector challenges, including Health and Social Care, Sustainability, and Education. We explore the opportunities for Gamification to transform public service design across these areas, as well as in Diversity and Inclusion and Financial Welfare and Wellbeing, and make recommendations for government to enable and take advantage of this transformation. We use a mixed methodology to reach our evaluations and recommendations, including:

  • A Literature Review, which investigated the key challenges and strategic priorities across a number of areas in the UK public sector
  • Expert Interviews, conducted with 15 startups and 5 experts on Gamification and Social Impact Games to understand the landscape and its challenges
  • Analysis of UK Government contract data to do with behaviour change, to understand past interest in behaviour change in the UK public sector
  • Social Media Analysis of tweets to do with Gamification, to understand themes in public and market sentiment on the topic area
  • Data Assets Audit to assess the data resources available to support a gamification approach, in each area of governance investigated


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Photo by the author

Jess Taylor

Former Team Member

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