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The Wikipedia Adventure: Designing for Impact


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We made a 7 mission gamified interactive onboarding tutorial to teach people how to edit Wikipedia in 1 hour. The journey involves badges, barnstars, challenges, and simulated interaction throughout a realistic quest to edit the article [[Earth]]. Game dynamics were used to create a sense of understanding, belonging, deep value identification, and technical proficiency. The use of games in open source and free culture online communities has great potential to drive participation. This talk will share the background of Wikipedia's editor retention decline problem, the inspiration for taking a gamified approach, a review of the design highlights, and a discussion of quantitative and qualitative data and survey analysis. The talk will end with opportunities for further future game-based portals for Wikipedia.

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The Wikipedia Adventure: Designing for Impact

  1. 1. The Wikipedia Adventure
  2. 2. Experiment in gamified onboarding 7-mission interactive journey Editing, social, and policy skills
  3. 3. Automatic edit API Guided tours with event logging Userspace template tracking
  4. 4. 1 year script writing 5 months design and usability dev 1 month alpha bugfixing 1 month beta test
  5. 5. Qualitative survey players invited to Qualtrics, 600 responses, 42 age median, 25 women, 11 % US and UK, 2/3
  6. 6. Overall satisfaction
  7. 7. Satisfaction breakdown ● 89%, TWA made me more confident as an editor ● 89%, TWA helped me understand Wikipedia better ● 77%, TWA made me want to edit more ● 79% TWA made me feel welcomed and supported ● 71% , TWA helped me know what to do next ● 80% , TWA prepared me to be a successful contributor to Wikipedia ● 75% , I enjoyed playing it ● 89% , The game is a good way to introduce new editors to Wikipedia ● 89% , Lots of users should be invited to play TWA
  8. 8. "I enjoyed the idea of editing a fake article for practice - in fact, when I first saw the game, I immediately hoped it would incorporate some sort of actual editing rather than just theory or questions or something." "TWA was very informative and helped pull back the curtain on some of the fundamentals of editing." "I didn't know there was talk and discussion among users until I played the game...I just thought you could make comments and report on individual pages." "I've seen and heard companies, including my own, talk about learning through 'gamification'. I found TWA to be the best example of gamification I have witnessed to date." "I think TWA at the moment is a great stepping stone for new users such as myself. I would love to see it expand to include more 'advanced' topics that can be optionally covered by the user." “I wish it gave the impression that editors were expected to be mature and intelligent, rather than idiots who could be entertained and educated with this kind of drivel."
  9. 9. Gamification elements
  10. 10. Design preference
  11. 11. Target demographic
  12. 12. Quantitative data 10,000 invited using hostbot 600 started the game 45% finished the game 2 control groups: not invited, invited no-play
  13. 13. TWA players made more edits ● 20% more edits than a control group of similar but non-invited new editors ● 90% more edits than those who were invited but did not play the game
  14. 14. Player group had more 20+ editors ● TWA players were 1.2 - 1.7x more likely to make 20+ edits than either control group ● TWA players were also more likely to make 0 edits than the control groups, however.
  15. 15. TWA finishers made the most edits ● Players who completed the game made 3.2x more edits than those who only started the first level of the game ● Players who completed the game were 2.9x more likely to make 20+ edits.
  16. 16. Explanation: off and on ramp 1) make test edits within game, leave 2) grow confidence, get highly active
  17. 17. Phase 2 More invitees, more players, more time Statistical significance, confounds, stage model Edit persistence and editor retention Mesh w/ GettingStarted, Teahouse, Mentorship
  18. 18. Questions? by Jake Orlowitz, Heather Walls, and Siko Bouterse With help from Jonathan Morgan, Matt Flaschen, and Nischay Nahata through a WMF Individual Engagement Grant User:Ocaasi @JakeOrlowitz @WikiAdventure All text and images CC-BY-SA 3.0