Do you have a moment to increase world awesome? Game-based engagement with social change

Lobna Hassan, Elyssebeth Leigh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


Altruistic, prosocial activities intended for social change are essential to the continuance of societies. These activities, however, require time, coordination and re-direction of resources toward communal rather than individual goals. With the prevalence of hedonism in many societies, recruiting participants and getting resources for altruistic, prosocial activities have become challenging. This chapter draws a parallel between playing of (video) games and engagement with altruistic, prosocial activities. We argue that both can and often do involve similar mechanics and psychological rewards. Accordingly, we examine two examples of social change communities that have managed to remain active and affect a level of social change over an extended period of time. The two communities examined, Nerdfighteria and a campaign for the “Bilo family” in Australia, are of similar social purposes, although of different sizes and locality. Through this analysis, we highlight how practices of game-based engagement can be utilized to engage individuals with social change.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransforming Society and Organizations through Gamification : From the Sustainable Development Goals to Inclusive Workplaces
EditorsAgnessa Spanelli, J. Tuomas Harviainen
Number of pages17
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication date2021
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-68206-4
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-68207-1
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoE publication typeA3 Book chapter


  • 512 Business and Management
  • 514,1 Sociology
  • 113 Computer and information sciences


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