Does gamification work in a serious context? The influence of gamification, utilitarian, and hedonic features in the community-based crowdfunding platform

Nur Aqilah Hazirah Mohd Anim, Nor Asiah Omar


Crowdfunding can provide financial aid to the underserved in a fast and safe manner. With the diffusion of technology, more people have relied on online crowdfunding platforms to fund their projects. However, researchers have found that contributors’ willingness to support the projects on crowdfunding platforms financially has been on the decline. This study aimed to investigate the ability of crowdfunding platform features to influence the intentions of potential contributors to donate on the platform. This research proposed three variables―utilitarian features, hedonic features, and gamification features―based on economic utility theory, flow theory, and persuasive theory. Due to the nascent stage of the crowdfunding environment in Malaysia, this study managed to collect 176 valid responses through virtual snowball sampling method. SPSS 25.0 was employed to test the three hypotheses. The empirical findings reveal that utilitarian features were the most crucial factor in driving contributors’ intention to participate in a crowdfunding project. Hedonic and gamification features, on the other hand, do not directly influence contributors’ behavior. Theoretically, this study enriches the literature on human-computer interaction by examining the role of the crowdfunding platform to attract potential contributors. Also, enhances the understanding of the implementation of gamification in the crowdfunding platform. Finally, this research suggests that future studies should conduct research that specifically involves advanced game-like settings to investigate the real potential of gamification in crowdfunding activities.

Keywords: Crowdfunding, flow theory, gamification, hedonic, persuasive theory, utilitarian.


crowdfunding; flow theory; gamification; hedonic; persuasive theory; utilitarian.

Full Text:



Adhikary, B. K., Kutsuna, K., & Hoda, T. (2018). Crowdfunding—types and models. In Crowdfunding: Lessons from Japan’s Approach (pp. 9–20). Springer.

Agrawal, A., Catalini, C., & Goldfarb, A. (2015). Crowdfunding: Geography, Social Networks, and the Timing of Investment Decisions. Journal of Economics and Management Strategy, 24(2), 253–274.

Aitamurto, T. (2011). The impact of crowdfunding on journalism: Case study of, a platform for community-funded reporting. Journalism Practice, 5(4), 429–445.

Althoff, T., & Leskovec, J. (2015). Donor retention in online crowdfunding communities: A case study of WWW 2015 - Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on World Wide Web, 34–44.

Aprilia, Lady, & Wibowo, S. S. (2017). The impact of social capital on crowdfunding performance. The South East Asian Journal of Management, 11(1).

Argo, N., Klinowski, D., Krishnamurti, T., & Smith, S. (2020). The completion effect in charitable crowdfunding. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 172, 17–32.

Attali, Y., & Arieli-Attali, M. (2015). Gamification in assessment: Do points affect test performance? Computers and Education, 83, 57–63.

Babin, B. J., Darden, W. R., & Griffin, M. (1994a). Utilitarian shopping value. Journal of Consumer Research, 20(4), 644–657.

Babin, B. J., Darden, W. R., & Griffin, M. (1994b). Work and/or Fun: Measuring Hedonic and Utilitarian Shopping Value. Journal of Consumer Research, 20(4), 644–656.

Bartel, A., & Hagel, G. (2014). Engaging students with a mobile game-based learning system in university education. IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON, 957–960.

Behl, A., & Dutta, P. (2020). Engaging donors on crowdfunding platform in Disaster Relief Operations (DRO) using gamification: A Civic Voluntary Model (CVM) approach. International Journal of Information Management, 54, 102140.

Belleflamme, P., Omrani, N., & Peitz, M. (2015). The economics of crowdfunding platforms. Information Economics and Policy, 33, 11–28.

Bilgihan, A., & Bujisic, M. (2015). The effect of website features in online relationship marketing: A case of online hotel booking. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 14(4), 222–232.

Bilgihan, A., Kandampully, J., & Zhang, T. (Christina). (2016). Towards a unified customer experience in online shopping environments: Antecedents and outcomes. International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, 8(1), 102–119.

Bilgihan, A., Okumus, F., Nusair, K., & Bujisic, M. (2014). Online experiences: Flow theory, measuring online customer experience in e-commerce and managerial implications for the lodging industry. Information Technology and Tourism, 14(1), 49–71.

Bly, S., Cook, L., Bickmore, T., Churchill, E., & Sullivan, J. W. (1998). The rise of personal Web pages at work. 313–314.

Bridges, E., & Florsheim, R. (2008). Hedonic and utilitarian shopping goals: The online experience. Journal of Business Research, 61(4), 309–314.

Bruder, P. (2015). Game on: Gamification in the classroom. The Education Digest, 80(7), 56.

Burtch, G., Ghose, A., & Wattal, S. (2013). An Empirical Examination of the Antecedents and Consequences of Investment Patterns in Crowd-Funded Markets. Information Systems Research, 24(3), 499–519.

Burtch, G., Hong, Y., & Liu, D. (2018). The Role of Provision Points in Online Crowdfunding. Journal of Management Information Systems, 35(1).

Childers, T. L., Carr, C. L., Peck, J., & Carson, S. (2001). Hedonic and utilitarian motivations for online retail shopping behavior. Journal of Retailing, 77(4), 511–535.

Choy, K., & Schlagwein, D. (2016). Crowdsourcing for a better world: On the relation between IT affordances and donor motivations in charitable crowdfunding. Information Technology and People, 29(1), 221–247.

Collins, L., & Pierrakis, Y. (2012). The venture crowd: Crowdfunding equity investments into business (p. 36). NESTA.

Cortina, J. M. (1993). What Is Coefficient Alpha? An Examination of Theory and Applications. Journal of Applied Psychology, 78(1), 98.

Cózar-Gutiérrez, R., & Sáez-López, J. M. (2016). Game-based learning and gamification in initial teacher training in the social sciences: an experiment with MinecraftEdu. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 13(1), 2.

Cruz-Cárdenas, J., Guadalupe-Lanas, J., Ramos-Galarza, C., & Palacio-Fierro, A. (2021). Drivers of technology readiness and motivations for consumption in explaining the tendency of consumers to use technology-based services. Journal of Business Research, 122, 217–225.

Dale, S. (2014). Gamification: Making work fun, or making fun of work? Business Information Review, 31(2), 82–90.

Deterding, S., Dixon, D., Khaled, R., & Nacke, L. (2011). From game design elements to gamefulness: Defining “Gamification.” Proceedings of the MindTrek Conference 2011, 9–15.

Ettis, S. A., & Haddad, M. M. (2019). Utilitarian and hedonic customer benefits of e-insurance: A look at the role of gender differences. International Journal of E-Business Research, 15(1), 109–126.

Fogg, B. (2009). A behavior model for persuasive design. ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, 350, 1–7.

Forbes, H., & Schaefer, D. (2017). Guidelines for Successful Crowdfunding. Procedia CIRP, 60, 398–403.

Gallego-Durán, F. J., Villagrá-Arnedo, C. J., Satorre-Cuerda, R., Compañ-Rosique, P., Molina-Carmona, R., & Llorens-Largo, F. (2019). A guide for game-design-based gamification. Informatics, 6(4), 49.

Gleasure, R., & Feller, J. (2016). Does Heart or Head Rule Donor Behaviors in Charitable Crowdfunding Markets? International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 20(4), 499–524.

Ha, S., & Stoel, L. (2009). Consumer e-shopping acceptance: Antecedents in a technology acceptance model. Journal of Business Research, 62(5), 565–571.

Haas, P., Blohm, I., & Leimeister, J. M. (2014). An empirical taxonomy of crowdfunding intermediaries. 35th International Conference on Information Systems “Building a Better World Through Information Systems”, ICIS 2014, 1–18.

Hamari, J., Koivisto, J., & Sarsa, H. (2014). Does gamification work? - A literature review of empirical studies on gamification. Proceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 3025–3034.

Hamari, J., & Tuunanen, J. (2012). Player Types: A Meta-synthesis. Proceedings of Nordic Digra 2012 Conference: Games in Culture and Society, 29–53.

Han, M., Wu, J., Wang, Y., & Hong, M. (2018). A model and empirical study on the user’s continuance intention in Online China Brand communities based on customer-perceived benefits. Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity, 4(4), 46–76.

Hanus, M. D., & Fox, J. (2015). Assessing the effects of gamification in the classroom: A longitudinal study on intrinsic motivation, social comparison, satisfaction, effort, and academic performance. Computers and Education, 80, 152–161.

Hazari, S., Bergiel, B. J., & Sethna, B. N. (2017). Hedonic and utilitarian use of user-generated content on online shopping websites. Journal of Marketing Communications, 23(6), 572–591.

Hsu, C. L., & Chen, M. C. (2018). How does gamification improve user experience? An empirical investigation on the antecedences and consequences of user experience and its mediating role. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 132(November 2017), 118–129.

Hsu, C. L., Chen, Y. C., Yang, T. N., & Lin, W. K. (2017). Do website features matter in an online gamification context? Focusing on the mediating roles of user experience and attitude. Telematics and Informatics, 34(4), 196–205.

Isaacs, S. (2015). The Difference Between Gamification And Game-Based Learning. An International Education Association (ASCD).

Jamshidi, D., Keshavarz, Y., Kazemi, F., & Mohammadian, M. (2018). Mobile banking behavior and flow experience: An integration of utilitarian features, hedonic features and trust. International Journal of Social Economics, 45(1), 57–81.

Jang, S., Kitchen, P. J., & Kim, J. (2018). The effects of gamified customer benefits and characteristics on behavioral engagement and purchase: Evidence from mobile exercise application uses. Journal of Business Research, 92, 250–259.

Jian, L., & Shin, J. (2015). Motivations behind donors’ contributions to crowdfunded journalism. Mass Communication and Society, 18(2), 165–185.

Jiang, H., Wang, Z., Yang, L., Shen, J., & Hahn, J. (2020). How Rewarding Are Your Rewards? A Value-Based View of Crowdfunding Rewards and Crowdfunding Performance. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice.

Kang, M. H., Gao, Y., Wang, T., & Zheng, H. (2016). Understanding the determinants of funders’ investment intentions on crowdfunding platforms: A trust-based perspective. Industrial Management and Data Systems, 116(8), 1800–1819.

Kavaliova, M., Virjee, F., Maehle, N., & Kleppe, I. A. (2016). Crowdsourcing innovation and product development: Gamification as a motivational driver. Cogent Business and Management, 13(8), 1128132.

Kim, H. W., Gupta, S., & Koh, J. (2011). Investigating the intention to purchase digital items in social networking communities: A customer value perspective. Information and Management, 48(6), 228–234.

Kim, K., & Ahn, S. J. (Grace). (2017). The role of gamification in enhancing intrinsic motivation to use a loyalty program. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 40, 41–51.

Kim, P. H., Buffart, M., & Croidieu, G. (2016). TMI: Signaling Credible Claims in Crowdfunding Campaign Narratives. Group and Organization Management, 41(6), 717–750.

Koivisto, J., & Hamari, J. (2019). The rise of motivational information systems: A review of gamification research. International Journal of Information Management, 45, 191–210.

Kontogiannidis, P., Theriou, G., & Sarigiannidis, L. (2017). Crowdfunding: Exploring the factors associated with the users’ intention to finance a project online. International Journal of Web Based Communities, 13(1), 73–101.

Kuppuswamy, V., & Bayus, B. L. (2018). Crowdfunding creative ideas: The dynamics of project backers. The Economics of Crowdfunding: Startups, Portals and Investor Behavior, 151–182.

Kuznetsov, V. V. (2020). Effect of digitalization on the competitiveness of money transfer operators in the national payment system. International Journal on Emerging Technologies, 11(2), 674–677.

Lacan, C., & Desmet, P. (2017). Does the crowdfunding platform matter? Risks of negative attitudes in two-sided markets. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 34(6), 472–479.

Landers, R. N., Bauer, K. N., & Callan, R. C. (2017). Gamification of task performance with leaderboards: A goal setting experiment. Computers in Human Behavior, 71, 508–515.

Liu, D., Santhanam, R., & Webster, J. (2017). Toward meaningful engagement: A framework for design and research of gamified information systems. MIS Quarterly: Management Information Systems, 41(4), 1011–1034.

Lukkarinen, A., Teich, J. E., Wallenius, H., & Wallenius, J. (2016). Success drivers of online equity crowdfunding campaigns. Decision Support Systems, 87, 26–38.

Mariani, A., Annunziata, A., Aprile, M. C., & Nacchia, F. (2017). Crowdfunding and wine business: Some insights from Fundovino experience. Wine Economics and Policy, 6(1), 60–70.

Mekler, E. D., Brühlmann, F., Opwis, K., & Tuch, A. N. (2013). Do points, levels and leaderboards harm intrinsic motivation?: an empirical analysis of common gamification elements. Gamification ’13: Proceedings of the First International Conference on Gameful Design, Research, and Applications, 66–73.

Mollick, E. (2014). The dynamics of crowdfunding: An exploratory study. Journal of Business Venturing, 29(1), 1–16.

Ozturk, A. B., Nusair, K., Okumus, F., & Hua, N. (2016). The role of utilitarian and hedonic values on users’ continued usage intention in a mobile hotel booking environment. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 57, 106–115.

Polzin, F., Toxopeus, H., & Stam, E. (2018). The wisdom of the crowd in funding: information heterogeneity and social networks of crowdfunders. Small Business Economics, 50(2), 251–273.

Powers, K. L., Brooks, P. J., Aldrich, N. J., Palladino, M. A., & Alfieri, L. (2013). Effects of video-game play on information processing: A meta-analytic investigation. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 40(6), 1055–1079.

Puritat, K. (2019). A gamified mobile-based approach with web monitoring for a crowdsourcing framework designed for urban problems related smart government: A case study of Chiang Mai, Thailand. International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies, 13(12), 55–66.

Rakjit, K., & Lertputtarak, S. (2019). Generation c’s internet searching behavior and the factors influencing the intention to follow electronic word-of-mouth in online hotel reservations. ABAC Journal, 39(4), 70–89.

Rodrigues, L. F., Oliveira, A., & Costa, C. J. (2016). Playing seriously - How gamification and social cues influence bank customers to use gamified e-business applications. Computers in Human Behavior, 63, 392–407.

Rodriguez-Ricardo, Y., Sicilia, M., & López, M. (2018). What drives crowdfunding participation? The influence of personal and social traits. Spanish Journal of Marketing - ESIC, 22(2), 163–182.

Schell, J. (2008). The art of game design: A book of lenses. In The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses (pp. 1–489). Elsevier.

Scholl-Grissemann, U., & Schnurr, B. (2016). Room with a view: how hedonic and utilitarian choice options of online travel agencies affect consumers’ booking intentions. International Journal of Culture, Tourism, and Hospitality Research, 10(11), 361–376.

Stiver, A., Barroca, L., Minocha, S., Richards, M., & Roberts, D. (2015). Civic crowdfunding research: Challenges, opportunities, and future agenda. New Media and Society, 17(2), 249–271.

Thiel, S. K., & Fröhlich, P. (2017). Gamification as motivation to engage in location-based public participation? Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography, 399–421.

Venkatesh, V., & Brown, S. A. (2001). A longitudinal investigation of personal computers in homes: Adoption determinants and emerging challenges. MIS Quarterly: Management Information Systems, 25(1), 71–98.

Vieira, V., Santini, F. O., & Araujo, C. F. (2018). A meta-analytic review of hedonic and utilitarian shopping values. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 35(4), 426–437.

Wang, Z., & Yang, X. (2019). Understanding backers’ funding intention in reward crowdfunding: An elaboration likelihood perspective. Technology in Society, 58, 101149.

Wu, J., & Holsapple, C. (2014). Imaginal and emotional experiences in pleasure-oriented IT usage: A hedonic consumption perspective. Information and Management, 51(1), 80–92.

Wu, W. Y., Lee, C. L., Fu, C. su, & Wang, H. C. (2013). How can online store layout design and atmosphere influence consumer shopping intention on a website? International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 42(1), 4–24.

Xi, N., & Hamari, J. (2020). Does gamification affect brand engagement and equity? A study in online brand communities. Journal of Business Research, 109, 449–460.

Yaseen, S. G., & El Qirem, I. A. (2018). Intention to use e-banking services in the Jordanian commercial banks. International Journal of Bank Marketing, 36(3), 557–571.

Zhang, H., & Chen, W. (2019). Backer Motivation in Crowdfunding New Product Ideas: Is It about You or Is It about Me? Journal of Product Innovation Management, 36(2), 241–262.

Zhao, L., & Vinig, T. (2017). Hedonic value and crowdfunding project performance: a propensity score matching-based analysis. Review of Behavioral Finance, 9(2), 169–186.

Zhao, Q., Chen, C. Der, Wang, J. L., & Chen, P. C. (2017). Determinants of backers’ funding intention in crowdfunding: Social exchange theory and regulatory focus. Telematics and Informatics, 34(1), 370–384.

Zheng, X., Men, J., Yang, F., & Gong, X. (2019). Understanding impulse buying in mobile commerce: An investigation into hedonic and utilitarian browsing. International Journal of Information Management, 48, 151–160.


  • There are currently no refbacks.