Motivational Factors for Participating in Citizen Science Games

Ruth Dalton, Jan Wiener, Demet Yesiltepe, Amanda Adams, Nick Dalton, Hugo Spiers, Michael Hornberger

Research output: Working paperPreprint

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Sea Hero Quest was a multi-platform, citizen science game designed to advance our understanding of spatial navigation. People playing the game contributed data to further our knowledge of an early symptom of dementia – spatial disorientation. Sea Hero Quest’s community of users left 88,694 reviews/comments on the Apple and Android App Stores. This study analysed a sub-sample of these to investigate motivations for participation. Thematic analysis of ~20,000 comments revealed a clear understanding of links between navigational performance and dementia and the purpose for the data collected by the scientists. Two surprising outcomes, concerning motivations for participation, were the abnormal volume of comments/reviews left and the content of them: not typical game-reviews, but often a highly emotive sharing of personal experiences of dementia — family members who have/had the disease. We conclude that such emotive reviewing produced an unanticipated, secondary, wave of awareness-raising.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCenter for Open Science
Publication statusSubmitted - 9 Feb 2023


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