Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Science, Technology, and Society

Reader 1

Laura Perini

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© 2016 Katharine M. Beck


Gamification is an incredibly far-reaching phenomenon. In fact, studies suggest that 70% of the world’s largest public companies will have at least one gamified application in the next two years.

While the term gamification was coined in 2003, widespread use of the principles of gamification did not occur until 2010, and a relatively small amount of literature exists surrounding the topic. Even less of this literature approaches gamification from the discipline of Science, Technology, and Society. In this paper, I intend to employ STS principles to perform a critical analysis of gamification.

Gamification, though it wears many hats, is at its core something that limits us in our choices, that focuses us by design upon a smaller number of possible outcomes, and when these outcomes do not align with our current patterns and values, we restructure our lives to fit them with a lack of reflection upon the way in which we are doing so. Moreover, gamification blurs the lines between fantasy and reality, leaving us unable to recognize the changes that are occurring due to its widespread implementation.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.