Thomas Wernbacher

Thomas Wernbacher is a media psychologist and works as Senior Scientist at the Center for Applied Game Studies at the Danube University Krems. He is founder of Picapipe GmbH and teaches at the TU Vienna. In his work he researches the use and effects of playful approaches and emerging technologies in the context of mobility, education and health. His fields of expertise includes behavioral concepts in the form of gamification and nudging with a special focus on incentive models. The current focus of his research is on the communication of sustainable development goals in the context of urban development and climate change.


FROG 2020 – Poster Presentation

Alexander Pfeiffer (Danube University Krems)
Constantin Kraus (Danube University Krems)
Alexander Seewald (Seewald Solutions)
Mario Platzer (yverkehrsplanung)

Despite a variety of measures to promote cycling, the overall share of bicycle traffic in Austria has changed only slightly in favour of the bicycle in recent years (BMVIT 2017 and 2013). As part of its mobility strategy, the Austrian government has therefore set itself the goal of doubling the proportion of bicycle traffic in 7 years. In times of COVID a total of 866,263 cyclists were registered by Vienna’s automatic counting stations in April 2020. Compared to the same month of the previous year, 20.2 percent more Viennese have thus taken to the bike. However, the sustainability of this effect is declining, so incentives must be created for a permanent modal shift. In course of the research project“Nice Rides” we aimed at promoting bike commuting in the urban area by developing a gamification framework which involves both cooperative and competitive game elements. In order to reach a meaningful playing experience we implementedfindings from game design and motivational models. Our key goal was to achieve a change in long established behavioural patterns (choosing the car for commuting) by enhancing the safety and attractivity of biking. 10 years later, the peak of gamification has been left behind, incentive tracking apps broadly adopted gamified mechanics as well as incentive systems. With “Cycle4Value” as follow-up project a transparent and low-threshold reward model for the promotion of cycling based on the blockchain technology is being tested. The economic, health and ecological advantages/effects of cycling are are converted into a real value (=cycle tokens). These value units are stored in a digital wallet and can be paid for in a marketplace. The research project surpasses conventional incentive systems, since on the one hand the storage of the value units as well as the redemption process is decentralized, tamper-proof and transparent and on the other hand the real economic benefit of active cycling is monetarized.


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