David G. Schwartz

Document Type

Occasional Paper

Publication Date


Publication Title

Center for Gaming Research Occasional Paper Series: Paper 28

Publisher Location

Las Vegas, Nevada

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This paper explores new, game-based volunteering platforms in the sciences and discusses their viability for nonprofit organizations, which have long used gaming for fundraising but not typically in other aspects of their operations. The paper unfolds in two parts. Examples of game-based volunteering platforms in the sciences are examined in Part 1, and their broader significance discussed in regard to the history of science and the history of gaming. The games in question enable volunteers to work remotely with scientific research data and assist with data processing and information management. In Part 2, the paper outlines information management challenges in the nonprofit domain and articulates possible design modifications to the gamebased platforms being developed in the sciences that would make them potentially workable for nonprofits. The modifications proposed, informed by the idea of “context-rich” design, draw inspiration from research into player habits and preferences within existing nonprofit gaming culture, with a focus on bingo, a highly popular form of NPO gaming that normally involves the analysis of individual and clustered number tables.


Citizen science; Electronic data processing; Game design; Information management; Nonprofit organizations; Virtual work; Volunteerism


Gaming and Casino Operations Management | Nonprofit Administration and Management