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Gamification is the use of video-game mechanics and elements in nongame contexts to enhance user engagement and performance. The purpose of this study is to conduct a systematic review to have an in-depth investigation into the existing gamification solutions targeted at solving user engagement problems in different categories of software. We carried out this systematic review by proposing a framework of gamifying process, which is the basis for comparison of existing gamification solutions. In order to report the review, the primary studies are categorized according to the following: a) gamified software and their platforms; b) elements of the gamifying process; c) gamification solutions in each software type; d) gamification solutions for software user engagement problems; e) gamification solutions in general; and f) effects of gamification on software user engagement and performance. Based on the search procedure and criteria, a total of 78 primary studies were extracted. Most of the studies focused on educational and social software, which were developed for web or mobile platforms. We concluded that the number of studies on motivating users to use software content, solving problems in learning software, and using real identity is very limited. Furthermore, few studies have been carried out on gamifying the following software categories: productivity software, cloud storage, utility software, entertainment software, search engine software, tool software, fitness software, software engineering, information worker software, and health-care software. In addition, a large number of gamification solutions are relatively simple and require improvement. Thus, for future studies, researchers can work on the items discovered in this review; they can improve the quality of the current gamified systems by using a wide variety of game mechanics and interface elements, utilizing a combination of contextual types of rewards and giving users the ability to use received rewards “in-game” and “out-game.”

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