CityVR: Gameful Software Visualization

Merino, Leonel; Ghafari, Mohammad; Anslow, Craig; Nierstrasz, Oscar Marius (2017). CityVR: Gameful Software Visualization. In: International Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution (pp. 633-637). IEEE 10.1109/ICSME.2017.70

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Gamification of software engineering tasks improve developer engagement, but has been limited to mechanisms such as points and badges. We believe that a tool that provides developers an interface analogous to computer games can represent the gamification of software engineering tasks more effectively via software visualization. We introduce CityVR -an interactive software visualization tool that implements the city metaphor technique using virtual reality in an immersive 3D environment medium to boost developer engagement in software comprehension tasks. We evaluated our tool with a case study based on ArgoUML. We measured engagement in terms of feelings, interaction, and time perception. We report on how our design choices relate to developer engagement. We found that developers i) felt curious, immersed, in control, excited, and challenged, ii) spent considerable interaction time navigating and selecting elements, and iii) perceived that time passed faster than in reality, and therefore were willing to spend more time using the tool to solve software engineering tasks.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Computer Science (INF)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Computer Science (INF) > Software Composition Group (SCG) [discontinued]

UniBE Contributor:

Merino, Leonel, Ghafari, Mohammad, Nierstrasz, Oscar


000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
500 Science > 510 Mathematics








Oscar Nierstrasz

Date Deposited:

11 Apr 2018 12:28

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:30

Publisher DOI:





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