For our FLL Trash Trek Research Project this year the two related but distinct fields of game design and gamification may play a role in our ultimate solution. Gamification is bit overhyped these days and many poorly thought out implementations serve as warning signs for us and comic gold for Dilbert.
Independent of the technical aspect of game programming, there is a higher level aspect of game design that we should explore involving the fields of Psychology, Behavioral Economics, Design, Narrative, etc. Many of these disparate fields come together in creating a successful gamification product.
Finally, here are some interesting documents that describe gamification of Health Apps that serve as examples of what we can think of with regards to our own solution to the Trash Trek Project this fall: