An increasing number of cities suffers from low civic participation in public life. In recent years, there have been suggestions to use technology to motivate active citizenship through the creation of a “Catalog of Good Deeds”; examples of good deeds could include voting, assistance to the elderly, or participation in a first-aid course. Each deed will be recorded and provide a score and citizens will be able to claim benefits, according to their score, based on a parallel “Catalogue of Municipal Benefits.” This could include public transportation, tickets to events, or reduced municipal housing. The idea is to develop a community-centered city through incentives that motivate active citizenship.
Recent years have witnessed a growing appeal to citizenship gamification. Against this background, our project asks three questions: 1) What are the current trends and variations in the emerging phenomenon of citizenship gamification?; 2) Are social scoring systems able to increase active citizenship on the local level?; 3) Can the deployment of social scoring systems for encouraging active citizenship be ethically justified? On the whole, the project brings to the fore fundamental questions related to the digital demos and investigates the feasibility and ethical implications of social scoring systems.