Enterprise gamification is a hot new idea that has great potential for benefit (and misuse). Common misconceptions create the risk of getting it wrong. We (Rypple) share some of our lessons learned
Enterprise gamification is a hot new idea that has great potential for benefit (and misuse). Common misconceptions create the risk of getting it wrong. We (Rypple) share some of our lessons learned on making it work.
[group goals, epic quests, helping people elevate their own games]
Work better. Play together?! On Enterprise Gamiﬁcation loveyourwork! COLLABORATe! FLOW!
Outline: on Enterprise Gamiﬁcation Enterprise gamiﬁcation is a hot new idea. ! ! Great potential for beneﬁt (and misuse) ! ! Misconceptions create the risk of getting it wrong ! ! We share our lessons learned for making it work.
Claim: “You can get employees to engage in not-so-fun exercises”Make it look like a game so they do it!
But as with any new idea, carefullyseparate what works from what doesn’t.
“Gamiﬁcation is an inadvertent con. It tricks peopleinto believing that there’s a simple way to imbuetheir thing ... with the psychological, emotional andsocial power of a great game.” Margaret Robertson Game Designer & Consultant to EA, Sony
Misconception #1Gamiﬁcation is badges & points
“Most gamiﬁcation is just ‘pointsiﬁcation.’ …toomuch gamiﬁcation is about zero sum games:often, for me to win, you’ve got to lose.” Matthew Jensen Game Designer Co-founder, Natron Baxter Applied Gaming, Co-founder, Gameful
(real) Games are about intrinsic rewardsResearch show that fun in gaming is from intrinsic factors – experiences of competence, self-efﬁcacy, and masteryRaph Koster, A Theory of Fun for Game Design (2004)
FactEconomists developed the theory of games tomathematically capture human behavior in strategicsituations. It has been used to develop war strategies,nuclear weapon strategy, and more. Serious stuff.
Classic game theory: The Prisoners’ DilemmaGames arise when multiple actors with differing objectives compete or cooperate for scarce resources. Does that sound like your workplace?
Misconception #3Games are not appropriate at work
Leveling up Leaderboards BadgesReality"Work is already ﬁlled withgames & game-elements
Example: the Career Game“We compete for jobs: the more desirable thejob, the tougher the competition. Most peoplereadily understand this. But, fewer peoplerecognize that the pursuit of an open job canbe framed as one ‘move’ in a multifacetedgame called ‘a career.’” Stephen Miles Vice Chairman, Heidrick & Struggles Author, Your Career Game
The real question then is:How can we better design the games we willinevitably play in the workplace?
So we don’t end up with badly designed games.And unintended consequences.
The Cover-Your-Ass game“When credit and blame are mismanaged andunfair, people shut down, becomedemotivated, and focus more on coveringtheir rears rather than moving forward.When credit and blame are managed properly,people are willing and able to experiment,learn and grow.” Ben DattnerProfessor of Industrial & Organizational Psychology, NYU Author, The Blame Game
The Bonus Game“…when the tasks involve higher levels ofcognition or creativity, the monetary incentivesactually stiﬂe performance rather than drive it.In addition, people undertake activities forreasons of mastery, purpose, etc. rather thanspeciﬁcally for monetary reward.” Daniel Pink Author, Drive
And our favorite, the performance review game Formal with very infrequent feedback. A ritual game with billions spent in wasted enterprise effort.
Initial lessons learnt in designing "good games at work* *So far. This is a WIP
Lesson #1It’s not about features you can bolt on.It’s about a careful design process.
You can’t save a crappy " service/product/environment"by bolting on game mechanics.+
X Wrong ✓ RightWhat’s challenging or meaningful Doing work that makes a difference? about leaving the house? Now that’s difﬁcult yet meaningful
You have to design the right game And that happens slowly, carefully & iteratively 24h Reﬁne 24h Observe gameUser insight Game design Release behavior element Release 7 days 7 days
Get people on the team who have experience designing games*! Marcus Gosling Ryan Dewsbury UX Designer, Rypple Product Designer, Rypple Co-founder, imvu Creator of KDice & GPokr *Alert: Without actual game designers working with enterprise folks you run the risk of designing something that doesn’t quite ring true.
Lesson #2Design around intrinsic motivations.Meaning, Autonomy, & Mastery
“Game elements are like an ampliﬁer: There has to be agenuine sound ﬁrst – a value, an interest, a motivation –for the ampliﬁer to do any good.” Sebastian Deterding Gamiﬁcation & UX designer and researcher
Badges can be silly Or they can be meaningful Badges devoid of meaning can be silly. Military badges are meaningful because theFor many, the badge is the only beneﬁt of underlying accomplishments are meaningful. playing the game. That’s fun & okay in The badges are ﬁlled with shared symbolism. certain contexts.
Not just a piece of metal Symbol of meaningful impact "Let it be known that he who wears the military order of the purple heart has given of his blood in the defense of his homeland and shall forever be revered by his fellow countrymen." George Washington, August 7, 1782
Peer generated Identity at work badges as reputationYou reputation at work is important for a host Thanks from peers & managers have intrinsic of reasons. Managing this identity is a meaning. Creating a badge lets people creatively powerful intrinsic driver. recognize successes in their own words. Badges thus have a shared meaning, creating trusted indicators of achievement.
Lesson #3Amplify positive behaviors that already exist.
Positive Behavior Make it easy. Make it Social. To: Joy Gao Cc: Subject: Thanks! Thanks for the awesome L&L! I learnt a ton! People like giving others a thanks for Make it crazy simple to give people meaningful achievements, help, etc. thanks, and for others to see it. Recognition is tremendously motivating. Easy and social.
Positive Behavior Design Element In games and at work, people like to Make it easy for people to deﬁne their ownembark on Epic Quests. They like to pick Epic Quests, enlist contributors & share their quests, gather the troops and take real-time progress on their quests. And to on challenges head on. collect badges representing their successful quests.
Lesson #4 Do it slowly and very carefully Games elements have real & sometimes unintended consequences
Game element Unintended consequenceScoreboards are a common “Depending on [work context],game element. Harmless in leaderboards can feel like yet another form the virtual world of games. of control and pressure, or as merely informational and supportive” *Sebastian Deterding, Meaningful Gamiﬁcation
Game element Unintended consequences % of new users that invite coworkersInvite coworkers $25 $25 reward with "invite your team "invite your team" + to join you" reasons why Monetary incentives should Wrong! Users emailed us saying getting drive activity right? After all, paid for invitations in a work context was people like rewards, and inappropriate. They preferred to invite money’s a great reward! others to simply join them on Rypple.
"Perfection is achieved, not when thereis nothing more to add, but when thereis nothing left to take away." Antoine de Saint-Exupéry French author and aviator
Difﬁcult Behavior Simplicity in designWe all know that getting regular feedback The easier we made it to ask for is good for your performance at work. feedback, the more people used it. But its hard (& scary) to get constructive The more complicated the process feedback from people you work with! (unnecessary ﬁelds, ratings, options… choices), the less people do it.
Helpful lessons on Enterprise Gamiﬁcation Work is already ﬁlled with games. They’re mostly poorly designed.! ! Get people on the team with experience in building games.! ! Design, build, learn, design, ... repeat.! ! Leverage intrinsic motivators at work. Amplify positive behaviors.! ! Watch for unintended consequences of game elements in the social context of work.! ! Simplicity counts.
Want to learn more?Daniel Debow@firstname.lastname@example.orgRYPPLE