Introduction to Gamification (NJLA 2013)

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This is a presentation prepared for the "Level Up @ Your Library" program presented at the 2013 NJLA Annual Conference. Co-presenter for this session is Megan Kiocelek. The presentation covers two …

This is a presentation prepared for the "Level Up @ Your Library" program presented at the 2013 NJLA Annual Conference. Co-presenter for this session is Megan Kiocelek. The presentation covers two approaches to gamification services, rewards based and meaning based. It also covers tips and examples of gamification in a variety of settings.

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  • This new term has come to define a very specific brand and type of gamification
  • Global 2000 - Listing of the world's biggest public companies
  • Levels = Comes from role playing games Points Manipulate behavior by guiding behavior within the game Tell us the right and wrong way to play The act of point accumulation reinforces the player meeting the game designers goal Appointment Dynamic - user must interact with game at certain time and/or place for something positive to happen
  • Feedback Loop Provides real time information about an individuals actions Gives them the opportunity to change those actions, pushing them toward specific and modified behaviors Example - electronically monitored speed signs (proven to be very effective in changing driving behavior) Player / Individual takes an action (Person drives) Action produces an effect (Person drives too fast) Feedback on action is given (Sign displays speed of driver) With new knowledge, another action is taken (Driver slows down) Progression Loops (MACRO) = Major goals and challenges Can consist of the accumulation of feedback loop activities culminating in a reward or achievement Another way to think of the progression loop is the player's evolution through the game Both loops work together to motivate the player, move them toward acting and thus toward a desired behavior
  • Fogg Behavioral Model In theory, all three of the elements must converge at the same time for behavior to take place Motivation - Game mechanic must provide user motivation to do something (reward) - could be something meaningful to the individual as well Game mechanics use rewards, badges, status, progression, level/achievement to build user motivation Ability - Game mechanic provides the ability for the player to complete the action Game mechanics increase the perceived ability of users difficult/challenging tasks simpler (Jane McGonigal - "better selves") Trigger - A cue to complete the action Game mechanics provide the triggers/cues in the path of the motivated user when they feel the greatest excess in their ability - triggers prompt the convergence of the three elements in the same moment Leads to the participant/user behavior upon convergence
  • Staff Development and Training Marriot " My Marriot Hotel " Facebook game lets you play various roles in the hotel industry, develop a basic understanding of how they work and apply for a job Generate interest in the hospitality industry Siemens (electronics and electrical engineering company) " Plantville " : browser based game to train its plant operators using a simulated plant. Based on design of games like Farmville. Includes a virtual cafe where players can discuss challenges and game solutions. GE Healthcare " Patient Shuffle " - app based game designed to teach health care workers how hospitals work Goal of the game is to place patients in the correct room, match the correct doctors, and discharge. Scoring system based on success rate of "happy discharges". Similar in concept and design to games like Diner Dash Recruiting US Army America's Army game ( as a recruitment tool Game has two parts Operations - A First Person shooter Soldiers - A career simulator where players perform actions to move up in rank in the US Army Domino's Pizza Pizza Hero - Mobile device app where users pretend to make pizzas the way you like, then order those pizzas from Dominos based on your design as well as apply for a job Motivation and Engagement CheckPlus (college classroom based gamification) CheckPlus - app that rewards students for checking in during class with points redeemable for on-campus items Yeah, the kids show up for class but where is the active engagement that professors are likely looking for Target Gamified checkout process for their cashiers by scoring transaction speeds and accuracy of customer checkouts Cashier success rate calculated over numerous transactions Green and Red lights built into the system to create reinforcement Idea was to increase cashier efficiency, lower checkout times, and increase employee morale
  • Profit / Data / Brand Loyalty FourSquare You check-in to places and earn points and badges for doing so (and/or status by becoming "mayor" of that location dependant on the number of visits you have to the location) Points can be redeemed for items of value from those particular vendors Ex. Starbucks has rewarded visitors to multiple locations with the Barista badge and most loyal customers with a $1 off mayor's special SCVNGR Scavenger hunt gamified platform where organizations and businesses can build scavenger hunts that are completed using a mobile device Hunts are found using the app over cellular or wifi, and then users can participate Leaderboards and points are incorporated and game builders can offer prizes to participants Get Glue Gamification of entertainment; The FourSquare of entertainment medium Check in's are not for places but for consumption of TV shows, Movies, and Music Rewards badges for consumption and rewards from various brand partners Starbucks Has incorporated game mechanics into their loyalty program (already gamified) using leveling, rewards, perks per level (rewards), and a progression tracker incentivizing consumers to continually engage with their brand
  • Civic Engagement SeeClickFix Website that maintains a points and leaderboard system for local govt and civic organizations to respond to issues posted on the site Users post issue in an area that concerns a specific group, and that group earned points based on how they resolve an issue Idea Street An "idea" platform developed for the United Kingdom's Department of Work and Pensions Spur ideas and innovation to solve problems and challenges Employees were awarded points for ideas and interacting with ideas Ideas chosen for implementation earned more points, while those ideas that did not make it to this stage were docked points A Buzz Index (leaderboard of sorts) was employed to track which ideas had the most activity surrounding them so people could contribute additional content to ideas that were getting alot of activity and might have a higher likelihood of being implemented as a project Education Code Academy Browser based tool for learning how to program in different computer languages You start immediately by completing very small tasks for which you are awarded badges, incentivizing you to continue Users are only asked to create accounts later to keep saved progress and not lose any work they have completed to that point Microsoft - Ribbon Hero Microsoft Office tutorial system created by Microsoft that incorporates game mechanics by offering achievements for completing specific tasks and challenges. Story layer where challenges are designed to move the story forward Each challenge requires you to complete a Microsoft Office task Ribbon Hero account can be integrated with Facebook to share achievements and progress Grading using Experience Points (XP) Professor Lee Sheldon at Indiana University replaced the traditional grading system in his game design classes with a system based on experience points (XP) Students earned experience points by completing quests, fighting monsters, and crafting which equated to giving presentations, taking quizzes and exams, and turning in projects Students were grouped into 'guilds' and completed both solo quests, as guilds, or as 'pick up' groups with members of other guilds He reported a far greater enthusiasm in his courses after changing his grading model Health NextJump (Rewards Design Company) Wanted employees to work out more so they installed gyms in their offices and offered rewards to those who engaged with the program Turnout for the program was low (12% employee turnout), so they retooled and added a tribal or team element to it which increased participation astronomically to closer to 70% of employees Companies specializing in creating rewards based gamified experiences Bunchball Badgeville Gamify
  • Summer Reading Many of our summer reading programs are based on providing rewards and incentives for reading, or checking out "x" number of books, or number of hours read. Ann Arbor District Library Summer Reading Program (2012) - Points earned for checking out items, consuming digital media, interacting with their website and catalog, and attending programs Leaderboard tracked participant achievement throughout the summer Points equate to "library" currency that can be spent in online library story on swag Earn badges for completing library related quests (many of which are designed to expose the participant to specific materials, programs, or content) Interested in more? Check out LibraryGame ( ) company which has a turnkey rewards based gamification product specifically for libraries Book Discussion Level Up Book Club ( ) Created by two librarians interested in gaming and gamification Idea was to create a book club where books were about gaming, and the club itself had gaming elements The Book Club itself is run online through the website There are reading lists, sidequests, a leaderboard, and achievements The Game of Books From same people behind the Book Genome Project (created ) Kickstarter project to gamify reading Books are each assigned a set amount of Reader Experience Points in different thematic categories Readers earn those points by completing the books Players can also earn badges for reading materials Can connect to social media and sites like GoodReads Game is being developed and not available yet, but starter kits for the game can be ordered for parents or libraries Library Services Level Up Experience Users earn points for completing library related activity that is tied into a leveling system Points can be redeemable for physical objects or objects of user value that the library has to offer Award / Level Status sharing with other library users Catalog Progress Bar Many sites use progress bars, meters or percentages to motivate users to complete their profiles (ex. LinkedIn) Show progress bar as user moves deeper into a search from home search screen, to selecting a catalog record, to placing a hold or using a link to find similar materials Staff Development Points based training program Earn points based on the type of training, length of the training session, and subject matter Leaderboard Badge system for specific content mastery or themed training completion Game like this could be run off Excel spreadsheets Real Time Achievement Based Review Process Employees get real-time feedback for completing of certain goals, tasks or projects Employees have access to information as goals are completed and can monitor progress toward evaluation bi-yearly or yearly Shorter Feedback Loop Managers get a better sense of the accomplishments of their employees in shorter intervals, providing the ability for increased feedback opportunities in real-time Evaluation is based on clear quantifiable measures (badges, rewards, points) versus more interpretive qualitative measures Potential for increased employee morale, why? Employees receiving more real-time positive feedback in shorter intervals Gain more control over (increased autonomy) their own performance (user-centered approach) More opportunities for successful feedback
  • (Bad Design) Gaming for "gaming" sake - apply game mechanics to ANY situation (Organization vs User Centered Gamification) Pitfalls of Organization-Oriented Gamification Low user engagement and This largely due to the lack of connection to internal user motivations (key to long term behavioral or transformative change) Rewards make participants feel positive about things the organization wants, regardless of value to the participant. (Reward Permanence) The "forever" loop = requirement that organization continue rewards system indefinitely for system to continue to work ( Overjustification ) Removal of the reward based system can lead to over-justification = a decrease internal motivation to perform a task or action (Discourages creativity and innovation) Rewards based gaming = perform tasks to achieve specific rewards Achievement and progress not available for actions taken outside game structures Creativity and innovation not reward eligible (Risk of Unintended Behaviors) Since gamification is about influencing human behavior = risk of unpredictable / unintended behavior BMW tested a gamification design experience based on saving fuel Unintended consequence was reward system worked so well participants acted in dangerous ways to save fuel So, the intended effect of the game experience did manifest, but unintended behaviours also occurred (Generation gap) However, this type of gamification is recognized for being particularly valuable in motivating individuals in regards to training and skill building (not all negative)
  • Learning is the process of making meaning out of life Process of meaning creation: Take an experience Process the experience Align the experience with previously held beliefs Which can result in new perceptions on old experiences Prepare to act on that change Other Notes: Meaningful gamification reintroduces play into the equation in order to help participants find meaning Rewards Based Gamification is a game mechanics overlay (points, rewards, achievements, etc) Meaningful gamification is a "play" overlay Meaningful gamification in an information-based space can stimulate both intellectually and emotionally Exploration, then reflection, then exploration further as they reflect upon previously held life views ( a new feedback loop)
  • Rewards Based Gamification Lacking the voluntary element Lacking the intrinsic or internal motivation element Meaningful Gamification Remove the "Structure" (rewards system) from the games equation and redefine the game as the combination of play and goals Goal defined as long term change based on internalizing motivation)
  • Create environments, physical or virtual, that stimulate and increase self motivation
  • Ludic Learning Spaces Spaces that combine play opportunities with limits where participants choose to enter, leave themselves behind and engage in play, explore spaces and discover meaning and transform Children's museums and science museums with hands on exhibits that promote exploration of information through play Participant finds what he/she finds most meaningful or interesting to them Using play elements to provide conditions and environment to empower and promote experimentation (creativity and innovation) GO THROUGH THE ELEMENTS OF MEANINGFUL GAMIFICATION
  • Meaningful gamification is much harder to design because you cannot use the cookie-cutter rewards based model
  • ARGS - Alternate Reality Games (creating a story with game mechanics and principles that plays out in the real world) Allow a variety of ways of interacting with the story, behaviors that can effect story arc Various activities and entry points outside the rewards based model) They also provide a community element where working together to solve challenges to game puzzles, environments or situations is encouraged and in fact sometimes necessary Finksburg Public Library - "Mystery Guest" A game designed for their summer reading program Story arc involved the mystery of a character who escapes from a classic book and the search to figure out who it is, and how to get them back into the book Programs, crafts, activities, challenges and a blog were used to allow participants to interact with the game Teens created game content with librarians Ex. they would create short videos playing out different suggestions from participants on how to get the character back in often with very humorous results
  • Jane McGonigal vehicle based on a story arc of a World Oil crisis and shortage Players/Participants are encouraged to embed themselves in the story context, and write about and create audio and video content related to what the world is like without oil, what their "experience" are like, and what they would do in specific situations (challenges). Their content then in turn becomes canon, or part of the story lexicon, and thus builds an even larger and multi-threaded story of the "world without oil" (players are not world-builders) The idea was not only to reflect on a specific, potential real-like problem, but to provide a "playground" for sharing ideas, solutions, and thoughts on how to avoid the a crisis like this to begin with.
  • Zombies Run Mobile device app that uses a story and game mechanic system to gamify running and promote exercise Immersive running game and audio adventure The idea is that when you go for a run with your device and headphones, you turn on the app and it provides a story layer on your run where you are being chased by zombies as you embark on completing missions such as retrieving supplies for your home based of operations (game mechanic) Runs are based on missions that you are completing (game mechanic) Can choose a customized playlist of your own music and the story element (audio ) will play between your songs (immersive) Goals to build up your base and solve story drive mysteries Once you complete your run, you are told what supplies you have gathered as a result which can be used in game to help your fellow survivors (you choose who to help and how you use your supplies to build up your base)


  • 1. An Introduction toGamificationDoug BaldwinEmerging Technologies LibrarianPiscataway Public Library@baldwind1976 /
  • 2. What the next 20 minutes will looklike...• What is Gamification• Reward Based Gamificationo Defineo Theoryo Applicationo Pitfalls• Meaningful Gamification (Scott Nicholson)o Defineo Theoryo Application• Questions
  • 3. What is GamificationTo start, it is not "Gaming in Libraries"...Define:• One definition - "Use of game design elements in non-gamecontexts" Deterding et al (2011)• Another definition - "Its using game mechanics help you driveparticipation, engagement and loyalty on your online property, site,or community" -• Yet another definition - " Gamification is the use of game thinkingand game mechanics in a non-game context in order to engage usersand solve problems" - WikipediaI like # 1 - Lets go with that
  • 4. What is GamificationNot a new concept - just a new word (2008)Examples• Store and credit card rewards• Airline loyalty programs• McDonalds Monopoly (game layer)• Badges (Military / Scouts )o Status / Membershipo Motivation (above and beyond)
  • 5. Two quick stats...• M2 Research projects that companies willspend upwards of $2 billion on gamificationservices by 2015• Gartner Group forecasts that 70% of theGlobal 2000 will employ gamificationtechniqueso but that 80% of those projects will fail unless theyare thoughtfully designed
  • 6. Rewards Based GamificationElements or Game Mechanics• Badges - public indicator of accomplishedtasks or achievements (sharable)• Levels - accomplishment over time (status)• Leaderboards - Ranked status listing (status)• Achievements - Accomplished goals (reflectedas badges or levels)• Points - Assigned value to an achievementOther Elements
  • 7. Rewards Based GamificationTheory• Feedback Loop (Micro Level)o Player/Individual Takes an Actiono Action produces an effecto Feedback on that action is giveno Using new knowledge, another action istaken• Progression Loop (Macro Level)
  • 8. Rewards Based GamificationTheory• (BJ) Fogg Behavioral Model - There are threeelements that must converge in order for a behavior totake place = Reward fordoing somethingAbility = Action can becompletedTrigger = Cue to completethe action
  • 9. Uses of Rewards Based Gamification1. Human Resources• Staff Development / Trainingo My Marriot Hotel (Marriot)o Plantville (Siemens)o Patient Shuffle (GE Healthcare)• Recruitingo Googleo Operations and Soldiers (US Army)o Pizza Hero (Dominos Pizza)• Motivation / Engagemento CheckPluso Target
  • 10. Uses of Rewards Based Gamification2. Consumer Applicationso FourSquareo SCVNGRo Get Glueo Starbuckso Bank Credit Cardso Store Loyalty Programs
  • 11. Uses of Rewards Based Gamification3. Other Applications• Civic Engagemento SeeClickFixo Idea Street(UK Dept of Work and Pensions)• Educationo Code Academyo Ribbon Hero (Microsoft)• Healtho NextJump
  • 12. Reward Based Gamification (Libraries)• Programso Summer Reading programs (ex. Ann Arbor District Library)o Book Discussion (ex. Level Up Book Club / Game of Books)• Serviceso "Level" up experience (Boyhun Kim)o Catalog "progress bar" (Boyhun Kim)• Staff Development (my bad ideas!)o Rewards based training programo Real time achievement based review process
  • 13. Rewards Based Gamification - Pitfalls1. Bad Design2. Organization versus User Centeredgamification3. Reward permanence (or "forever") loop4. Overjustification5. Discourages creativity and innovation6. Risk of Unintended Behaviors7. Generation gap
  • 14. Meaningful Gamification (MG)"The use of game elements to help someone find meaning in a non-gamecontext, and therefore a tool to help people learn through changingperspectives in their lives" (S Nicholson)Meaningful GamificationElements of MG :•Give the player information (sothey can make choices)•Allow player to make thosechoices•Make informed play the reward(use external rewards sparingly)•Put the players benefit first in thegame design process
  • 15. Meaningful Gamification"Game is a form of play with goal andstructures" expressed as :Game = Play + Goals + StructurePlay - voluntary, intrinsicallymotivated activities associated withrecreation and enjoyment (Wikipedia)Reward Based GamificationGame = Goals + Structure (- Play)Meaningful GamificationGame = Play + Goals (-Structure)VS
  • 16. Meaningful Gamification - Theory Cognitive Evaluation Theory (Deci and Ryan)•Specifies factors explaining intrinsic motivationo More competent we FEEL = More internally motivated we areo More in control we FEEL = More internally motivated we are(Deci & Ryan)• Basic needs for self motivationo Autonomy = Choice / Controlo Competence = Masteryo Relatedness = Engagement withworld around us1. Self Determination Theory• Distinguishes sources of motivationo Intrinsic (Internal) = long term changeo Extrinsic (External) = short term change
  • 17. Meaningful Gamification - ApplicationMeaningful Gamification Space(6 elements)• Role play - seeing the world throughother eyes / escape themselves toprovide new perspectives• Experimentation - explore and trysolutions to challenges• Collaborative experiences -working together on activities• Voluntary engagement• Choice - Users have ability to createtheir own path• Sharing - Ability to share yourthoughts about items/experience• Ludic (PLAY) Learning Spaceso Discover, Play, Explore, Learn, Transform Ex. Participatory Museums and Exhibits)
  • 18. Meaningful Gamification - ApplicationStrategies• Player Generated Contento Braid / Little Big Planeto MakerSpaces (modding)• User/Player Designed Goalso Chore Wars (hybrid)• Aligning Game Elements with Non-Play Contexto Remove rewards / Insert voluntary playo Embedded limits = Deeper immersiono Player combines interest with limits to create new experience
  • 19. Meaningful Gamification - ExamplesSwedish Piano Stairs• Volkswagon project to promote exercise• Subway stairs transformed into working piano• 66% increase in usage over escalator
  • 20. Meaningful Gamification - ExamplesAlternate Reality GameA story, with game mechanics, played out in the real world•Finksburg Public Library - "The Mystery Guest"o Summer Reading gameo Story arc involved identifying and returning a famousliterary character to book he escaped fromo Teens created videos and story content for the gameo Programs, crafts and activities allowed participants todevelop interact with the story
  • 21. Meaningful Gamification - ExamplesAlternate Reality Game:• World Without Oil Story arc : world oil shortageo Players encouraged to create story contentof their "experiences" during this oilshortage (blog posts, voicemails, video,photos, etc)o User content part of expanded the storyuniverseo Designed to promote reflection, potentialproblem solving and an "idea" playgroundfor sharing solutions and thoughts toavoid such a crisis
  • 22. Meaningful Gamification - Examples• Zombies Runo Immersive audio adventure andgamification of runningo Story arc of zombie apocalypseo Provides audio story layer to yourworkout through completion ofmissionso Items retrieved via mission aredispersed via player choiceo Goals include building up your basedand solving story mysteries
  • 23. Final Thoughts• Design games with the users in mind• Think about short term and long term goals• Think about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation• Be thoughtful in game design constructs• Rules are ok - in fact they can enhance play - if they are deployed withcare• Gamification is not for every situation• Gamification, if done with thought care and participants in mind can
  • 24. A Few Good ResourcesVideo• Ted Talk, "The Game Layer on Top of the World" Seth Priebatsh• Ted Talk, "Gaming Can Make a Better World" Jane McGonigal• "Introduction to Meaningful Gamification" Scott NicholsonArticles• "User Centered Theoretical Framework for Meaningful Gamification" Scott Nicholson• "Applying Game Dynamics to Library Services" Bohyun Kim• "Why Gamify and What to Avoid in Library Gamification" Bohyun KimBooks• For The Win : How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business, Kevin Werbach andDan Hunter (2012)• Reality is Broken : Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World,Jane McGonigal (2011)Web• Gamification Wiki• Gamification 101 - Designing the Player Journey• Because Play Matters - Scott Nicholson• Enterprise Gamification for Employee Engagement - Zoe Epstein
  • 25. Questions???Presentation : : dbaldwin@piscatawaylibrary.orgTwitter: @baldwind1976