Productive Games: Using Game Mechanics to Steer Human Behavior

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I'm interested in how game mechanics acts as a form of architecture that doesn't necessary focus on restriction, but rather stimulates specific behaviors. From video games to real-world settings such as classrooms, we can be steered towards socially productive ends, e.g. to override tragedy of the commons.

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Productive Games: Using Game Mechanics to Steer Human Behavior

  1. 1. productive games How game mechanics steers user behavior kevin lim / cyberculturalist / 25th sept 2009 / /
  2. 2. Michael Heilemann’s 25 Most Influential Games http://www.flickr.com/photos/heilemann/5013484/
  3. 3. http://www.flickr.com/photos/anarbol/3944027663/
  4. 4. I'm interested in how game mechanics acts as a form of architecture that doesn't necessary focus on restriction, but rather stimulates specific behaviors.
  5. 5. From video games to real-world settings such as classrooms, we can be steered towards socially productive ends, e.g. to override tragedy of the commons
  6. 6. Why this is interesting...
  7. 7. WTF consists of... a crazy collection of addictive mini-games drive the player to perform trivial tasks in pursuit of the almighty dollar.
  8. 8. Real-life consists of... a tired collection of boring mini-games drive the player to perform trivial tasks in pursuit of the almighty dollar. Photo by flickr user: kenyee, 2004
  9. 9. Why?
  10. 10. doesn’t have to be boring.
  11. 11. our social responsibility to make things fun.
  12. 12. examples of fun in boring places!
  13. 13. Passively Multiplayer Online Game pmog.com (now thenethernet.com)
  14. 14. making house / work chores fun... chorewars.com
  15. 15. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/31/science/earth/31compete.html
  16. 16. ok how the heck do I create fun?
  17. 17. What makes popular social platforms addictive?
  18. 18. Visible Scoreboard To motivate student blogging communities, I tried using Amy Jo Kim's game mechanics (2006)
  19. 19. Photo by flickr user: Nemo's great uncle (Aug, 2008) Amy Jo Kim explained game mechanics with how Frequent Flyer Miles work
  20. 20. Using Game Mechanics Five Game Mechanics 1. Collecting 2. Earning Points Amy Jo Kim 3. Feedback Creative Director ShuffleBrain 4. Exchanges 5. Customization
  21. 21. Using Game Mechanics “I see a game mechanics working well on sites like YouTube, Yelp, Twitter, and Flickster. [...] like points, Amy Jo Kim leaderboards, level-ups, Creative Director ShuffleBrain social exchanges, and customization to a strong core experience.”
  22. 22. 1. Earning Points Amy Jo Kim’s idea was in the presence of a scoring mechanism. Established a blogging leaderboard via technorati.com authority ranking algorithm. Provide our students a basic measure of how they were doing against one another. Students also given weekly audits of the class overall performance.
  23. 23. 2. Collecting Things For quality blog posts, students earned weekly awards. Variety of awards promotes diverse behaviors (e.g. Early Birdie) Awards can be traded for extra credits or the ability to gain “immunity” from extra assignments.
  24. 24. 3. Feedback Comments and trackback allow students to understand the quality of the blog and wiki contribution. Students are given the opportunity to improve on posts if they have not reached the assignment deadline. Accessibility of feedback allows students to accelerate mastery in each week’s theme.
  25. 25. 4. Customization Students instinctively personalized their blogs by the first week of use. Low level: Blog templates High level: Sidebar widgets Social Objects personal photos favorite music branding chat box
  26. 26. 5. Exchanges To track the layers of interaction, we visually aggregated RSS feeds of their blogs and wikis using Net vibes.com
  27. 27. Amy Jo Kim’s Community Building on the Web (Peachpit, 2000)
  28. 28. Explicit Game mechanics
  29. 29. foursquare iPhone app location-aware gaming with virtual & real-world rewards
  30. 30. Whiffies Fried Pies food trucks on t witter
  31. 31. Foursquare aims to encourage people to explore their neighborhoods and then reward people for doing so. We do this by combining our friend-finder and social city guide elements with game mechanics - our users earn points, win mayorships and unlock badges for trying new places and revisiting old favorites. http://foursquare.com/businesses/
  32. 32. Implicit Game mechanics Fast Company: The Kid Who Made Obama President (April 2009) http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/134/boy-wonder.html
  33. 33. obama by BohPhoto Change Has Come to America by Tony the Misfit No. of “Obama” photos on Flickr.com = 660,315 A Vision for America by Tony the Misfit Jan08 378 by Lord Jim
  34. 34. No. of “Obama” videos on Youtube.com = 495,000
  35. 35. 14K gold Obama YES WE CAN pendant by strandbyme Obama Rocks print by toastmania No. of handmade “Obama” items on Etsy.com = 2774 peth Barack Obama painting by Robin Huds Obama Inspired Lim BATMOBAMA and R ited Edition OBIDEN Giclee Prin by PaulyPants ts Obama Necklace DESIGNER Obama NEW ERA T-shirt by LePhotique by 57thirtythree
  36. 36. Ladder of citizen participation Arnstein, Sherry R. "A Ladder of Citizen Participation," JAIP, Vol. 35, No. 4, July 1969 http://lithgow-schmidt.dk/sherry-arnstein/ladder-of-citizen-participation.html
  37. 37. Social Technographics Ladder Social Technographics Ladder from Groundswell, Forrester Research (2008) http://blogs.forrester.com/groundswell/2007/04/forresters_new_.html
  38. 38. Tiers of Social Media Engagement Recruit others to donate ADVOCATE Create a group Host an event Post pictures/videos SOCIAL Write a blog post Join a group Create a profile PERSONAL Post a comment Make a donation Sign up for e-mail/SMS Friend on social networks “Barack Obama’s Social Media Toolkit” by Monte Lutz (Feb 2009) http://www.slideshare.net/montelutz/social-pulpit-barack-obamas-social-media-toolkit
  39. 39. Thank you Reach me at @brainopera or http://theory.isthereason.com
  40. 40. Questions?

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