9.5 Theses
on the power and efficacy
of gamification
Sebastian Deterding (@dingstweets)
Interflex »Games, Life, and Utopia...
1Gamification is
the cool new kid in town.
Productivity
Sustainability
Activism
Life
In Business Bibles
On Google Trends
On the Gartner Hype Curve
http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1763814
Everywhere
The blueprint (still)
Points
Tracking, Feedback
Badges
Goals, surprise
Leaderboards
Competition
Incentives
Rewards
The Enablers
success stories
sensors & analytics practices & discourses
2Gamification is
nothing new.
»Mowing the lawn or waiting in a
dentist’s office can become enjoyable
provided on restructures the activity by
providing ...
Precursors
(1980+)
man as computer
Cognitive sciences
man as machine
Ergonomics
man as meaning-maker
Human sciences
Repurp...
Precursors (1980-)
Repurposings (2001-)
Dennis Chao, Doom as an Interface for
Process Management (2001)
Louis von Ahn, Games with a Purpose (...
User Experience (2002-)
Game UX (2002-)
“Ludic Design” (2002-)
Playfulness (2005-)
CSCW (2005-)
Persuasive Technology (2006-)
Precursors
(1980+)
Repurposings
(2001+)
UX
(2002+)
Hedonic attributes
Game UX
Playfulness
(2005+)
Persuasive Tech
(2006+)
...
Precursors
(1980+)
Repurposings
(2001+)
UX
(2002+)
Hedonic attributes
Game UX
Playfulness
(2005+)
Persuasive Tech
(2006+)
...
Serious Games (1960-)
Digital Serious Games (2001-)
Serious Gaming (2006-)
Alternate Reality Games (2001-)
Pervasive Games (2001-)
Ludification of Culture (2006-)
3
Gamification is
the use of game design
elements in non-game
contexts.
Gamification:
The use of
game design elements
in non-game contexts
Gamification:
The use of
game design elements
in non-game contexts
Gaming, not playing
Gaming
Playing
Gaming, not playing
Roger Caillois
man, play, and games (1958)
LudusPaidia
play
improvisation
tumultuous
immoderate
game
skill, effort
ordered...
Elements, not whole systems
Systems Elements
Elements, not whole systems
Game Design Elements
Game-based technology
Controllers, AI, 3D
engines, ...
Game-based practices Serious Gaming
Game-based...
Non-Game Contexts
System
Elements
Gaming
Playing
gamification(serious) games
playful design(serious) toys
4Gamification is
not very playful.
Roger Caillois
man, play, and games (1958)
LudusPaidia
play
improvisation
tumultuous
immoderate
game
skill, effort
ordered...
…vs.Quality andVarietyTrust and Safety
http://www.flickr.com/photos/titanas/1051688629/sizes/o/
Surprise
Expressive, generative toys
…vs.Quality andVarietyBenign Breaks of Social Rules
Room for Mischief
5Gamification is
thinking inside the box.
The Box
The BoxGame
A designed artifact
The BoxGame
A designed artifact
The BoxGame
A designed artifact
Playing
A frame of engagement
debugging
playtesting/reviewing
presenting gameplay
making a machinima
a scientific study
learning (serious games)
sports ...
“I need to be very routinized;
I mustn’t let myself drift.”
“I hammer it through.”
“Often, you have to force yourself to d...
“Sometimes, you have to play,
you have to get further –
and then, play is work.”
Question
When work can make the
best game tedious,
why should games make
work engaging?
Sociotechnical systems
Information ecologies
Situated action
Embodied interaction
Social contextures
...
Question
What about context?
“Sometimes, you have to play,
you have to get further –
and then, play is work.”
Johan Huizinga
»First and foremost,
all play is a voluntary
activity.«
homo ludens (1938)
Johan Huizinga
»First and foremost,
all play is a voluntary
activity.«
homo ludens (1938)
a.k.a.
“autonomy”
6 Gamification is
an inadvertent con.
Margaret Robertson
»Gamification is an inadvertent con. It
tricks people into believing that there’s a
simple way to imbue...
Confusion
#1
Earn 1,000,000,000,000 points
Score: 964,000,000,000,000
(You rock!)
Raph Koster
»Fun is just another word
for learning.«
a theory of fun for game design (2005)
Raph Koster
»Fun from games arises out of mastery. It
arises out of comprehension. It is the act
of solving puzzles that m...
Feedback without challenge
http://www.flickr.com/photos/diego_rivera/4261964210
Extrinsic motivation
Intrinsic motivation
http://www.flickr.com/photos/areyoumyrik/308908967
Edward Deci, Richard Ryan
»An understanding of human motivation
requires a consideration of innate
psychological needs for...
The fun in playing games
chiefly arises from
intrinsic enjoyment, not
extrinsic incentives.
Con(fusion) number 1
Confusion
#2
Confusion
#2
Theodore Sturgeon
»Ninety percent
of everything is crud.«
sturgeon‘s revelation (1958)
Games are not fun because
they‘re games, but when
they are well-designed.
Con(fusion) number 2
7 Gamification is
promising to designers.
As a source of patterns
As a source of lenses/heuristics
As a source of models
Hard Fun
Fiero
People Fun
Amusement
Easy Fun
Curiosity
Serious
Fun
Relaxation
emotion < choice < mec...
As a source of methods
As a field
8Gamification is
worth researching.
Motivational Design
Marrying the psychology
of motivation with the
practice of design.
Topic
#1
Rule Design Studies
The holistic study and
design of rule systems.
Topic
#2
Law
Economics
Sociology
CS
Game Studies
Governance
Public Policy
Interpretation
Social order
Institutionalization
Scripts ...
Play Studies
Understanding playing and
gaming in their relation to
games and toys.
Topic
#3
Player Studies
Player Studies
Are you “playing” or “using” it?
(IMHO)
9“Gamification” is
a terrible word to use.
Ian Bogost
»Unlike liars, bullshitters have no use for
the truth. All that matters to them is
hiding their ignorance or br...
Ian Bogost
»This is why gamification is such an
effective term. It keeps the term game and
puts it right up in front, draw...
What is a “game element”?*
* Most game definitions have multiple necessary conditions
Issue
#2
gamification
Rules
Goals
Avatars
Story
Redeemable rewards
Commitment
Analytics
Notifications
Comments
Quantitative feedback
gamification
Rules
Goals
Avatars
Story
not game-specific
Redeemable rewards
Commitment
Analytics
Notifications
Comments
Qu...
gamification
Rules
Goals
Avatars
Story
not game-specific
Redeemable rewards
Commitment
Analytics
Notifications
Comments
no...
Remember “Playfulness”?
Gamefulness!
System/Artefact
Elements
Gaming
Playing
gamification(serious) games
playful design(serious) toys
System/Artefact
Elements
Gaming
Playing
gamification(serious) games
playful design(serious) toys
Quality/mode
System/Artefact
Elements
Gaming
Playing
gamification(serious) games
playful design(serious) toys
Gameful Design
Quality/mo...
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
Gamification is the cool new kid in town.
Gamification is nothing new.
Gamification is the use of game d...
9.5Ceterum Censeo
You should all read
The Well-Played Game
»It is through a community of people
who care more about fun than winning
that the Well-Played Game happens.«
Bernie de Ko...
»Inscribed in gold in our flag
is the motto If you can’t play it,
change it, and woven into our
banner are the words
If it...
sebastian@codingconduct.cc
@dingstweets
codingconduct.cc
Thank You.
9.5 Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Gamification
9.5 Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Gamification
9.5 Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Gamification
9.5 Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Gamification
9.5 Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Gamification
9.5 Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Gamification
9.5 Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Gamification
9.5 Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Gamification
9.5 Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Gamification
9.5 Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Gamification
9.5 Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Gamification
9.5 Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Gamification
9.5 Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Gamification
9.5 Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Gamification
9.5 Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Gamification
9.5 Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Gamification
9.5 Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Gamification
9.5 Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Gamification
9.5 Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Gamification
9.5 Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Gamification
9.5 Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Gamification
9.5 Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Gamification
9.5 Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Gamification
9.5 Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Gamification
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9.5 Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Gamification

  1. 1. 9.5 Theses on the power and efficacy of gamification Sebastian Deterding (@dingstweets) Interflex »Games, Life, and Utopia« Conference November 11, 2011, Potsdam c b
  2. 2. 1Gamification is the cool new kid in town.
  3. 3. Productivity
  4. 4. Sustainability
  5. 5. Activism
  6. 6. Life
  7. 7. In Business Bibles
  8. 8. On Google Trends
  9. 9. On the Gartner Hype Curve http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1763814
  10. 10. Everywhere
  11. 11. The blueprint (still) Points Tracking, Feedback Badges Goals, surprise Leaderboards Competition Incentives Rewards
  12. 12. The Enablers success stories sensors & analytics practices & discourses
  13. 13. 2Gamification is nothing new.
  14. 14. »Mowing the lawn or waiting in a dentist’s office can become enjoyable provided on restructures the activity by providing goals, rules, and the other elements of enjoyment to be reviewed below.« flow: the psychology of optimal experience Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  15. 15. Precursors (1980+) man as computer Cognitive sciences man as machine Ergonomics man as meaning-maker Human sciences Repurposings (2001+) UX (2002+) Hedonic attributes Game UX Ludic design (2002+) Playfulness (2005+) CSCW (2005+) Persuasive Tech (2006+) Harrison, S., Tatar, D., and Sengers, P. The Three Paradigms of HCI. Proc. AltCHI 2007, ACM Press (2007). HCI Prehistory
  16. 16. Precursors (1980-)
  17. 17. Repurposings (2001-) Dennis Chao, Doom as an Interface for Process Management (2001) Louis von Ahn, Games with a Purpose (2006)
  18. 18. User Experience (2002-)
  19. 19. Game UX (2002-)
  20. 20. “Ludic Design” (2002-)
  21. 21. Playfulness (2005-)
  22. 22. CSCW (2005-)
  23. 23. Persuasive Technology (2006-)
  24. 24. Precursors (1980+) Repurposings (2001+) UX (2002+) Hedonic attributes Game UX Playfulness (2005+) Persuasive Tech (2006+) Ludic design (2002+) CSCW (2005+) Game Studies Prehistory
  25. 25. Precursors (1980+) Repurposings (2001+) UX (2002+) Hedonic attributes Game UX Playfulness (2005+) Persuasive Tech (2006+) Serious Games (1960+) Digital Serious Games (2001+) Alternate Reality/ Pervasive Games (2001+) Serious Gaming (2006+) Ludification of culture (2006+) Ludic design (2002+) CSCW (2005+) Game Studies Prehistory
  26. 26. Serious Games (1960-)
  27. 27. Digital Serious Games (2001-)
  28. 28. Serious Gaming (2006-)
  29. 29. Alternate Reality Games (2001-)
  30. 30. Pervasive Games (2001-)
  31. 31. Ludification of Culture (2006-)
  32. 32. 3 Gamification is the use of game design elements in non-game contexts.
  33. 33. Gamification: The use of game design elements in non-game contexts
  34. 34. Gamification: The use of game design elements in non-game contexts
  35. 35. Gaming, not playing
  36. 36. Gaming Playing Gaming, not playing
  37. 37. Roger Caillois man, play, and games (1958) LudusPaidia play improvisation tumultuous immoderate game skill, effort ordered rule-bound
  38. 38. Elements, not whole systems
  39. 39. Systems Elements Elements, not whole systems
  40. 40. Game Design Elements Game-based technology Controllers, AI, 3D engines, ... Game-based practices Serious Gaming Game-based design Gamification
  41. 41. Non-Game Contexts
  42. 42. System Elements Gaming Playing gamification(serious) games playful design(serious) toys
  43. 43. 4Gamification is not very playful.
  44. 44. Roger Caillois man, play, and games (1958) LudusPaidia play improvisation tumultuous immoderate game skill, effort ordered rule-bound
  45. 45. …vs.Quality andVarietyTrust and Safety
  46. 46. http://www.flickr.com/photos/titanas/1051688629/sizes/o/ Surprise
  47. 47. Expressive, generative toys
  48. 48. …vs.Quality andVarietyBenign Breaks of Social Rules
  49. 49. Room for Mischief
  50. 50. 5Gamification is thinking inside the box.
  51. 51. The Box
  52. 52. The BoxGame A designed artifact
  53. 53. The BoxGame A designed artifact
  54. 54. The BoxGame A designed artifact Playing A frame of engagement
  55. 55. debugging playtesting/reviewing presenting gameplay making a machinima a scientific study learning (serious games) sports (e-sports) work (goldfarming)
  56. 56. “I need to be very routinized; I mustn’t let myself drift.” “I hammer it through.” “Often, you have to force yourself to do it.” “You’re under real pressure.” “It’s extremely exhausting.” “It wears you out.” “My friends usually cannot comprehend how stressful this is.”
  57. 57. “Sometimes, you have to play, you have to get further – and then, play is work.”
  58. 58. Question When work can make the best game tedious, why should games make work engaging?
  59. 59. Sociotechnical systems Information ecologies Situated action Embodied interaction Social contextures ...
  60. 60. Question What about context?
  61. 61. “Sometimes, you have to play, you have to get further – and then, play is work.”
  62. 62. Johan Huizinga »First and foremost, all play is a voluntary activity.« homo ludens (1938)
  63. 63. Johan Huizinga »First and foremost, all play is a voluntary activity.« homo ludens (1938) a.k.a. “autonomy”
  64. 64. 6 Gamification is an inadvertent con.
  65. 65. Margaret Robertson »Gamification is an inadvertent con. It tricks people into believing that there’s a simple way to imbue their thing ... with the psychological, emotional and social power of a great game.« can’t play, won’t play (2009)
  66. 66. Confusion #1
  67. 67. Earn 1,000,000,000,000 points Score: 964,000,000,000,000 (You rock!)
  68. 68. Raph Koster »Fun is just another word for learning.« a theory of fun for game design (2005)
  69. 69. Raph Koster »Fun from games arises out of mastery. It arises out of comprehension. It is the act of solving puzzles that makes games fun. With games, learning is the drug.« a theory of fun for game design (2005)
  70. 70. Feedback without challenge
  71. 71. http://www.flickr.com/photos/diego_rivera/4261964210 Extrinsic motivation
  72. 72. Intrinsic motivation http://www.flickr.com/photos/areyoumyrik/308908967
  73. 73. Edward Deci, Richard Ryan »An understanding of human motivation requires a consideration of innate psychological needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness.« the what and why of goal pursuit (2000)
  74. 74. The fun in playing games chiefly arises from intrinsic enjoyment, not extrinsic incentives. Con(fusion) number 1
  75. 75. Confusion #2
  76. 76. Confusion #2
  77. 77. Theodore Sturgeon »Ninety percent of everything is crud.« sturgeon‘s revelation (1958)
  78. 78. Games are not fun because they‘re games, but when they are well-designed. Con(fusion) number 2
  79. 79. 7 Gamification is promising to designers.
  80. 80. As a source of patterns
  81. 81. As a source of lenses/heuristics
  82. 82. As a source of models Hard Fun Fiero People Fun Amusement Easy Fun Curiosity Serious Fun Relaxation emotion < choice < mechanic > choice > emotion
  83. 83. As a source of methods
  84. 84. As a field
  85. 85. 8Gamification is worth researching.
  86. 86. Motivational Design Marrying the psychology of motivation with the practice of design. Topic #1
  87. 87. Rule Design Studies The holistic study and design of rule systems. Topic #2
  88. 88. Law Economics Sociology CS Game Studies Governance Public Policy Interpretation Social order Institutionalization Scripts (STS) Algorithms Modeling, abstraction, automation, simulation Game Theory Incentives Business processes Design Dynamics & Aesthetics Semiotics
  89. 89. Play Studies Understanding playing and gaming in their relation to games and toys. Topic #3
  90. 90. Player Studies
  91. 91. Player Studies
  92. 92. Are you “playing” or “using” it?
  93. 93. (IMHO)
  94. 94. 9“Gamification” is a terrible word to use.
  95. 95. Ian Bogost »Unlike liars, bullshitters have no use for the truth. All that matters to them is hiding their ignorance or bringing about their own benefit. Gamification is bullshit.« gamification is bullshit (2011) http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/4294/persuasive_games_shell_games.php Issue #1
  96. 96. Ian Bogost »This is why gamification is such an effective term. It keeps the term game and puts it right up in front, drawing attention to the form’s mysterious power. But the kicker comes at the end: the -ify suffix makes applying that medium to any given purpose seem facile and automatic.« exploitationware (2010)
  97. 97. What is a “game element”?* * Most game definitions have multiple necessary conditions Issue #2
  98. 98. gamification Rules Goals Avatars Story Redeemable rewards Commitment Analytics Notifications Comments Quantitative feedback
  99. 99. gamification Rules Goals Avatars Story not game-specific Redeemable rewards Commitment Analytics Notifications Comments Quantitative feedback
  100. 100. gamification Rules Goals Avatars Story not game-specific Redeemable rewards Commitment Analytics Notifications Comments not game-related Quantitative feedback
  101. 101. Remember “Playfulness”?
  102. 102. Gamefulness!
  103. 103. System/Artefact Elements Gaming Playing gamification(serious) games playful design(serious) toys
  104. 104. System/Artefact Elements Gaming Playing gamification(serious) games playful design(serious) toys Quality/mode
  105. 105. System/Artefact Elements Gaming Playing gamification(serious) games playful design(serious) toys Gameful Design Quality/mode
  106. 106. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Gamification is the cool new kid in town. Gamification is nothing new. Gamification is the use of game design elements in non-game contexts. Gamification is not very playful. Gamification is thinking inside the box. Gamification is an inadvertent con. Gamification is promising to designers. Gamification is worth researching. »Gamification« is a terrible word to use.
  107. 107. 9.5Ceterum Censeo You should all read The Well-Played Game
  108. 108. »It is through a community of people who care more about fun than winning that the Well-Played Game happens.« Bernie de Koven the well-played game (1978/2002)
  109. 109. »Inscribed in gold in our flag is the motto If you can’t play it, change it, and woven into our banner are the words If it helps, cheat.« Bernie de Koven the well-played game (1978/2002)
  110. 110. sebastian@codingconduct.cc @dingstweets codingconduct.cc Thank You.
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