Beyond Gamification: Architecting Engagement Through Game Design Thinking

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Gamification is the process of applying game design elements to non-game contexts in order to drive user engagement, influence behavior and improve the user experience associated with digital products and services. Over the past year, the practice of gamification has exploded, fueled by marketing hype, media curiosity and spirited debate. While much of the discussion has revolved around extrinsic reward mechanisms as a panacea for customer loyalty and engagement, the most important and effective motivational dynamics of games have been left on the table.

In this presentation I’ll cut through the hype and draw from the fundamentals of game psychology, double-tapping into the techniques game designers use to motivate, engage and guide players through a game’s lifecycle. In doing so, I’ll lay out a model for architecting user engagement, directing behavior and satisfying the needs of both users and business alike.

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Beyond Gamification: Architecting Engagement Through Game Design Thinking

  1. TODAY’S TALK GOES TO 11.11.11 @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  2. TODAY’S TALK GOES TO 11.11.11 1.  INTRODUCTION 2.  STATE OF GAMIFICATION 3.  DEFINITIONS 4.  MOTIVATION, ENGAGEMENT & MEANING 5.  A FRAMEWORK FOR DESIGN 6.  IN CONCLUSION @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  3. PLAY OR BE PLAYED: THE STATE OF GAMIFICATION HYPE CYCLE: NOV 2010 - PRESENT HYPE! FRENZY! PROFITEERING! HYPERBOLE! @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  4. PLAY OR BE PLAYED: THE STATE OF GAMIFICATION DEBATE! “POINTSTIFICATION” “BADGIFICATION” “EXPLOITATIONWARE” Designers / Researchers / Academics vs. Marketers & Vendors @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  5. A DEFINITION Gamification - The Use of Game Design Elements in Non-Game Contexts. @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  6. THE USUAL SUSPECTS Points Badges Leaderboards Incentives @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  7. NON GAME CONTEXTS : FITNESS @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  8. NON GAME CONTEXTS : FINANCE @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  9. NON GAME CONTEXTS : COMMERCE @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  10. NON GAME CONTEXTS : FUNDRAISING @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  11. NON GAME CONTEXTS : EDUCATION @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  12. NON GAME CONTEXTS : SALES @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  13. NON GAME CONTEXTS : PRODUCTIVITY @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  14. NON GAME CONTEXTS : SUSTAINABILITY Points @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  15. BEYOND GAMIFICATION @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  16. BEYOND GAMIFICATION @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  17. BEYOND GAMIFICATION @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  18. WHAT IS A GAME? @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  19. WHAT IS A GAME?A voluntary, rules-bound experience ofcompetitive strife towards discretegoals or outcomes. @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  20. BUT WHERE’S THE FUN? @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  21. FARMVILLE @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  22. THE PROBLEM WITH FUN IT’S TOO DILUTED OF A CONCEPT It doesn’t distinguish the unique psychological experience of gameplay that leads to SUSTAINED ENGAGEMENT. See: Raph Koster – A Theory of Fun in Games Nicole Lazzaro – Four Keys to Fun Marc Leblanc – Eight Kinds of Fun @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  23. MOTIVATION, ENGAGEMENT & MEANINGFUL INTERACTIONSTOO MUCH FOCUS ON SHALLOW, EXTRINSICREWARDS – POINTS & BADGES –DOES NOT LEAD TO PLAYER SATISFACTIONOR SUSTAINED ENGAGEMENT. @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  24. SELF-DETERMINATION THEORY SDT argues that human beings seek out (and continue to engage in) activities if these promise (and succeed) to satisfy 3 intrinsic motivational needs: @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  25. SELF-DETERMINATION THEORY SDT argues that human beings seek out (and continue to engage in) activities if they promise (and succeed) to satisfy 3 intrinsic motivational needs: @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  26. SELF-DETERMINATION THEORY SELF-DETERMINATION THEORY SDT argues that human beings seek out (and continue to engage in) activities if these promise (and succeed) to satisfy 3 intrinsic motivational needs: @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  27. SELF-DETERMINATION THEORY SELF-DETERMINATION THEORY SDT argues that human beings seek out (and continue to engage in) activities if these promise (and succeed) to satisfy 3 intrinsic motivational needs: @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  28. SELF-DETERMINATION THEORY SELF-DETERMINATION THEORY SDT argues that human beings seek out (and continue to engage in) activities if these promise (and succeed) to satisfy 3 intrinsic motivational needs: @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  29. COMPETENCE: (MEANINGFUL GROWTH) SELF-DETERMINATION THEORY SDT argues that human beings seek out (and continue to engage in) activities if these promise (and succeed) to satisfy 3 intrinsic motivational needs: @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  30. COMPETENCETHE PATH TO MASTERY:+ The “Path To Mastery” is an experience over time+ Nested, short-term achievable goals that lead to success of the overarching long-term goal.+ Wherever a player is on their quest there should be a next goal just around the corner.+ Design appropriate challenges and rewards for all players along Player Experience Lifecycle. N00B –> Enthusiast –> Master @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  31. COMPETENCE: OBJECTIVE, GOALS, ACTIONS! @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  32. COMPETENCE: ARF! @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  33. COMPETENCEEXPERIENCE OF CHALLENGE+ Keep core actions simple to engage players early+ Accelerate the level of challenge as they gain mastery to keep them engaged+ Optimal challenge stretches player ability but doesn’t overwhelm (Flow)+ Allow players to fail gracefully if it can provide an opportunity to learn and grow.MAKE PROGRESS VISIBLE:+ Provide real-time granular, sustained and cumulative feedback on overall performance+ Ensure that progress data is actionable and meaningful to player competence, during immediate play and long-term engagement.+ Utilize reward mechanics to light a blazed path of accomplishment.+ NOT about shiny digital trophies, or badges @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  34. COMPETENCEEXPRESSION OF MASTERY+ After hard-earned rewards, allow players to enjoy and express their dominance+ Sustained engagement is more a function of continued success than feeling continually stretched+ Ease-off dif culty for a short term – Let them Coast.+ Provide social outlets for bragging & peacocking+ Big “Juicy Feedback” for a job well done @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  35. COMPETENCE: JUICY FEEDBACK @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  36. COMPETENCE: JUICY FEEDBACK @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  37. COMPETENCE: JUICY FEEDBACK @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  38. AUTONOMY: (MEANINGFUL CHOICE) SELF-DETERMINATION THEORY SDT argues that human beings seek out (and continue to engage in) activities if these promise (and succeed) to satisfy 3 intrinsic motivational needs: @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  39. AUTONOMYTHE GAME BELONGS TO THE USER+ Choice, control and personal preference lead players to deep engagement and loyalty+ Provide the right feedback (data, info, choices) for players to best make use of their autonomy+ Experience pathways can be designed “on rails” to limit or give the illusion of freedom+ Volitional Engagement: “I nd value in the Actions I am taking.”OPPORTUNITIES FOR ACTION!+ Create “What If?” moments: “What if I did X instead of Y?”+ Provide a variety of ways to engage (competitive, cooperative, solo)+ Provide a sense of increasing opportunities of action that motivate sustained interest: (Challenges, Social Interactions, Secrets, Unlocks, etc.)+ Design multiple pathways leading to the desired end-state @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  40. AUTONOMY: MULTIPLE PATHWAYS @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  41. RELATEDNESS: (MUTUAL DEPENDENCE) SELF-DETERMINATION THEORY SDT argues that human beings seek out (and continue to engage in) activities if these promise (and succeed) to satisfy 3 intrinsic motivational needs: @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  42. RELATEDNESSTHE SPARK OF CONNECTION+ We are intrinsically motivated to seek meaningful connections with others+ Data shows that allowing players to connect with others and build relationships energizes, motivates and sustains ongoing engagement+ Focus on mechanics that allow players to both give and receive support of their goals+ Design for “Moments of Relevance,” allowing players to positively impact each other or the systemBEYOND OTHER PLAYERS+ Provide value to your audience beyond the mechanics that run your system.+ Tap into content that people are passionate about (Health, Wealth, Career, Arts, Pro-Social)+ Provide recognition for actions that matter to your players not just to the business+ Check out the CSCW movement (Computer Supported Cooperative Work)+ Allow users to inject their own long & short term goals into the system @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  43. RELATEDNESS: MINT.COM CASE STUDY @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  44. RELATEDNESS: BEYOND HUMAN @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  45. RELATEDNESS: VOICE AND TONE.COM @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  46. A FRAMEWORK FOR SUCCESS @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  47. A FRAMEWORK FOR SUCCESS @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  48. STEP 1: WHY GAMIFY? CRITICAL STAKEHOLDER QUESTIONS: 1. What is the main reason for Gamifying your product / service? 2. How does it bene t the user? 3. Will they enjoy it? BUSINESS QUESTIONS: What are the goals of the business? How do you get the users to ful ll those goals? What actions do you want your players to take? @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  49. STEP 2: PLAYER PROFILE RESEARCH INSPIRES DESIGN Who are your players? What are their needs and goals? Why are they Playing? What’s holding them back from achieving their potential? Is it lack of volition or lack of faculty? What is their Primary Play Style? (Solo, Competitive, Cooperative) Who are they Playing With? What Social Actions do they nd enjoyable – and why? What Metrics do they care about? @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  50. STEP 2: PLAYER PROFILE MOTIVATIONAL DRIVERS ACHIEVEMENT of goals <–OR–> ENJOYMENT of experience STRUCTURE and guidance <–OR–> FREEDOM to explore CONTROL of others <–OR–> CONNECT with others SELF-INTEREST in actions <–OR–> SOCIAL INTEREST in actions @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  51. STEP 3: GOALS AND OBJECTIVES @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  52. STEP 3: GOALS AND OBJECTIVES THE HERO’S QUEST… The Long Term Goal must be compelling & fairly dif cult to achieve. Can be Mastery of New Skill, A New Habit, An Achievement, A Title or any other pinnacle of personal growth. ONE STEP AT A TIME What must players accomplish in order to reach the ultimate objective? How can you break the journey up into discrete and satisfying challenges that push your players and help them improve? DESIRE TO INSPIRE Figure out a way to make long-term and short-term goals as exciting and aspirational as possible. Go for the Glory. @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  53. STEP 4: SKILLS & ACTIONS MAKING LISTS IS A SKILL Consider what abilities are necessary to succeed in the endeavor. Make a skills list, of ALL the things you can think of that are relevant to your game across the following categories: PHYSICAL SKILLS (walking, running, typing, using a chefs knife) MENTAL SKILLS (pattern recognition, memory, spatial logic, organization) SOCIAL SKILLS (presentation, conversation, meeting new people) TRACK AND MEASURE Choose skills that have long learning curves and can be developed over time. Break longer mastery arcs into smaller nested skill-chains Are the skills you are considering measurable? How might you make them measurable? (monitoring/technology dependent?) @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  54. STEP 5: A LOOK THROUGH LENSES OF INTEREST VIVA LA RESISTANCE! COMPETITION TYPES: Player v Player, Player v System, Self-Directed TIME PRESSURE: Relaxed explorative play or brash tactics get things done play. SCARCITY: Scarcity can add a level of challenge and strategic gameplay. PUZZLES: Problems that promise the existence of a solution. NOVELTY: Change presents a new set of challenges and patterns to Master LEVELS: Telegraph progress, ability and access & Provide Roadmap of Progress SOCIAL PRESSURE/PROOF: The herd must be right TEAMWORK: Can also be resistance when we need to work with others CURRENCY: Anything that can be exchanged for something of value will be sought RENEWALS & POWER-UPS: ‘Unstick’ player & redirect from dead-ends. @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  55. STEP 6: DESIRED OUTCOMES FEEDBACK, REWARDS & RESULTS Positives include both tangible and intangible rewards such as moving up a level Negative might be starting a challenge over. Outcomes can be contingent or scheduled. Players can trigger an outcome based on speci c action they take or based on a time frame within the game. EPIC WIN! The Ultimate Objective (Epic Win!) may take weeks, months, years to achieve but along the way players need to see and feel incremental successes and failures. @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  56. STEP 7: PLAY-TEST & POLISH! @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  57. STEP 7: PLAY-TEST & POLISH! PLATFORMS ARE NEVER DONE Whats working / What isnt? What have you not considered? Is the game personal enough for your players? Do they feel that its tailored to their own unique personality and desires? Are you tapping into Player Experience needs of Competence, Autonomy, & Mastery? What is going to keep it interesting in 10 weeks time? In 8 months time? When player reach the Epic Win! its time to go back to the drawing board. @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  58. IN SUMMARY EVOLUTION Games are motivation engines. Opportunities are ripe to evolve “gami cation” past shallow extrinsic motivational tactics and towards a more balanced “gameful design”. Since video games are designed with the primary purpose of entertainment, shouldn’t they be able to make other non-game products more enjoyable as well? @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  59. EVOLUTION @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  60. Portsmouth | Boston | LouisvilleWe deliver research-inspired designaimed at improving the experiences Dustin DiTommasopeople have with technology, Experience Design Directororganizations, and each other. dustin@madpow.net | @DU5TB1N @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  61. REFERENCES: A PATH TO MASTERY GAME THINKERNic Kelman, “Yes, but is it a game?” from Games : Required essay from a not sorequired book.Raph Koster, A Theory of Fun for Game Design : Fun arises from Learning & MasteryJames Paul Gee, What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning & Literacy :Pairs nicely with Koster’s bookMihály Csikszentmihályi, Flow – The Psychology of Optimal Experience :Many implications for creating engagement architecturesJohan Huizinga, Homo Ludens, A Study of the Play Element in Culture :“All play means something.”Jane McGonigal, Reality is Broken : Serious Games will Save the World @DU5TB1N | #Geekend
  62. REFERENCES: A PATH TO MASTERY GAME MAKERJesse Schell, The Art of Game Design – A Book of Lenses : Tactical and practicalTracy Fullerton, Game Design Workshop : Techniques for Of ine Prototyping and TestingHunicke, Leblanc, Zubek, MDA a Formal Process of Game Design : Origin of theMechanics, Dynamics, Aesthetics frameworkBateman, Boon, 21st Century Game Design : Pragmatic approach to Game Design BONUS PLAYRyan, Deci, The Handbook of Self-Determination Research : Perhaps the most wellresearched psychological theory of intrinsic motivationJames Paul Gee, On Video Games & Situated Learning [VIDEO] : http://bit.ly/jpgeeThe Pac-Man Dossier – A detailed study of every mechanic: http://bit.ly/vzI2QC @DU5TB1N | #Geekend

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