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GAMIFIN 2019 Conference Keynote: How to fail at #gamification research

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Lennart Nacke describes the many ways that failure is important and necessary for iterative design and development of gamification research. He outlines several ways that current gamification research can improve on experiments, execution, and publication of gamification studies. He touches on areas of game thinking, user experience, and design to tie all the examples of failure together into a call for honest design and research in gamification.

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GAMIFIN 2019 Conference Keynote: How to fail at #gamification research

  1. 1. HOW TO FAIL AT #GAMIFICATION RESEARCH Lennart Nacke, PhD Associate Professor The Games Institute and Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business @acagamic | slideshare.net/acagamic | linkedin.com/in/nacke/ *Thanks, Henrik!
  2. 2. OVERVIEW OF HOW TO FAIL 1. WHY FAILING IS NECESSARY 2. FAILING AT GAMIFICATION EXPERIMENTS 3. FAILING TO UNDERSTAND AND DO GAMIFICATION 4. FAILING AT WRITING GAMIFICATION PAPERS 5. SUMMARY
  3. 3. WHY FAILING IS NECESSARY
  4. 4. WHAT DID GOOGLE LEARN? • Keep expectations in check • Be clear about your products purpose • Do not launch before features are ready • Offer value to customers
  5. 5. TWITTER DEVELOPED FROM A FAILED PODCASTING APP
  6. 6. FROM ODEO TO TWITTER • Only a few people interested in creating audio • They did a design brainstorm to fix their idea of making everyone a creator • Writing is easier than creating audio • Pivot to Twitter in 2006, a listening and writing tool in 140 characters
  7. 7. SLACK EMERGED FROM A FAILED VIDEO GAME
  8. 8. GLITCH WAS BASED ON SOFTWARE TOOLS THAT BECAME SLACK • Slack used to be a game developer called Tiny Speck • Glitch was a multiplayer game they developed • Whimsical illustrated characters and cooperative, nonviolent gameplay • Of course that would never be successful ;) • Slack used the tech Glitch used for synching • Slackbot came from a pet rock in Glitch that explained the game world
  9. 9. ABRAHAM WALD AND SURVIVORSHIP BIAS
  10. 10. IN WHICH AREAS OF THE B-29 SHOULD WE ADD ARMOR?
  11. 11. FAILING AT GAMIFICATION EXPERIMENTS
  12. 12. DO WE FALL PRAY TO SURVIVORSHIP BIAS IN GAMIFICATION RESEARCH? POST HOC ERGO PROPTER HOC?
  13. 13. WE NEED AN OPEN SCIENCE COLLABORATION FOR GAMIFICATION SHARE DATA AND REPLICATE STUDIES
  14. 14. 273 EMPIRICAL GAMIFICATION STUDIES • What if data from all of these studies or even the review database were shared among us? • How to find emerging focus areas beyond • Health • Crowdsourcing • Social networking • The non-significant, non-empirical, non-successful gamification approaches are not catalogued – we cannot review them (Jonna, Apu?) Koivisto, J., & Hamari, J. (2019). The rise of motivational information systems: A review of gamification research. International Journal of Information Management, 45, 191-210.
  15. 15. MY OWN STORY OF FAILURE • Published BrainHex in 2014, but the analysis was flawed • Basically a failure, even though it became highly popular and well-cited • Revisited the data in 2015 with my research team • First fixing attempt in 2018: • Gustavo Fortes Tondello, Deltcho Valtchanov, Adrian Reetz, Rina R. Wehbe, Rita Orji & Lennart E. Nacke (2018): Towards a Trait Model of Video Game Preferences, International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction, DOI: 10.1080/10447318.2018.1461765 • Next attempt in 2019: • Just accepted into INTERACT 2019: Tondello et al.: “I don’t fit into a single type”: A Trait Model and Scale of Game Playing Preference
  16. 16. FROM 7 NON-VALID TYPES TO 5 TRAITS •7 types collapsed into: •action orientation (Conqueror, Daredevil) •aesthetic orientation (Socializer, Seeker) •goal orientation (Mastermind, Achiever, Survivor) •Suggested additions: •social orientation •immersion orientation
  17. 17. FAILING TO UNDERSTAND AND DO GAMIFICATION
  18. 18. START WITH WHY What? How? WHY? Sinek’s Golden Circle
  19. 19. Apple changing the music industry
  20. 20. Apple catching up with Steam…
  21. 21. WHAT DOES GAMIFICATION RESEARCH NEED? • We keep doing studies on points, badges, and leaderboards – there is so much more to build with • Let’s not turn into Apple... • Where are our conceptual models? • What is the purpose of our research? How do we move past user engagement? • Gamification for wellbeing? Improving lives?
  22. 22. OUR GAMEFUL EXPERIENCE MODEL • Gameful experience as fundamental state of gameplay • Gameful systems defined by qualities of interventions and environments that create gameful experiences • Gameful design is the process of creating these systems • Gamefulness is then: designer actions, system characteristics, or the user’s psychological experience Landers, R. N., Tondello, G. F., Kappen, D. L., Collmus, A. B., Mekler, E. D., & Nacke, L. E. (2018). Defining gameful experience as a psychological state caused by gameplay: Replacing the term ‘Gamefulness’ with three distinct constructs. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies.
  23. 23. IS THERE REALLY A DARK SIDE OF GAMIFICATION? https://darkpatterns.org
  24. 24. WHY ARE WE NOT WORKING MORE WITH INDUSTRY? • There are great models out there done by gameful designers that we can use and run studies on • Example: Hexad (we did several studies) • But also Gamified.UK’s 52 gamification mechanics and elements • Many more models out there that help us actually do gameful designs beyond our simple implementations • Let’s look at an example
  25. 25. Design for Skill-Building Your users needs and goals change over time. Know their journey and design with the journey in mind. 26Players Journey By Amy Jo Kim, see http://amyjokim.com/blog/2014/04/08/the-players-journey/ Your users learn your systems as a visitor first, then a newcomer, a regular, and finally they become experts or enthusiasts. Build a core learning loop first as a simple version of the regular user experience you are creating.
  26. 26. Stage 1: Discovery This stage is for visitors or people who have not yet used your service or product, here you show your value proposition. What do most important early customers need to learn during Discovery? Amy Jo Kim. Game Thinking Explained. https://medium.com/@amyjokim/game-thinking-explained-fa6da3e8debb
  27. 27. Stage 2: Onboarding This stage is for newcomers, who are using the product or service but need to learn and get value out of it quickly. What are the most important skills to develop / things to learn during Onboarding? Amy Jo Kim. Game Thinking Explained. https://medium.com/@amyjokim/game-thinking-explained-fa6da3e8debb
  28. 28. Stage 3: Habit-building This is the hook or core loop in your application that the user keeps coming back to: a pleasurable, repeatable activity. What repeatable, pleasurable activity will pull people back for Habit-building? Amy Jo Kim. Game Thinking Explained. https://medium.com/@amyjokim/game-thinking-explained-fa6da3e8debb
  29. 29. FOCUS POINT: The Learning Loop How to create habit-building experiences • Cues and triggers • Internal, Situational, External, Engaged • What’s the internal trigger/urge/need that drives someone to seek out my product? • Repeatable pleasurable activity • Triggered by emotion • Internal urge or need • In games, we call this a core mechanic (a rule in action) • Skill-building feedback • Provide feedback and help players improve • Feedback loops to help people get better at core activity • Progress and investment • Show a progress and investment path • Allow users to customize, build, collect Amy Jo Kim. Game Thinking Explained. https://medium.com/@amyjokim/game-thinking-explained-fa6da3e8debb
  30. 30. Stage 4: Mastery In games, this is the late/elder game; only your best customers experience this, building full customization and community. What powers, access, roles, or privileges can they earn/unlock for achieving Mastery? Amy Jo Kim. Game Thinking Explained. https://medium.com/@amyjokim/game-thinking-explained-fa6da3e8debb
  31. 31. How might we address… Put hurdles/enablers here Put fitting design lens/category here Put desired change here (, using ) to achieve ? Thanks to Sebastian Deterding for the examples.
  32. 32. How might we address… AVOID WORKER ERRORS Put fitting design lens/category here WAREHOUSE SELECTION TASKS (, using ) to achieve ? http://www.funkydesignspaces.com/plex/
  33. 33. How might we address… AVOID WORKER ERRORS Put fitting design lens/category here WAREHOUSE SELECTION TASKS (, using ) to achieve ? http://getmentalnotes.com/
  34. 34. FAILING AT WRITING GAMIFICATION PAPERS
  35. 35. START WITH THE END IN MIND • Write focused on the WHY • Consider your contribution to the field • Read Jonna’s reviews • Situated your work in the gamification space and be clear about how to expand the field • Consider reporting long-term studies • If you can, then consider doing a randomized controlled trial or a replication study
  36. 36. SUMMARY • Let’s embrace failure as scientists • More replication of results • Build a stronger field and stay accountable • Rapid pivoting and better improvement similar to industry • Let’s get inspired by industry
  37. 37. Questions? Get in touch HCI Games Group, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada Web: www.hcigames.com Twitter: @hcigamesgroup @acagamic Facebook: facebook.com/hcigames E-Mail: lennart.nacke@acm.org Phone: (+1) 519-888-4567 x38251 BUYGamesUserResearch(OxfordUniversityPress)

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