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Gamification: A New Way to Influence Behavior


Published on

9/17/13 IABC Harrisburg presentation

Many slides thanks to Charles Palmer (

Gamification is the concept of applying game techniques to non-game environments. It emerged from customer loyalty programs based primarily on number of purchases.

In the past few years, marketers have expanded upon early customer loyalty programs and applied techniques from games (like story, levels, competition, leaderboards, challenges, etc.) to increase customer engagement, loyalty and, ultimately, purchases & satisfaction.

Unlike basic marketing techniques that depended on purchase frequency or amount to trigger rewards, gamification is often a more frequent reward system with ongoing rewards coming in the form of what is traditionally gameplay feedback.

Beyond marketing, gamification is being used to motivate learners in education and impact behavior change in healthcare.

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Gamification: A New Way to Influence Behavior

  1. 1. Andy Petroski Director & Assistant Professor of Learning Technologies @apetroski
  2. 2. Gamification Increase Brand Loyalty Increase Engagement Change Behavior Differentiate
  3. 3. Gamification the concept of applying game-design thinking to non-game applications to make them more fun and engaging
  4. 4. Gamification Loyalty Programs (redemption) Game Design (engagement) Behavioral Economics (status/reputation)
  5. 5. Some facts… • 2011 Gartner Research Report it is estimated that by 2015, more than 50% of organizations that manage innovation processes will gamify those processes. • The trend has been picking up major momentum over the last two years and has gained support from industry heavy weights such as Bing Gordon, Al Gore, J.P. Rangaswami, Chief Scientist of, and many more. Al Gore talks about how "Games are the new normal" and the power of Gamification at the 2011 Games for Change Festival.
  6. 6. Gamification in Action!
  7. 7. Gamification Loop Challenges Game Play Win/Loss conditions leaderboardsbadges Social networking status Reward System
  8. 8. story character goal obstacles feedback levels      
  9. 9. Juicy Feedback Tactile The player can almost feel the feedback as it is occurring on screen. Feedback is not forced or unnatural within the game play. Inviting It’s something the player desires to achieve, as the player interacts with the game, they want the feedback and work to get the positive feedback. The player is given just the right amount of power and rewards. Repeatable The feedback can be received again and again if the goals, challenges or obstacles are met. Coherent The feedback stays within the context of the game. It is congruent with on screen actions and activities as well as with the storyline unfolding as the interactions occur. Continuous It is not something that the player has to wait for, it occurs as a natural result of interacting within the context of game environment. Emergent It flows naturally from the game, it unfolds in an orderly and well sequenced fashion. It feels like it belongs within the context of the environment, it is not distracting. Balanced The player knows they are receiving feedback and they are reacting based on the feedback but they are not overwhelmed by the feedback or thinking of it as direct feedback. Fresh The feedback is a little surprising contains some unexpected twists and is interesting and inviting. The surprises are welcomed and congruent with the continuous feedback.
  10. 10. Six rules… 1. Understand what constitutes a “win” for the player and organization 2. Expose the player’s intrinsic motivation and progress to mastery 3. Design for the emotional human, not the rational human
  11. 11. Six rules… 4. Develop scalable, meaningful intrinsic and extrinsic rewards 5. Use one of the leading platform vendors to scale your project 6. Most interactions are boring, make everything a little more fun
  12. 12. Too easy Too frustrating But wait… • Creating these types of games is hard work (so what else is new) • Just adding points and badges doesn’t make something fun and an improperly balanced reward system will negatively effect the behavior you are trying to address. • The true magic happens when a player succeeds in a challenge which seemed (or was) daunting and beyond their skill level. • Players are motivated by different things. So we have to consider different experiences for varying player types.
  13. 13. “In some ways it is a fad – adding points and badges in tacky ways, looking at ‘gamification’ as an easy way to make boring things seem interesting – that is a fad. However, the idea of designing business processes so that those who engage in them find them more intrinsically rewarding – that is a long term trend.” - Jesse Schell, CEO Schell Games
  14. 14. Gamify Your Brand|Product|Event
  15. 15. Resources • Vendors – Bunchball, Badgeville, BigDoor, SCVNGR, CrowdTwist, Natron Baxter
  16. 16. Resources • PearlTrees - • Jesse Schell – The Pleasure Revolution • Gabe Zicherman - • • Concept of “Flow” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi -
  17. 17. Resources • Gamification Summit NYC; November 19 • 8 Tips to Create a Killer Gamification Strategy • Harrisburg University – Graduate courses – Workshops – Center for Advanced Entertainment & Learning Technologies – 4 on the 4th at 4
  18. 18. Andy Petroski Director & Assistant Professor of Learning Technologies @apetroski