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EXTRINSIC REWARDS
              INTRINSIC REWARDS
              THE GAMIFICATION OF MOTIVATION




JEROME SUDAN
PLAYFULWINGMEN.COM
MARCH 2013
WHAT IS GAMIFICATION?
 Gamification is the incorporation of game design thinking, methodologies, rules, dynamics (interactions
between user and system), mechanics, aesthetics (overall experience) and elements in non-game contexts
 and environments, in order to playfully induce user behaviors and - hopefully - improve their experience.




                                                                                       Visuals: Aled Lewis 2
THE MANY FACES OF GAMIFICATION
     Over the past few years, “gamification” has taken a wild ride alongside Gartner’s hype cycle;
        invading all kinds of areas: productivity, food recommendation, employee motivation,
          financial monitoring, task management, skill development, fitness, education, etc.




STACK OVERFLOW                RIBBON HERO                 FOODSPOTTING                   FARMVILLE
  PROGRAMMING                 PRODUCTIVITY            FOOD RECOMMENDATION                  GAMES




    GETGLUE               VIRGIN HEALTHMILES               MINDBLOOM                    CHORE WARS
CONTENT DISCOVERY           EMPLOYEES’ HEALTH                LIFE GOALS                  HOUSEWORK




    EPIC WIN                    NIKE PLUS                 HEALTH MONTH                   DUOLINGO
LIFE ORGANIZATION                FITNESS                  HEALTHY LIVING             LANGUAGE LEARNING
GAMIFICATION IS NOT MIND CONTROL
Gamification’s conveniently catchy, palatable and click-friendly name came to the detriment
   of the understanding of what it’s truly about, reducing the concept to its most easily
accessible aspect: the layering of game-like mechanics on top of any pre-existing structure.
A modern take on the stick & carrot love story; with the similar assumption that its audience
 refused to evolve beyond a perpetually hungry, narrow-visioned object: a frenzied donkey.




                                                                             Visual: Museo Tamayo 4
WHAT IS EFFECTIVE GAMIFICATION, THEN?
    Effective gamification arises from the understanding of a fundamental - and brilliantly
  documented - distinction between extrinsic and intrinsic motivational triggers, which is the
  distinction between a food-craving addict and a dedicated donkey on a mission; throwing
sacrificial wooden barrels at a chubby plumber to preserve his hearfelt sense of power, control,
                         and disturbingly misplaced inter-species love.




                                                                              Visual: Peter Hebeisen 5
WHAT ARE EXTRINSIC REWARDS?
  Extrinsic rewards are not about the thing you are doing or the task you’re trying to
  achieve. They are rewards that come from the outside: a set of techniques, design
patterns and mechanics that hopes to tickle users’ curiosity, motivation, and behaviors.
 They are tangible, expected, and arguably gimmicky. They are the distracting carrot.
         The trick and treat. Colorful, yet ultimately meaningless on its own.




ACHIEVEMENTS             PROGRESS                 CONTENT               REPUTATION
     Awards                   Levels                  Quests              Leaderboards
     Trophies                 Score                  Missions               Ranking
     Badges                   Points              Virtual Goods              Rating




                                                                                           6
THE INCREASING FOCUS
ON EXTRINSIC REWARDS
As pre-packaged, neatly-structured gamification
platforms have grown in popularity (Bunchball,
BigDoor, BadgeVille, Gigya, SCVNGR, among
others), the side-effects of focusing on extrinsic
rewards have been made more and more evident.
The prevalence of shortsighted motivational
mechanics means that users will focus on
the task to accomplish rather than the
creative solution to discover.




                                    Visual: Shutterstock 7
THE SHORTCOMINGS OF EXTRINSIC REWARDS
 Extrinsic rewards make you a spectator of progress rather than the autonomous agent surfing the
   learning curve. They increase stakes, thus causing stress (MIT study). They belittle the tasks by
 applying a value to them. They trigger undesired behaviors and have you chase the wrong rabbits
 (Chris Hecker smartly coined it “Metric fetishism”, we prefer heavy-handed animalistic analogies).
Sebastian Deterding puts it best: “extrinsic rewards turn games into work” - rather than the reverse.
    A perspective similar to Alfie Kohn’s “rewards turn play into work, and work into drudgery”.




                                                                                 Visual: Platinum FMD 8
IT’S NEVER “JUST A GAME”
If you take a closer look at reverred games out there, game mechanics are never the
   core of the fruit (or in our case, vegetable). Stripping down the extrinsic rewards
  from these games does not - and should not - impact the main qualities and inner
  enjoyment of the experience. Reducing game design to its flashy mechanics shifts
    focus from the real roots of playful behaviors: intrinsic rewards and motivators.


                                                                          Visual: Penny Arcade 9
WHAT ARE INTRINSIC REWARS?
Intrinsic rewards come from within. They tap into higher motivators and positive emotions
     (“aesthetics”): overcoming challenges, self-driven learning, the thrill of autonomy,
       belonging, power, mastery, meaning, pride, curiosity, surprise, social validation,
              renewed interest, peer recognition of internal accomplishments.
The craft is in providing a sense of inner progress that results in a meaningful journey for
the player, no matter what kind of player they are (see Bartle’s archetypes of gamers) or
         what type of fun they are having (see Marc Le Blanc’s 8 types of fun or
               Nicole Lazarro’s 4 keys to fun for good models on the topic).
                                                                                               10
CRAFTING A PLAYFUL EXPERIENCE
     A crucial part of the design process is in the engagement and feedback loops.
Not as a flashy, epileptic, and controlling scoring card; but as a documentation of internal
   accomplishments that relies on a great game in the first place. Sure you can collect
awards and trophies, share them on Facebook; but the real sense of progress comes from
within, from informational feedback that validates the 3 essential elements of “Drive” (as
 defined by Daniel H. Pink): autonomy (the desire to direct our own lives), mastery (the
 urge to get increasingly better at something that matters) and purpose (the yearning to
      do what we do in the context and service of something larger than ourselves).




                                                                                               11
REDEFINING GAMIFICATION
If we dare to put labels upon it, effective gamification is about playful design (or “gameful
   design”). It’s about the leverage of game design philosophy to drive engagement by
providing meaningful feedback and reinforcement for learners - when it is appropriate to
        do so. As Mozuku puts it: gamification is the delightification of feedback.
   Different names for the same thing perhaps, but a great occasion to separate the
  superficial hacks (extrinsic layers) from the harder-to-achieve virtues (intrinsic joys).




                                                                              Visual: Erik Johansson 12
JEROME SUDAN
@PLAYFULWINGMEN
PLAYFULWINGMEN.COM

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Gamification - Extrinsic vs. Intrinsic Rewards

  • 1. EXTRINSIC REWARDS INTRINSIC REWARDS THE GAMIFICATION OF MOTIVATION JEROME SUDAN PLAYFULWINGMEN.COM MARCH 2013
  • 2. WHAT IS GAMIFICATION? Gamification is the incorporation of game design thinking, methodologies, rules, dynamics (interactions between user and system), mechanics, aesthetics (overall experience) and elements in non-game contexts and environments, in order to playfully induce user behaviors and - hopefully - improve their experience. Visuals: Aled Lewis 2
  • 3. THE MANY FACES OF GAMIFICATION Over the past few years, “gamification” has taken a wild ride alongside Gartner’s hype cycle; invading all kinds of areas: productivity, food recommendation, employee motivation, financial monitoring, task management, skill development, fitness, education, etc. STACK OVERFLOW RIBBON HERO FOODSPOTTING FARMVILLE PROGRAMMING PRODUCTIVITY FOOD RECOMMENDATION GAMES GETGLUE VIRGIN HEALTHMILES MINDBLOOM CHORE WARS CONTENT DISCOVERY EMPLOYEES’ HEALTH LIFE GOALS HOUSEWORK EPIC WIN NIKE PLUS HEALTH MONTH DUOLINGO LIFE ORGANIZATION FITNESS HEALTHY LIVING LANGUAGE LEARNING
  • 4. GAMIFICATION IS NOT MIND CONTROL Gamification’s conveniently catchy, palatable and click-friendly name came to the detriment of the understanding of what it’s truly about, reducing the concept to its most easily accessible aspect: the layering of game-like mechanics on top of any pre-existing structure. A modern take on the stick & carrot love story; with the similar assumption that its audience refused to evolve beyond a perpetually hungry, narrow-visioned object: a frenzied donkey. Visual: Museo Tamayo 4
  • 5. WHAT IS EFFECTIVE GAMIFICATION, THEN? Effective gamification arises from the understanding of a fundamental - and brilliantly documented - distinction between extrinsic and intrinsic motivational triggers, which is the distinction between a food-craving addict and a dedicated donkey on a mission; throwing sacrificial wooden barrels at a chubby plumber to preserve his hearfelt sense of power, control, and disturbingly misplaced inter-species love. Visual: Peter Hebeisen 5
  • 6. WHAT ARE EXTRINSIC REWARDS? Extrinsic rewards are not about the thing you are doing or the task you’re trying to achieve. They are rewards that come from the outside: a set of techniques, design patterns and mechanics that hopes to tickle users’ curiosity, motivation, and behaviors. They are tangible, expected, and arguably gimmicky. They are the distracting carrot. The trick and treat. Colorful, yet ultimately meaningless on its own. ACHIEVEMENTS PROGRESS CONTENT REPUTATION Awards Levels Quests Leaderboards Trophies Score Missions Ranking Badges Points Virtual Goods Rating 6
  • 7. THE INCREASING FOCUS ON EXTRINSIC REWARDS As pre-packaged, neatly-structured gamification platforms have grown in popularity (Bunchball, BigDoor, BadgeVille, Gigya, SCVNGR, among others), the side-effects of focusing on extrinsic rewards have been made more and more evident. The prevalence of shortsighted motivational mechanics means that users will focus on the task to accomplish rather than the creative solution to discover. Visual: Shutterstock 7
  • 8. THE SHORTCOMINGS OF EXTRINSIC REWARDS Extrinsic rewards make you a spectator of progress rather than the autonomous agent surfing the learning curve. They increase stakes, thus causing stress (MIT study). They belittle the tasks by applying a value to them. They trigger undesired behaviors and have you chase the wrong rabbits (Chris Hecker smartly coined it “Metric fetishism”, we prefer heavy-handed animalistic analogies). Sebastian Deterding puts it best: “extrinsic rewards turn games into work” - rather than the reverse. A perspective similar to Alfie Kohn’s “rewards turn play into work, and work into drudgery”. Visual: Platinum FMD 8
  • 9. IT’S NEVER “JUST A GAME” If you take a closer look at reverred games out there, game mechanics are never the core of the fruit (or in our case, vegetable). Stripping down the extrinsic rewards from these games does not - and should not - impact the main qualities and inner enjoyment of the experience. Reducing game design to its flashy mechanics shifts focus from the real roots of playful behaviors: intrinsic rewards and motivators. Visual: Penny Arcade 9
  • 10. WHAT ARE INTRINSIC REWARS? Intrinsic rewards come from within. They tap into higher motivators and positive emotions (“aesthetics”): overcoming challenges, self-driven learning, the thrill of autonomy, belonging, power, mastery, meaning, pride, curiosity, surprise, social validation, renewed interest, peer recognition of internal accomplishments. The craft is in providing a sense of inner progress that results in a meaningful journey for the player, no matter what kind of player they are (see Bartle’s archetypes of gamers) or what type of fun they are having (see Marc Le Blanc’s 8 types of fun or Nicole Lazarro’s 4 keys to fun for good models on the topic). 10
  • 11. CRAFTING A PLAYFUL EXPERIENCE A crucial part of the design process is in the engagement and feedback loops. Not as a flashy, epileptic, and controlling scoring card; but as a documentation of internal accomplishments that relies on a great game in the first place. Sure you can collect awards and trophies, share them on Facebook; but the real sense of progress comes from within, from informational feedback that validates the 3 essential elements of “Drive” (as defined by Daniel H. Pink): autonomy (the desire to direct our own lives), mastery (the urge to get increasingly better at something that matters) and purpose (the yearning to do what we do in the context and service of something larger than ourselves). 11
  • 12. REDEFINING GAMIFICATION If we dare to put labels upon it, effective gamification is about playful design (or “gameful design”). It’s about the leverage of game design philosophy to drive engagement by providing meaningful feedback and reinforcement for learners - when it is appropriate to do so. As Mozuku puts it: gamification is the delightification of feedback. Different names for the same thing perhaps, but a great occasion to separate the superficial hacks (extrinsic layers) from the harder-to-achieve virtues (intrinsic joys). Visual: Erik Johansson 12