The gaming industry is huge, and it can keep its audience consumed for hours, days and even weeks. Presentation shows how it all started, some best and worst practices and main principles of gamification.
Introduction to Gamification
by Snizhana Bezhnar
― What is Gamification?
― Psychology and motivation of
― Best Practices
― Gamification Theory
― Game Mechanics and Components
― A fly in the ointment
Gamification is the use of game thinking and game
mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in
solving problems MOTIVATE them to certain
Nick Pelling coined the term “gamification” in
2002, meaning “applying game-like
accelerated user interface design to make
electronic transactions both enjoyable and
How do you motivate
people to certain behavior?
Puzzle Game Foldit
(Washington’s Center for Game
Science) made breakthrough in
AIDS Research that Scientists
couldn’t solve for 15 years
15 Years vs
RPG Diary Game Pain Squad helps
Patients Combat Cancer by providing
both Purpose and Data
Ananth Pai has incorporated games
to teach his students about reading
and mathematics. The result is that
within 4.5 months Mr. Pai's class
went from being a below average
3rd grade class to a mid level 4th
Mr Pai’s Class
Kevin Richardson, game designer at
MTV’s San Francisco office, re-
imagined the speed cameras
experience using game thinking.
When tested at a checkpoint in
Stockholm, average driver speed
was reduced by 20%.
70% of NextJump employees
exercise regularly — enough to
save the company millions in work
attendance and insurance costs
over the medium term — all the
while making the workplace
healthier and happier
Game theory - MDA framework
components of the
game at the level of
A game dynamics can
be defined as a
pattern of loops that
turns them into a
large sequence of play
Is all about making
responses evoked in
Game theory - the Elemental Tetrad (Schell 2008)
the procedures and rules of your game
(“space”, “objects”, “actions”, “rules”,
describes “how your game looks, sounds,
smells, tastes, and feels”
Narrative aspect of the game
refers to the tools and systems used to
implement or deliver the gameplay (e.g.
cardboard game board, mobile phone screen,
Gamification elements pyramid by Professor Kevin Webach’s
How Gamification Taps Into Your Motivation
Motivators Possible Supporters
Autonomy Customisation, Сhoice, Freedom
Mastery Levels, Challenges
Purpose Giving / Altruism, Narrative, Greater Meaning
Status Leaderboards, Achievements,
Social Connections Suggest similar users, Cooperative “play”
Rewards Points, Badges, Achievements, Real stuff, Lotteries
Peer Pressure Peer review / feedback / grading systems, Boasting /
Bragging system, Competitive “play”
Avoidance Lose Points, Lose Status, Game Over
Scarcity Exclusive / Unique Reward, Reward Schedules
Main gamification components
Game components are utilized to reward activity among
customers, employees, or other users.
The five most commonly used components are: Points,
Badges, Levels, Leaderboards, and Challenges.
Achievements, Appointments, Behavioral Momentum, Blissful Productivity, Bonuses,
Cascading Information Theory, Combos, Community Collaboration, Countdown, Discovery, Epic
Meaning, Free Lunch, Infinite Gameplay, Levels, Loss Aversion, Lottery, Ownership, Points, Progression,
Quests, Reward Schedules, Status, Urgent Optimism, Virality...
Increases the running numerical value of users work.
Points are a basic, simple way to obtain feedback on the
things we do, and they motivate us because they provide
Badges can perform a
number of functions for
gamified design, but mostly
they are used to
status and progress.
Ramp up and unlock content.
Levels allow to quickly identify
various involvement levels, as well as
to create different challengers for
users. Users in the higher levels can
be shown more features , and given
much more complex challenges.
Public recognition, status
We all like to win: we all like to be
among the most relevant, influential,
“cool” people, or else among the
strongest, the most intelligent, etc.
A challenge is a call to
engage in a difficult, but
Uncertain outcomes are
challenging because of the
variability depending on
the user’s actions, multiple
goals, hidden information
User types (by Richard Bartle)
A focus on winning, rank
A focus on exploring and a
drive to discover the
A focus on status,
achieving preset goals
quickly and/or completely
A focus on socializing and
a drive to develop a
network of friends
Newsfeeds, Friends list,
Ten factors of flow:
• Clear goals
• A high degree of concentration
• A loss of the feeling of self-consciousness
• Distorted sense of time, one’s subjective
experience of time is altered
• Direct and immediate feedback
• Balance between ability level and challenge
• A sense of personal control over the situation
• The activity is intrinsically rewarding
• A lack of awareness of bodily needs
• Absorption into the activity
Questions to ask yourself before gamifying your
• What is your main reason for gamifying your
• Is your product ready for Gamification?
• What are your goals?
• What are your users goals? What motivates them?
• What are the main benefits you expect to achieve?
Questions to ask yourself during gamifying your
• Do you have Achievements a player would be proud of or
• Do you have the right analytics tools and goals set?
• Do you know where players drop out, where do they lose
• What are the challenges? Do they require skill or luck?
• Have you thoroughly thought about your game design from
a cheater's perspective to see possible exploits they would
Questions to ask yourself during gamifying your
• Do you give players meaningful choices? Would you benefit
from making them more or less frequent?
• How can you give your players more ways to contact or
interact with one another?
• Have you spent enough time on your User Interface and
insuring players really enjoy the graphical elements of the
• Do players value their virtual currency or goods?