Archive for the ‘gamification’ Category

Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us

søndag, juli 24th, 2011

Finally I got to read Daniel Pink’s book: Drive.

It’s a good book, but as someone mentioned you could get a long way with just the talks he has been giving. Nevertheless, the book tells a few truths on the problems with the conventional wisdom popularized by Taylor early in the 1900’s. Assuming that Taylor was wrong - and I must say that I didn’t need Pink to convince me of that, but it’s good to know that I’m not alone in this assumption - what could be a more fitting motivational approach for the 21st century’s workers, the creative minds?

Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose.

Autonomy in what you do, when you do it, who you do it with, and how you do it. As long as you do whatever is needed and in a timely fashion.

Mastery - you will never achieve it, as you can always grow and become better at what you’re doing. Mastery requires the pursuit of the better self.

Purpose - we need a reason beyond Maslow’s needs for doing what we’re doing.

Pink tells us about the Intrinsically motivated (I) and the Extrinsically motivated (X) people. Which kinds of tasks can be seen as fit for extrinsic motivation, e.g. payment, and why something may be better with an intrinsic motivation.

I’m not quite sure, how you’ll go by and ignite the intrinsic motivation for everything, but it sure sounds like a good idea to drill down to the core and find the intrinsic motivation to get going.

Of course, we get the mention of Mark Twain and Tom Sawyer’s whitewashing of Aunt Polly’s fence.

Who should read it?

Anyone! But especially parents, teachers, leaders, and managers.

Gamification by Design

fredag, juni 17th, 2011

The book starts out with what has become Gabe Zichermann’s
standard take on Gamification, and with good reason, as it covers
the basic introduction to the subject, as well as some of the
conundrums, thus we pass by:

  • Broccoli
  • Where in the World is Carmen San Diego
  • Greenstamps
  • 10:1
  • SAPS
  • Project Runway vs. Deal/No Deal

We get a short introduction to Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi,
operant conditioning, Skinner boxes, Bartle player types, and why
people play. These are fundamental things for people in games not
just for people interested in gamification.

I don’t quite get the linear level description:
[PDF] Page 49 “In game design, level difficulty is not linear. In
other words, level one is not half as complex as level two, which is
not half as complex as level three, and so on. Instead, difficulty
increases in a curvilinear form.”

As I read this, then the description says:
lvl1 = 1/2 lvl2
lvl2 = 1/2 lvl3
but then lvl1 = 1/4 lvl3 - this is not linear but a power function:
lvl n = 2^(n-1) lvl1

Which is quite similar to the D&D and AD&D level progression tables, and curvilinear to boot. That said, it is an ‘Early Release’ and it could be fixed.

Then we get to Leaderboards and Badges - the “ooh, I think we can do that”-slap-on and call it Gamification that a lot of people are saying is “the only way” of doing gamification for anything and everything. That is not Gabe’s way of doing it, but as the book is a sort of cookbook, it seems stupid not to touch upon the subject.

The Ruby implementation of a point scoring forum I could live without, but - again - it would seem weird to have a cookbook without examples.

There’s an introduction to Bunchball integration including some rather useful tips on what to be aware of when designing.

The big hit, I would say, is the sadly brief coverage of the virtual economy, this time using BigDoor as an existing API vendor.

All in all: Yet another “required read” by Gabe Zichermann and Christopher Cunningham

Gamebased Marketing

lørdag, marts 12th, 2011

One of the ‘need to read’ books on gamification. The book may seem average and simple, but it is nonetheless worth a read. For anyone serious in the gamification business it is a required read.

The book provides a set of steps for starters into gamification under the premise that gamification should not have to cost the provider any money.

While some of the advice given seems elementary it is still important to follow or at the very least be aware of, e.g. Barrier to entry.

There are a few elements which seem rather American - and I don’t see a way to make this generally acceptable for any culture.

There is - in my mind - no doubt that Gamification will influence our lives in the future. I can’t wait for it to be introduced at a political level.

Gamebased marketing is not about sugaring marketing campaigns, it’s about making playable games first, then tie in the thing you want end users to do.


søndag, januar 23rd, 2011

The idea to use game thinking and game mechanics to solve problems of any kind, raise moral and put an incentive in the hearts of players - which is all of us. It’s funny seeing dogs being trained using quite similar methods.

Games work if they are fun and enticing, but they mainly work for the purposes for which they were built: Entertainment. Sometimes, though, they have a positive side effect in that they actually make the players learn something, if not useful, then at least meaningful. That’s the Mary Poppins notion of “a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.”

Games have been used throughout the ages as means to both entertain and educate - and they do that in an abstract world. The main reason for the sudden hype of gamification is that with internet connected devices we do see a much lower barrier to entry, and the possibility to pick up the game anytime anywhere.

Remove barriers to entry. Automate any mechanical tasks

Taking the card shuffle out of Solitaire or Patience games - or Poker for that matter - doesn’t improve on the gameplay as such, but it makes it a lot easier to pick up the game as well as play it.

Games can be anywhere

It doesn’t have to be a game - it could just be playful behavior, e.g. the VW initiative The Fun Theory - I’m thinking about the Piano Staircase, which reminds me of the piano floor in the 1988 movie “Big” starring Tom Hanks.

Many things are possible if the right idea and implementation arises. Be inspired try out some ideas for yourself, test and tweak them. Dive into the psychology behind predictability of people, the choices we make, and what really drives us.