Mar 17, 2014

Key Take-aways from gamification course - Part I


Over the past few months, I have become fascinated with the concept of gamification and the underlying principles linked to motivation theories. When I came across the course on gamification in Coursera, I immediately signed up for it and added to the watch list. The course started around end of Jan and it's just been an amazing learning experience so far - well structured with lots of good insights and examples. Prof.Kevin Werbach is clear with his explanations and there were many "aha" moments and key take-aways so far.

There were 4 important take-aways worth documenting for future reference:

1) A gamified solution in a non-game context should have a definite beginning, middle and an end. The player should know where the game starts, how it progresses and how it ends. The “end” state acts as a “psychological draw” and pushes user further towards it.

2) In any game, players should feel that they are making progress. Progression is not measured only through points or leaderboard. Depending on the player’s motivation, progression can be measured through his increase in problem solving skills, mastery or achievement.

3) Games are engaging because of the “fun” element. The different actions that represent fun are the following:
  • Winning
  • Problem solving
  • Exploring
  • Chilling
  • Teamwork (collaborating with others)
  • Recognition
  • Triumphing (crushing an opponent)
  • Collecting
  • Surprise
  • Imagination
  • Sharing (being altruistic)
  • Role playing
  • Customization
Each individual’s definition of fun will be different and so the game should have a combination of the above actions to cater to different groups of players

4) Games provide an overall experience through the use of game elements and mechanics. Game elements by themselves are not games. Users get burned out, with only PBLs (points, badges, leaderboard). Focus on the experience, narration, aesthetics, visual design.

 I'll add more detailed notes soon after I complete the course.

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