Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Applying Game Mechanics to Functional Software

I am very skeptical about gamification in enterprise software and deeply suspicious about the hype around it in my company and outside. I have been searching for a while for a good introduction to behavioral mechanics that engage people. I found this talk by Amy Jo Kim very useful for the kind of work I do. She has worked in areas where social media and game mechanics intersect.

Game mechanics change people's behavior
Games engage us in flow, unfolding challenges over time to the player
The 5 foundational elements of game mechanics are

  • Collecting
    • The power of completing a set
  • Points
    • Game points are points given by system
    • Social points are given by other players. They drive collaboration.
    • Redeemable points drive loyalty in those who care
    • Leader boards drive player behavior such as competitive behavior
    • Levels are short hand of points earned.
  • Feedback
    • Feedback accelerates drive to mastery.
    • Feedback is fun
    • Social Feedback is more powerful than system feedback
  • Exchange
    • Structured social interaction
    • Explicit exchanges
      • Adding a friend in facebook
    • Implicit exchanges
      • Are more powerful than explicit exchange
    • Gift exchange
  • Customization
    • Character customization
    • Customization engaged players and makes them stick
Social media trends influencing game mechanics
  • Accessibility
    • Social media is making games more accessible to more people
  • Recombinant
  • Syndicated




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