Actionable Gamification – What You Should Know
By Krish
Games never fail to engage. But have you ever wondered why?
Learning about the core drivers of human motivation can give us deep insight into how games strike just the right balance to hold someone’s full attention for long periods.
These core drives are described in detail in Yu-Kai Chou’s Octalysis framework. Here’s a quick rundown on the core ideas in the framework.
Yu-Kai Chou’s Octalysis Framework
  • Epic Meaning & Calling: Role-playing games do this very well. It is the core drive that makes the person believe that they were “chosen” for a task. It helps them feel stronger, and they believe that they are doing something that is greater than themselves.
  • Development & Accomplishment:We are innately driven to make progress. We like to develop skills and achieve mastery over things. We especially like to overcome challenges. The keyword for this core drive is “challenge,” – and games embed this drive in people by giving them badges or trophies.
  • Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback: The player feels empowered when they are engaged in a creative task where they need to try and test out different things. Think combinations or approaches to the next area in a game.
  • Ownership & Possession:The items in games invoke this core drive. It makes the player feel like they own the item and control the entire game with its help.
  • Social Influence & Relatedness:This core drive describes all the social elements that motivate us. Mentorship, social acceptance, companionship, and competition are all major aspects that determine social influence and relatedness.
  • Scarcity & Impatience: The rarity or lack of immediate attainability of an item in the game invokes impatience. It keeps the player clung on to the game for long periods.
  • Unpredictability:Another word for unpredictability is “suspense.” It keeps the gamer hooked because they truly do not know what will happen next.
  • Loss Avoidance:This is self-explanatory. It is the core drive that motivates us not to lose something.
Best Applications That Apply Gamification
The Forest App aids users deal with excessive phone and social media use by applying planting and growing trees as a key gamification concept. When users need a break from their phone, they plant a seed in the app. If they stay away from their phone for long enough, it will grow into a tree. If the user unlocks or uses their phone before the stipulated time, the tree will die.
The popular language-learning app Duolingo uses a combination of gamification features. It uses an internal currency, “lingots,” which the user earns for completing challenges. Social interaction is also a big feature – users can collaborate with friends via Facebook. Users can compete by voting who had the best translation. There’s a scoreboard system incorporated as well. Badges are awarded when a person learns a specific number of skills.
The wearable tracker “Fitbit” connects to its app and offers a unique set of gamification features. Users are awarded badges when they do a certain activity. For example, the “Serengeti” badge is awarded when the user walks a total of 500 miles with the tracker on. With the tracker, users can also walk around their city of choice virtually. This way, users can explore cities and get fit at the same time.