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Gamification Design Framework Toolkit

Gamification Design Framework toolkit has been created as a way to help you design better gamified solutions. It is based on my Gamification Design Framework, a systematic way of building solutions that I have developed over the years.

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Practical Play Framework

Serious games and serious play both have an issue. The issue is, the word serious. It sounds far too, well, serious!

I have heard lots of people complaining about this, somewhat misunderstanding what the serious refers to. “Why can’t it be fun, not serious?” “Serious does not sound fun, that can’t be right!”

Obviously the serious in these terms is there to differentiate entertainment focused and non-entertainment focused games. That is to say, games that we play just to enjoy the experience and games that we play to achieve something, such as learning and skills acquisition. Read More ...

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Gamification: Is Activity as good as Engagement?

Gamification is often accused of creating activity rather than engagement. Whilst this can be true, is it a bad thing?

First, let’s look at the difference between activity and engagement. Engagement is very hard to define and has plenty of definitions out there. For our purposes, we will consider it as a state where a person is voluntarily participating in an activity with commitment, without the feeling of being forced or coerced into participation. It is heading towards them “wanting” to participate. Read More ...

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Quick Gamification Advice: The 70/30 Rule

One of the best bits of advice I was given at Capgemini revolved around the idea that you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

It was the 70/30 rule of engagement. I am pretty sure that whoever told me it made it up, but it was a great rule of thumb that I have used many times over the years.

The rule says that when trying to engage a group you are always going to have around 30% who will not engage. 15% will have no interest and 15% will actively and deliberately choose to not engage (a bit like a Disruptor, no?). Read More ...

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Snakes and Ladders: Gamification Hell or Heaven?

I recently made a very strong statement on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn about snakes and ladders and whether it was a game..

Snakes and Ladders is not a game and we should stop using it in gamification and serious games.

Obviously, it was designed to provoke some comment, but boy was I surprised with the level of interaction I got over the three channels. The LinkedIn conversation may still be going on!

As expected, there were those who agreed and those who did not. Some were using Snakes and Ladders in training very successfully, others agreed that it was a pile of pants. Read More ...

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Say No to FoMO in Gamification?

Let’s start at the beginning.

What is FoMO?

FoMO stands for Fear Of Missing Out. In our gamification elements, it is often related to Loss Aversion and Curiosity.

If we start with Loss Aversion, used carefully, loss aversion can be a great way to encourage certain positive behaviours. Consider teaching kids how to save, for instance. If they feel they have earned the money, they will (normally) have a stronger desire NOT to lose it! However, physical items are not all that people want to avoid losing. Far more important motivations lie around social interaction, connections, status and more.  If someone is considered to be influential in their circles, they will not want to do anything to lose that status. Kids don’t want to miss out on play dates with their friends or even hugs and validation from their parents. How many times has parent used the term “I’m not angry, I’m disappointed”? It hurts more than “If you do that again, you lose your teddy.” Read More ...

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Teaching the Value of Money with Games

We don’t give our daughters pocket money. There are many reasons for this, but one of them is a concern about their understanding of the value of money. This is especially true for our eldest daughter who has dyscalculia. This means she struggles with, among other things, understanding magnitude.

This, added to the fact she is 11, means that money is a very abstract concept for her. As soon as she has it, it needs to be spent. This is not much different from any other kids if we are honest, but it is particularly bad for her as she just doesn’t get the value of money at all. Numbers are pretty meaningless to her! Read More ...

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Client vs User Needs – The Solution Sweet Spot

I have spoken a great deal about looking carefully at the needs of a project and exploring what the real issue is that you are trying to solve. The aim has been to get you to consider the Why of a solution more than that What or the How!

I wanted to give you one more way to consider this question, I just can’t stress how important it is for the gamification industry as a whole for us to get better at answering it!

When you are doing your research, you will discover and analyze the needs of the client, and you will discover and analyze the needs of the users. During this process, you will be looking to understand what each side of the solution is looking for. Read More ...

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Where Does Your Loyalty Lie?

I recently wrote a blog for Motivait, the poor people who employ me, all about the future of loyalty. It got me thinking about the nature of loyalty, something I have not really thought about since my 2015 talk at GWC.

Rather than looking into the future though, my thoughts turned to where do people’s loyalties lie. More specifically, are they loyal to your company or to your loyalty card?

If I look at two loyalty programs, you may see what I am getting at. The two are Nectar and Tesco.

Tesco Loyalty Card Read More ...

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Why Netflix Patches Was a Hard No from Me as Parent and Gamification Expert

Recently an article in Variety brought a lot of unwanted attention to gamification. The article was titled “Netflix Is Testing Patches to Gamify Bingeing for Kids

Reading this, my heart sank, a feeling that just got worse as I read the article. To summarise, Netflix was trialing a system that would award children patches or badges for watching TV shows. Completed “A Series of Unfortunate Events”? have a badge…

Netflix told Variety

“We are testing a new feature on select kids titles that introduces collectible items for a more interactive experience, adding an element of fun and providing kids something to talk about and share around the titles they love. We learn by testing and this feature may or may not become part of the Netflix experience.” Read More ...

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How do I design a business gamification to make it fun for users or employees?

Question

How do I design a business gamification to make it fun for users or employees?

This is a question that comes up a lot in my world. In this case, what follows is my answer on Quora when I saw this. It repeats some of the stuff I have said here before, but I think a little more concisely as I had to write it on my phone!!!

My Answer

I would want a lot more information.

First, What is the goal? The goal isn’t fun, it will be something like productivity increase or training compliance.

Once you really know the goal, explore why it isn’t already happening. Understand who the potential users are and what is stopping them doing the things you want them engaged with. Read More ...

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What is Your Least Favorite Gamification Element?

I often get asked what my favorite gamification element or elements are, but no one ever asks what ones I dislike!

So I thought I would ask you guys the question and offer my own answer.

Leaderboards

That’s right, one of the mainstays of gamification, leaderboards are my least favorite element in gamification.

Don’t get me wrong, they have their place and when used well they can be a great asset to a gamified system. The problem is, they are so infrequently used well and normally are there for a “quick fix”. Read More ...

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Should I Start Defining the Game Elements Now?

When you get going with gamification, it can be really really exciting. You are creating engaging solution using game elements and ideas, how cool is that??

But when do you start to define what elements, mechanics, game design ideas and so on?

It is really tempting to do it after the very first conversation with a client. They have told you what they want and you have an idea. A few mechanics here, a narrative and bingo – you have the solution.

But whoa there, do you really have the solution? What was the problem you where trying to solve? The client told you what they wanted, but did you discover what they needed? Read More ...

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Meaningful, Specific Rewards

Many of you will know by now that I intensely dislike the way my daughter’s school uses rewards. However, one teacher has changed some of my views in one simple act. She gave out a truly meaningful reward.

It was a certificate, the exact same certificate that my daughter has had several times. It came signed by the head teacher, as they all do with this type of certificate. However, this time there was one very slight difference… the text on the certificate.

Rather than the usual generic “This award was given for extra effort”, or “This award has been given for being good at spelling”, this one was totally specific to my daughter and the struggles she has had with dyscalculia. Read More ...

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What is the Best Gamification Framework?

Gamification frameworks, like many other industries, are all over the place. Everyone has one and probably argue theirs is the best. Hell, I’ve got loads dotted around the site!

But, which one is actually the best?

Well, none of them. They mostly have equal merit based on the context within which you wish to use them. Some, whether they admit it or not, are more suited to analyzing existing systems to gain insights, some are more suited to the practical design of solutions. Some are great at helping to define specific elements you may which to use, some, how to motivate specific groups of users and yet others how to actually run the whole project. Read More ...