Relatedness: The Often Ignored Glue of Gamification

1118 BatmanArkhamCity 277 BMInterro3 Relatedness The Often Ignored Glue of Gamification
Andrzej Marczewski

Andrzej Marczewski

Gamification Consultant with Motivait. I love to write about it, talk about it and bore people to death with it! If you really want to get to know me, check out the About page.

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6 Responses

  1. Avatar Dmitry Shkuratov says:

    Batman good game πŸ™‚

  2. I am so happy to see these four aspects of motivation discussed, as they are still not being discussed enough. I always emphasize the exact same four things.

    One direction where this analysis could be taken further is that the motivational factors are not on/off things. Simply because Arkham City features three of them, it may not feature them in sufficient amounts to top other options, such as Battlefield. I haven’t yet figured out the relative weights of each, and how well the absence of some of them can be compensated – if you have, let me know. πŸ™‚

    The significance of the absence of some of these factors depends on the general purpose, that much is clear. Sometimes you want to use gamification for a short, intensive journey that was never meant to last. Relatedness does not necessarily play a key role there (incidentally, this may imply that Arkham City just isn’t good enough, or that this interpretation of relatedness is incorrect).

    There are also many types of relatedness, and not all of them involve playing together: they can also be about the community around the game.

    Just thinking out loud here, the aspects of motivation are present in different ways in many of the games that have displayed the most longevity. Let’s think of a few of them:

    Competitive team-based games, such as Battlefield 3: Playing together in a team against other teams (relatedness). Usually easy to learn and hard to master (long journey to mastery, human opponents constantly improving as well). Ladder or tournament play (purpose is to do well in competition against other teams).

    Competitive one-on-one games, such as Starcraft: While there are no teammates ingame, there is a vibrant community around the game (relatedness). Usually easy to learn and hard to master (long journey to mastery, human opponents constantly improving as well). Ladder or tournament play (purpose is to do well in competition against other individuals).

    Cooperative team-based games, such as WoW PvE: Playing together in a team against the environment (relatedness). Usually easy to learn and moderately hard to master (environment is a limited obstacle). Indirect competition through leaderboards may be included, or the purpose can be just to overcome the obstacles with your friends.

    Community role-playing games, such as UO RP: Playing together through a self-created story. Emphasis on autonomy, relatedness, and purpose, not so much on mastery.

    As can be seen from these hastily thought of examples, relatedness comes in many forms. Can these forms be intentionally used for different purposes? What kinds of different forms are there overall? Now those would make for some intriguing further development of the idea of relatedness in gamification.

    • Some great things for me to think on there.

      Not sure I am saying that by having the right amounts of each ingredient you get a perfect experience. Sim city is a well and truly solo experience, but you keep coming back. The difference is that the challenge is designed to keep mastery just out of your reach. There is always a way to do it better and as there is no direct narrative, there is less feeling of – I’ve seen this before.
      Lots to think on, but as you say, there is no black and white answer, I just feel that the social aspect of motivation is often overlooked!

  1. December 21, 2012

    […] Relatedness: The Often Ignored Glue of Gamification […]

  2. April 12, 2013

    […] Relatedness: The Often Ignored Glue of Gamification […]

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