Game Mechanics in Gamification

Gamified like motivators and supporters Game Mechanics in Gamification

Andrzej Marczewski

Gamification Expert, author, consultant and designer. 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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34 Responses

  1. monamona says:

    Great post, Thanks 🙂

  2. Enrique Gut rrezEnrique Gutérrez says:

    Do mechanics depend on age of participants?

  3. I was looking for a tool to apply all this in a website. But it was great to acquire knowledge about the strategic point of view before engaging further. Thank you.

  4. AliyarAliyar says:

    Thanks for this post. There is a lot of banter on gamification but how the game mechanics really support certain behaviours is rarely discussed. *hats off to you*

  5. Richard VaughtRichard Vaught says:

    Excellent article. Personally, I am inclined to break things down a little more, and in a way that is equally applicable to both traditional game design and gamification. For example:

    Events – Simply put, something happens. The user presses a button. The customer +1’s the brand’s FB page.

    Mechanics – underlying systems that process events.
    For Event: Button Press
    Mechanics: Sound Effect
    Particle Effect
    Bullet Instanced and Moved

    For Gamification Event: Brand +1’d
    Game Mechanic: Status is increased
    reward is issued
    (note that in this manner the status/reward is not a mechanic in and of itself, merely the process of updating it.)

    Currency – This can be your points, badges, status, or any other manner of measure or currency that is used in your system

    Rules – The high level definitions that govern mechanics. e.g. Players will get increased status for liking brands. The rules do not necessarily have to govern the nitty gritty details of how many points, how big of a reward, etc.

    Behaviors – The set of responses, actions, or attitudes desired on both sides of the game, whether that be developers and players, or consumers and businesses.

    Stressors – Elements designed to induce behaviors, can be positive or negative. For example, in a game, you may present the player with an overwhelming force to get them go back and find an upgrade. In gamification, you might present customers with a list of upcoming opportunities, or a leaderboard that ranks them with other players. These items in and of themselves do nothing but add a sort of pressure to perform.

    This is just my own take on things. There are a lot of different view out there. The Game Industry is still coming to terms with its own vocabulary. I really enjoyed your article here.

    • Thanks and a great response. All equally valid and useful to people. As you say, the games industry still had moments where it lacks clarity in what is meant by certain terms. I think game mechanics and dynamics are fairly well established now thanks to the MDA framework. But there is a lot more too it as you point out!

  6. KevinKevin says:

    Great post, sir! Very well said.

  1. January 14, 2013

    Is this an accurate and simple definition of a Game Mechanic…

    Thanks, he responded to an email I sent him outlining it as [game mechanics] refers to the actions that players repeat again and again as they play a game. Thanks for your help, I have published my blog on this – I include the link, you may like it. Th…

  2. January 16, 2013

    What is a “game mechanic”?…

    After way too much research the definition that has kind of distilled itself from all of them is A distinct set of rules that dictate the outcome of interactions within a game. They have an input, a process and an output.

  3. January 30, 2013

    […] example. Andrej Marczewski describes gamification mechanics in terms we can relate to in his blog Game Mechanics in Gamification as: Desired Behavior, Motivation and Supporters. Andrej uses a game format to illustrate his point, […]

  4. January 31, 2013

    […] and people around the world. While that is still true, we do still talk about game mechanics (perhaps incorrectly according to Andrzej Marczewski) I think the gamification industry does itself a disservice by misusing terms and classifying […]

  5. March 21, 2013

    […] Gamification Mechanics […]

  6. June 17, 2013

    […] In gamification the term game mechanics gets used very often. The trouble is, most of the time it is used incorrectly. So what should we be talking about?  […]

  7. June 25, 2013

    […] his blog post about game mechanics, Andrzej Marczewski points to the need for more mature […]

  8. July 1, 2013

    […] Gamification Mechanics […]

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    […] Andrzej Marczewski nos recogen varias propuestas académicas: […]

  10. October 3, 2013

    […] Andrzej Marczewski has collected several academic proposals: […]

  11. October 15, 2013
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  13. January 13, 2014

    […] By comparing these two lists, it becomes apparent that there is a need for some sort of standarized definition of a game mechanic. For example ‘loss aversion’ in the computer mechanics list, seems like a desired behavior to me, which might be stimulated by mechanics like ‘variable difficulty levels’ in the other list. Luckiliy, I am not the first one to recognize sucvh a need for clarity and even more luckily, others have already acted on this insight. Andrzej Marczewski’s great blog on gamification has a pretty good post on this topic. […]

  14. February 13, 2014

    […] In gamification the term game mechanics gets used very often. The trouble is, most of the time it is used incorrectly. So what should we be talking about?  […]

  15. April 5, 2014

    […] Gamification Mechanics […]

  16. April 8, 2014

    […] Gamification Mechanics […]

  17. April 20, 2014

    […] game design you use mechanics, themes and more to help to make the game more enjoyable. In gamification design you add things […]

  18. April 20, 2014

    […] I first started looking into gamification, people used to talk about Epic Meaning when speaking of game mechanics (incorrectly, but that is another story).  This is the feeling of being part of something greater. […]

  19. April 20, 2014

    […] Game Mechanics and Gamification […]

  20. May 6, 2014

    […] same can be said of the terms used in games. Just think how much time I spent talking about what game mechanics are and are […]

  21. November 3, 2014

    […] moons ago I wrote about a massive misunderstanding in gamification around game mechanics and what they actually are. There were several lists around that said they were key game mechanics, which turned out to be […]

  22. October 30, 2015
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    Game Mechanics in Gamification – Gamified UK

  24. July 6, 2016


    Game Mechanics in Gamification – Gamified UK

  25. January 30, 2018

    […] from an inventory of mechanics to plan and configure a product or user journey/s. There are 13 primary game mechanics, the popular game mechanics are points, badges, levels, rewards and […]

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