Analogue vs Digital Gamification

Pokemon go 1579272314 Analogue vs Digital Gamification

When looking at gamification, it can be a daunting task. There are dozens of gurus, platforms, off the shelf products, bespoke products, decks of cards, frameworks, snake oil sellers, blogs and more. There are so many choices, one could be forgiven for getting a little lost.

However, one of the choices that doesn’t seem to get spoken about as much as some other things (like the latest magical framework). That’s the choice between digital (online) or analogue (offline) gamification.

Digital Gamification

Digital gamification is generally online. So for instance, it could be a reward system built into a website. It could be online learning materials that are game-like and on a learning management system (LMS). You get the idea.  Generally, they are designed to be experienced on your own (physically) on a platform that is convenient for you or integrated directly into a platform that you already use. That doesn’t mean there can’t be team based events – think World of Warcraft (MMO) Raids! Read More ...

Introduction to Gamification Part 10: Narrative

Narrative is in my opinion, one of the most powerful yet underrated ways of improving almost anything! A good story can carry you through the most boring of times by creating the most exciting of images in your imagination.

However, building stories into certain, less “play” compatible environments can be a challenge. So can creating stories that fit with the very “stop/start” nature of many gamified environments.

What is Narrative?

First, let’s look at what narrative actually is. Put over simply, a narrative is just a story. However, the way I like to look at the difference between a narrative and a story is that a narrative is happening now, whereas a story has already just happened (and a collection of stories is a history…). Read More ...

Introduction to Gamification Part 9: Elements and Mechanics

Game mechanics are covered in multiple places on this blog, but to continue with the introduction series, I thought I would have a brief revisit here, with less personal opinion than usual (ish)! There are many definitions of game mechanics, but rather than going into those, I will just present the one that I use.

“A distinct set of rules that dictate the outcome of interactions within the system. They have an input, a process and an output.”

Further to this, we can also state that dynamics are Read More ...

Introduction to Gamification Part 8: User Types

There are many tools available to gamification designers to help them with their designs. One of the most useful for me, for reasons I will go into here, is the concept of User Types.

There are many views on user profiling and many ways to do it. Some people love it, some hate it. I am in the middle. It is a very useful tool, but it is not the only thing you should rely on. For me, they can be a useful way to understand or at least considers the motivation so those who will be using your system.

Bartle’s Player Types

In the games world there are a few famous player type models, Bartle’s Player Types being the most well known [1]. In these he breaks down players of his famous Multi-User Dungeon (MUD) game into 4 key types. Killer, Achiever, Socliasler and Explorer. Each type of player had a different motivation to play the game. Read More ...

Introduction to Gamification Part 7: Rewards and Reward Schedules

In the last chapter, I briefly touched on reward schedules. The most basic way to define reward schedules is that they are a set of rules that define when a reward (or any kind of feedback) is given to the user. I am going to discuss three core types of reward schedule, Random Rewards, Fixed Rewards and Time Dependent. I’m also going to introduce some ideas on how to balance the release of rewards and their perceived value.

Random Rewards

These tough to explain, and really hard to implement well! A random reward is one that the user is not expecting and should probably have no reason to expect. For instance, a badge for their forty-second achievement in a system. There is no obvious reason for it but done with a little Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy humour, it may make someone smile at least! Read More ...