The Dangers of Forced Fun

Forced to play games The Dangers of Forced Fun

We’ve all been there. You go to a meeting or an event and there’s an Ice Breaker. It might be something as simple as “turn to the person on your right and tell them your name”, or it might be something more pointless like Hat Colours. But sometimes it is something even more sinister… a game.

I love games. Always have, always will. However, the games that I like have two key elements. They are made by game designers and they are played voluntarily. Both of these points are critical to my enjoyment of said game. If just one of those is missing, it is highly likely that I am not going to enjoy the game. Read More ...

Learning Tasteful Gamification from Guitar

Maxresdefault Learning Tasteful Gamification from Guitar

In today’s blog, I’ve recorded a video 😀

I’m merging my two passions, gamification and guitar! Guitarists often have effects pedals. These change the sound of the guitar, adding enhancements like echo, distortion, swooshing swirly stuff and more – much like how we use game-like elements to enhance an experience. And, just like gamification, when you add effects to your guitar tone, you need to be tasteful, contextual and often subtle!

Enjoy the over worked analogy and let me know what you think 😀 Read More ...

The Effect of Time and Knowledge on Decision Making

Decision Making Time and Knowledge 3 The Effect of Time and Knowledge on Decision Making

Many moons ago, I wrote an article titled “The Effect of Time on Decision Making”. In it, I covered some fairly meaty topics that talked about Construal Level Theory and Decision Field Theory and how they explained the way we made decisions.

The Basic Theory

Very simply out, Construal Level Theory tried to explain how we prioritise a decision based on how close it is to us. If it is abstract, or a decent time in the future, then we give it less merit and less focus. If it is concrete, or very close in time to now, then we will do the opposite – give it stronger focus and concentrate more on making a decision. Read More ...

Teaching the Value of Money with Games

371924 Teaching the Value of Money with Games

Today I am literally ripping a transcription out of one of our recent blogs – all about how I used Roblox to help get my daughter to understand the value of money. The podcast in question can be found here – https://anchor.fm/dashboard/episode/e1hr3lp

Lots of people have used gamification around banking and around money, but it’s always about how to save, how to invest, and how to essentially make sure banks have more of your money. It’s safe to say that most banks when they release something about gamifying finances, it’s about learning how to put more money in a bank and how to live off that money. Read More ...

The Engagement Channel Model 2.0: Fun, Flow and Engagement

Engagement Channel Model 2 0 The Engagement Channel Model 2 0 Fun Flow and Engagement

Fun. A three letter word you won’t hear me mention often when discussing gamification! Why? Well, fun is really subjective. What you find fun, I may not. However, for the purposes of this blog, we will assume I like fun as do you and when I mention fun – it means something you will find fun!

With that out of the way, here’s the thing. If you look at Flow or my Engagement Channel stuff, you will see that to enter flow and be truly engaged, the challenge of whatever you are doing should match or slightly exceed your current skill level.

As with my Engagement Channel model, you can soften the impact of a challenge being too much by adding meaningful rewards and you can soften the impact of your skills being greater than the challenge, by adding personal challenges.

However, in games I am seeing more and more games that drop you straight into a scenario where the challenge instantly far outweighs your skills. By all our models, this should lead to instant frustration and most likely disengagement – but it doesn’t always. For some reason, there are some games that I play, that no matter how tough they are and how far off my skills are from the challenge – I keep coming back over and over again. Why? Because they are fun to play!

Does this mean there is another dimension to the Engagement Channel or the our view on Flow?

BJ Fogg

If we look at BJ Fogg’s famous Behaviour Change Model, we can see that there are three main dimensions in his B=MAP formula. Behaviour = Motivation x Ability x Prompts.

Basically for a behaviour to happen, motivation, ability and prompts all need to align. If a task is hard, but you have high motivation to do it – the right prompt will start to encourage the behaviour. If the task is easy, your motivation can be lower with the correct prompt. A third factor can influence the outcome without anything else changing.

So, how can I steal this idea and start to add a new dimension to my Engagement Channel Model. Well, I’m glad you didn’t ask!

The Engagement Channel Model 2.0

To simplify the original concept, what I am now proposing is that fun can act as a buffer between engagement, frustration and boredom, essentially widening the Engagement Channel.

Now, I am not trying to tell you what your users may find fun, what I am saying is the older I get, the more I realise that fun makes a huge difference to your motivation to do things, even if they are really hard or if they are slightly boring. Adding that element of fun can make all the difference.