Flow & gamification: a misunderstanding

CvSoT Flow and other points v3 Flow 038 gamification a misunderstanding

Flow. A popular concept in gamification, goodness knows I have spoken about it often enough – just last week in fact.  It was that article that actually made me realise that there is a distinct misunderstanding of flow as Mihály Csíkszentmihályi describes it.

The image below is how we in gamification tend to view it, our simplified version.

We talk about the Flow Channel, the point where skill level and challenge level are in a good balance. So this would mean that Flow could be achieved when you have a balanced low skill and low chalenge. However, when we look at how Mihály Csíkszentmihályi originally described it, that would actually be apathy – not a state we want for our users! Read More ...

The Flow Shift and Bounce

Flow shift The Flow Shift and Bounce

This is more a thought and possibly even a question to those who know more than me about the Flow concept.  I have spoken about Flow in the past and use it as a core principle to engaging long term design.

However, recently it occurred to me that long term exposure to extremes in frustration or boredom, could alter our perception of flow.

For instance, you spend months in the boredom phase. You have little to no challenge. It seems reasonable that you would need to boost the level of challenge to help improve engagement and in turn try and get closer to this idea of flow. Below is the “ideal” mix of skill and challenge as described in flow theory – only this time plotted against time. Read More ...

The gamification of a career

Career game board The gamification of a career

A fair few of my recent posts have revolved around how we can use ideas from games / gamification to improve certain aspects of an employee’s “journey” through their career. I thought it may be time to pull it all together in a single coherent (I hope) post!

It makes sense to start with an employee’s first days, usually an induction process of some type. Rather than the standard two or three days of death by PowerPoint, how about this;

They start with a simple half day induction, preferably done face to face with a group of other newbies. Here they are told the basic essentials for them to actually get into an office, cover any legal requirements and meet people they may be working with in the future. After this, they are given the essential kit to get them going, probably a Smartphone and laptop. Read More ...

Mario as a Metaphor for your Career

Level 1 Mario as a Metaphor for your Career

When you consider your career, unless you are a games developer, I am pretty sure Mario does not enter your thoughts all that much. However, this game (as with almost all other games really) can teach us a lot about how we can plan our careers and how businesses really need to reconsider how they handle the careers of its employees.  This is not so much gamification as it is learning from games.

Games offer players a lot fo different mechanisms to understand where they are in the game, where they are going and how they are doing. All of this information is available at a glance, never more than one button press away if it is not on-screen already. Read More ...