Introduction to Gamification Part 4: Motivation (R.A.M.P, Maslow, SDT and more)

Intro to Gamification Part 4 Introduction to Gamification Part 4 Motivation R A M P Maslow SDT and more

Warning, this is one of my longest blogs ever!

Now we know a bit about what games, gamification and game-based solutions are (and are not), it’s time to start to consider some of the non-game related topics you need to understand to be good at building game-based solutions. The first of these is motivation.

In gamification we tend to look at motivation in varying depths, starting from a very simple perspective with just two options. Intrinsic motivation or extrinsic motivation.

The most basic way to look at this is that activities that are intrinsically motivating are those that people will do because they want to or appreciate the benefits of doing them. Activities that require rewards, extrinsic motivation, people do because there is a reward, not because they want to do it. It is not quite as black and white as that, but it is a good starting point – read on! Read More ...

Intrinsic Motivation RAMP Misconceptions

RAMP Balanced Intrinsic Motivation RAMP Misconceptions

As we head to the holidays I wanted to revisit an old “model” and just clarify a couple of items that have cropped up in conversation over the years. The item in question is RAMP. This, as you may remember, is my core intrinsic motivation model of Relatedness, Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. Obviously, based on Self Determination Theory, this has been a really handy tool in all of my gamification exploits over the years.

The basic idea is these are 4 motivations that are core to all people in some way. In self-determination theory, Deci and Ryan only speak about Relatedness, Autonomy and Competence (Mastery),  as altruistic purpose is part relatedness. Whilst true, for gamification it is useful to separate this out into its own. Read More ...

Relatedness in Single Player Experiences

1 globe multiplayer Relatedness in Single Player Experiences

I love multiplayer games. Very little beats the feeling of taking on real people and working with real people in a game. People provide much less predictable challenges than computer driven opponents.

One thing that many multiplayer games miss is a good story. This isn’t always true, but the deepest narrative experiences tend to be single player only. Think about games such as Walking Dead, 80 Days, Heavy Rain, Her Story etc.  Each of this offers a deep story, but on the surface seems to offer nothing that resembles multiplayer elements. Read More ...

Gamification User Types and the 4 Keys 2 Fun

User Type Fun Theory v3 Gamification User Types and the 4 Keys 2 Fun

I am pretty excited about this one.

Gamification User Types

When I created my gamification User Types definitions, it was with a mind to help people consider who is going to be in their gamified systems and what may motivate them. I started with the intrinsic motivation RAMP I keep talking about, Relatedness, Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. From this I created the Socialiser, Free Spirit, Achiever and Philanthropist user types. That covered the who and the what – who the user may be and what it is that may motivate them. One of the things it didn’t cover was why. Why would people engage in this way and god forbid, why would they find it fun? Read More ...

Motivation, let’s get real for a moment.

Maslows Hierarchy of Needs svg Motivation let 8217 s get real for a moment

Dan Pink and Ryan & Deci are quoted a lot when we talk about motivation – I include myself in that and this is good – they have a lot of research to back up everything they say.

The basic quote usually revolves around. Money is not a good motivator. Mastery, Purpose, Autonomy and in some quoted cases Relatedness are what we need. They are intrinsic motivators, money is not.


There are a few things most fail to mention. One is the fact that this is most true for creative tasks.  The other, much more significant bit they don’t mention is this. When basic needs, such as money, are no longer a concern – what’s left is intrinsic motivation. Read More ...