Gamification is getting a lot of attention. Two great informative examples are the TED talks by Seth Priebatsch and Tom Chatfield where they present a small list of some game dynamics that can make a users be more engaged when using the gamified applications.
These dynamics are very interesting and, whenever possible, should be taken into account when defining applications which want to be engaging for users.
Some of these dynamycs extracted from the above talks are:
- Appointment dynamic: a dynamic in which to succeed, one must return at a predefined time (generally at a predefined place) to take a predetermined action. For example: happy hours and Farmville.
- Influence and Status: the ability of one player to modify the behavior of other’s actions through social behaviors. For example: status in credit cards and report cards.
- Progression dynamic: a dynamic in which success is granularly displayed and measured through the process of completing simple itemized tasks. If we present a person telling him/her that s/he is incomplete, and that there is a series of easy granular steps to be completed, then the person will try to do them to be shown as complete (to the community, thus using influence dynamics). For example: LinkedIn progress bar for profile info completion.
- Communal discovery: A dynamic wherein an entire community is rallied to work together to solve a challenge. Everyone (possibly in a given community) has to work together to achieve something. Leverages the network which is society to solve hard problems (crowd-sourcing). For example: the Darpa balloon challenge.
- Multiple long and short-term aims: this makes it interesting and less monotone and considers the fact that sometimes people are more focused and concentrated; therefore simple tasks can be achieved when concentration is low, and more difficult tasks when concentration is higher.
- Reward all effort: everything is rewarded, there is no notion of failure. Why have games where you can loose? why not just level up like in World of Warcraft?
- Rapid, frequent, clear feedback: it is very very hard for people to learn, if they cannot link actions to consequences.
- An element of uncertainty: known rewards excite people, but unknown rewards are even more interesting, because if there is a certain level of uncertainty that I might get something even better, then this attracts people interest and keeps them doing things over and over again.