This post is a high-level introduction to Octalysis, the Gamification Framework I created after more than 10 years of Gamification research and study. Within a year of publication, Octalysis was organically translated into 9 languages and became required literature in Gamfication instruction worldwide.
Click the “Continue reading –>” link below to learn about Octalysis.
My Gamification TEDx speech in Switzerland reach 100K!
A few years ago, I went to Lausanne Switzerland to do a TEDx speech on my framework Octalysis Gamification. It was my first time visiting Europe, and it was a huge blast.
It was a pretty difficult speech to do, since originally this talk was a 5-hour workshop, and I had to shrink it to a 17 minute talk. Not only that, I had to include a bunch of videos and fun things to share to make it dynamic. Of course, a TEDx talk is more like a brochure instead of a manual. The goal of a brochure is to get people to want to learn more. Therefore, a lot of the deeper knowledge, including Level II and Level III Octalysis couldn’t be covered, but I had to make it fun.
Little known fact – I said the first sentence incorrectly, and for the first minute I was simply trying to recover from that. Usually I just intuitively do my talks with my slides, but TEDx asked me to memorize my lines and rehearse with them a few times. I was all ready to go, but then when I was onstage, the lighting was MUCH stronger than I expected. It threw me off and I uttered the sentence wrong. It was supposed to be, “Imagine a world where WORK is obsolete – where LABOR is a thing of a past.” I said, “Imagine a world where LABOR is…” and then I felt sad. It took me 1-2 minutes to pick myself back up again and be on my flow again. I always wonder if the talk would have been more successful if I maintained strong energy from the very beginning. Of course, we would never know.
Successes in Gamification after the Gamification TEDx Talk
Since then, I published my book Actionable Gamification, and have won two Gamification Guru of the Year awards by the Gamification World Congress. Many fans, book readers, and clients have contacted me after watching that talk. I am grateful how much this talk has contributed to my accomplishments today.
Thank you TEDx, thank you Lausanne, and thank you Switzerland.
This article was written by Tijs van der Horst, Octalysis Prime member.
Design of Things
From birth we are continuously taking in sensory information. When processed, we remember complex shapes that can virtually be placed anywhere. These experiences are combined, categorized, valued and filtered, creating a database of do’s and don’ts so we can use our memory to reflect and make decisions. Successful decision making will result in a satisfying feeling and taking in information is a continuing search for better decision making, or rather, satisfaction — up to the point where we are so eased-in with the current situation that taking in new information almost always feels more of a pain-in-the-ass than sticking with the old. Reflections on our decisions and the outcome of those are again associated with the complex shape, creating a relationship with the something.
A relationship between a subject (i.e. something conscious, like a person, animal or artificial intelligence) and ‘something’ is what I call a something relationship. Like any real-world scenario, such a relationship is unknowingly complex: The relationship between you and your favorite chair may be shaped by tons of small experiences, personal history, environmental influences and seemingly unrelated feelings in the moment; but trying to understand maybe allows us to analyze behavior and prepare for design decisions. In the end, anything we create will again be something of a new relationship.
Gamification Examples that can really make the world better
As a Gamification Pioneer, one of the most common responses I get when I tell people about Gamification is some version of, “Interesting. But how can something like video games really create value in real-world important things?” In other words, “I’m going to be polite to you, but I think this is a gimmicky fad that has no impact.”
Instead of trying to convince people with the same arguments over and over again, I’m going to settle this issue here once and for all – Gamification not only has real-life value and impact, it even saves lives and could ensure our future as a race!
Earlier I wrote about Old Spice’s Genius Gamification Marketing Campaign DIKEMBE MUTOMBO’S 4 1/2 WEEKS TO SAVE THE WORLD. While I think it is brilliant and does a lot of things well, I can assure you that it does NOT really save the world, outside of making more men smell like an adventure and bake gourmet cakes with the kitchens they made with their own hands.
But the 10 Examples below will blow your mind away and show you why Good Gamification, or “Human-Focused Design” (as opposed to Function-Focused Design”), undeniably has a role in “adding more lives” to our future.
Many thanks for the help of 周唯中 for making the work below possible.
Gamification Example 1: Puzzle Game FoldIt made breakthrough in AIDS Research that Scientists couldn’t solve
By 2009, AIDS has already killed 30 Million people, or close to the equivalent of the State of California. As of 2010, there are still 34 Million people that have contracted HIV. For 15 years, many of the top PhD Scientists in the world were trying to decipher a crystal structure for one of the AIDS-causing viruses called the Mason-Pfizer monkey virus (M-PMV), but could not solve it.
Luckily, the University of Washington’s Center for Game Science (yes, such center exists) collaborated with the Biochemistry department and created FoldIt, an online puzzle video game about protein folding. Foldit utilizes a game-like puzzle interface that allows people from all over the world to “play” and compete in figuring out various protein structures that fit a researcher’s criteria.
To everyone’s surprised, with over 240,000 “players” registering for the game and competing viciously against each other, a solution to the structure of the M-PMV was found in 10 days, creating a major breakthrough in the AIDS research field. 15 Years vs 10 Days? I would say for this alone Gamification added extremely concrete value to the world and could one day save a loved one.
Gamification Example 2: RPG Diary Game Pain Squad helps Patients Combat Cancer by providing both Purpose and Data
Starting and running a small business has always been a risky value proposition. The Small Business Administration tells us that 60 percent of them won’t make it past their first birthday.
Historically, that failure rate was eclipsed by the sheer number of new business starts each year. More businesses opened than closed — until 2008. That year, for the first time in more than 30 years, small-to-medium size business (SMB) closings outnumbered openings — and by a big margin. That year, the country was left with a deficit of roughly 100,000 small businesses. And that trend line really hasn’t reversed course all that much since then.¹