5 Books that Welcomed me to Games and Gamification

This post was written by Contributing Writer Erik van Mechelen

The value of reading

With non-fiction, I usually read quickly (scan), apply what I’ve learned, then come back later as needed to refresh. I prefer to learn by doing. This is the case for my education in gamification, too (I built an iPhone app instead of reading too much about it.)

For me, books are just a great way to see how others have done it and test against your own approach.

I borrowed my brother’s copy of The Lord of the Rings from his bookshelf. I was nine years old. Ever since, reading has been my favorite way to consume content. With a book in hand or on screen, I can read as fast or as slow as I want, mark the pages, save comments for later, and return to the book when needed. (I still think reading is one of the biggest level-ups any parent can give their child. And I believe that many of us can improve our reading ability and critical thinking well into adulthood.)

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Where to Start Your Gamification Journey

This post is written by Contributing Writer Erik van Mechelen. 

Gamification has evolved

As Yu-kai discusses in Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards, gamification has been around and has evolved to the point that many professionals have heard about or even engaged with at least elementary gamification material.

Some people immediately see the advantages of human-focused design in the creation of products, particularly web or mobile apps. But we know gamification as defined by human-focused design (thanks for this distinction, Yu-kai!) is applicable to so many other areas, like:

  • marketing gamification
  • lifestyle gamification
  • workplace gamification

We’re also seeing gamification taught in universities and online programs. With so many courses and books to choose from, it’s hard to choose what will be right for you.

Right for you might mean most applicable to achieving your goals of improving your lifestyle, whether your health or relationship with your kids. If this was your aim setting out, you might have fallen into the trap of a self-help book about fitness or parenting, so good for you for checking out gamification instead!
It’s so important to know yourself and know what you’re looking for.

In this post, I’ll start with my learning journey, then discuss a few options to starting or continuing your gamification journey. Who knows, it might last a lifetime!

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How to Create a Gamified Chore App with Octalysis

This article was written by Contributing Writer Erik van Mechelen.

Kids don’t like chores

Getting kids active and participating in household chores has many benefits, but have you ever had trouble persuading your kids to help out around the house?

I know as I kid I wasn’t easily persuaded to do things that weren’t my idea. In Gabon, when I was four, my parents couldn’t even get me to try a single slice of pizza! (Eventually, I tried it and thought it tasted amazing.)

Chores felt like work, which was worse than homework. I’d finally finish my homework, be ready to play, then BAM, my mom or dad would show up with a chore to do. (Chores often are work.)

My guess is a lot of parents don’t bother with getting their kids to help out with household chores. These parents probably have excuses like:

  • “Too much effort to keep them motivated.”
  • “The kids will just whine and complain.”
  • “It will be faster to do the chores ourselves.”

But these parents are missing a great opportunity to implement lifestyle gamification to motivate and reward their kids for helping around the house. Busy parents, take note!

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Implementing Gamification in Your Organization Part 1/4: Getting Buy-In from Your Boss

This article was written by Contributing Writer Erik van Mechelen, based on knowledge shared by Yu-kai Chou. 

Workplace gamification interest is growing

We recently asked you why you were part of the Octalysis Explorers Facebook group or joined the Kickstarter for Octalysis Prime. The largest segment of responses fell into this category:

“I want to implement gamification in my workplace.”

Maybe this is even a goal for you in 2017. With this feedback, we’ve decided to kick off a series about implementing gamification in the workplace. This is part 1 of a 4-part series. (If you’re a manager yourself, you might have noticed this, although it is very specific to using Level II Octalysis for manager-employee relationships.)

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Why You Should Create Year-END Resolutions

This article was written by Contributing Writer Erik van Mechelen. 

Why You Should Create Year-END Resolutions

Have you started thinking about your New Years’ Resolutions yet?

If you haven’t, you’re likely to be tempted by the torrent of articles written this time of year on the subject.

But you know better.

New Years’ Resolutions don’t really work.

I’ve been talking with Yu-kai, and he prefers something different: Year-END Resolutions.

In this post, I’ll:

  1. Take a moment to summarize why New Years’ Resolutions don’t work.
  2. Explain what Yu-kai means by Year-END Resolutions
  3. Show you how to get started (and finished) with those actions before Jan 1, 2017.

Let’s go.

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