Top College Degrees that will Help you Get a Career in Gamification

This article is written by Erik van Mechelen, based on the Octalysis gamification framework developed by Yu-kai Chou.

Choosing a college degree to learn gamification

Approaching university and trying to figure out what courses, or better yet, what degrees to spend your valuable time and money achieving? In this article, we’ll try to dig deeper into what areas in your university system may be a good place to visit and stay awhile.

Remember, degrees aren’t necessarily synonymous with skills. Throughout college, I did side projects to follow my curiosity and learn new skills.

As is becoming more and more the case (hasn’t it always been the case?), employers or heads of teams or startups want to know if you can do the job or not, and if you have the ability to continue growing and learning within the role.

My guess is this holds true for gamification roles, too.

Now, let’s quickly jump over a mental hurdle you may be experiencing. On the surface, gamification-specific jobs might seem rare. If you search major job sites you won’t see many job titles with gamification, but some descriptions are starting to include our favorite keyword.

Regardless of what you call it, we know human-focused design is part of many roles. In this article about roles gaining an edge from gamification knowledge, I discussed how product designers, UI/UX designers, and product managers use gamification to their advantage every day.

For this article, I’ll consider traditional university degrees that might best prepare you for roles where gamification knowledge gives you an edge.

Remember, getting a gamification job doesn’t require a degree, and your foot in the door may simply be the quality of your portfolio and hustle.

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How Understanding Gamification Gives an Edge in Design and Product Roles

This article was written by Erik van Mechelen, based on the Octalysis Gamification framework designed by Yu-kai Chou. 

Getting an edge with gamification

Can you get a job in gamification?

At first glance, the pickings are slim. An Indeed job search for ‘gamification’ doesn’t return many results, but does include roles with gamification mentioned in the description, from VR software developers to instructional designers to sales specialists and customer care reps.

We do know there are jobs in gamification. (The Octalysis Group recently did a contest posted on their Octalysis Explorers Facebook page, with a contest to demonstrate gamification knowledge and potentially join The Octalysis Group.)

But it isn’t the only option.

From getting to know many people, and some people quite well, in the Octalysis Explorers and Octalysis Prime Mastermind group, I know there is a huge variety of people and professional roles that understand gamification knowledge (and understanding how to apply that knowledge in their roles) will give them an edge in their daily professional activities.

When considering gamification, the closest job postings might be for:

1. Product Designer
2. UX Designer
3. Product Manager

A thorough understanding of gamification could give you an edge in these roles.

Just like people used to say developers who knew AJAX got paid 15% higher than developers who don’t, gamification may become your edge to higher pay and better performance.

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A Protector Quest for Sleep: 9 Game Techniques for More Sleep in the Time You Have

This article about getting better sleep was written by Erik van Mechelen, based on the Octalysis framework by Yu-kai Chou.

“I don’t need sleep.” (Starting a grand Protector Quest of your sleep)

Well, you do (I’m assuming you are a homo sapien.)

To do anything at a high level for sustainable periods, the human body will need sleep. And the mind will need rest.

Most of you understand this already, but want to get a little more value from the time you have allotted for sleep. You’re active, you’re busy, but you still like your sleep.

Overall, I like to think of going on a grand Protector Quest to protect my sleep. Strangely, I can feel the difference between a solid 8 and a solid 9 hours of sleep. I bet you can too. And I bet you’ll really feel the difference between a lousy 5 and a solid 7.

No matter your sleep goals (and dreams), let’s see if some Game Techniques based on the Octalysis framework and the 8 Core Drives can help.

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7 Ways to Get Started in Meditation (That Do and Don’t Use Gamification)

Using Gamification to Get People Into Meditation and Mindfulness

Making space for a meditation practice is as difficult as it is to make a space for anything in our lives. If something isn’t valued, it isn’t prioritized. There’s a LOT of word-of-mouth and marketing dollars behind spreading meditation practice.

There’s one interesting part about meditation that makes it similar to relationships and careers: there are no instant results.

In the case of meditation and mindfulness, rewards (if you get any at all) aren’t reaped until one goes further along in the practice.

The argument, then, could be to use gamification and human-focused design to build a habit of meditation and mindfulness so as to progress further along. If one doesn’t build the habit, then he can’t experience the benefits (this is if you are even seeking benefits to begin with–see #5 for an alternative approach to meditation practice).

There are many types of meditation practice, and this article will not go into each. It will simply be a brief commentary on some apps and resources I’ve found as I begin to explore.

I will lightly mention the Game Techniques and the 8 Core Drives of Octalysis.

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8 Education Gamification Examples for Learning Sprints

This article was written by Erik van Mechelen, based on the concepts in the Octalysis Gamification framework created by Yu-kai Chou. 

Why Learning Sprints are Useful

Lifelong learning is a marathon, but sprints can be useful along the way. Sprints can shock your body and mind. They will drive you through Core Drive 2: Accomplishment & Development, and several other Core Drives (depending on your sprint’s design).

Depending on where you are in developing a skill, trade, or craft, you can benefit from a sprint in the following ways:

  • improving your habits
  • leveling up to a more focused work ethic
  • learning new things about your daily routine and rhythms
  • actually learning the mini-skill, trade, or craft (obvious, but must include!)
  • exploring something completely new, just for fun!

Learning sprints are fast-paced, focused, and give you time to reflect more frequently than a long-term goal.

Bite, chew, then see how it feels.

Because of how efficiently sprints use your time, they are a great way to test an approach and see how something fits into your routine without having to dedicate years.

How to choose what to do is a completely different matter. (Which I may or may not be able to help with, but definitely ping me in the comments, because I might be able to!)

I’ll sprinkle in some Gamification Techniques and as always base my Top 8 Learning Sprints on the 8 Core Drives of Octalysis.

Let’s do this.

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