Gamification Analysis: How Snapchat Launched Spectacles

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This article is written by Contributing Writer Erik van Mechelen along with Yu-kai Chou.

Making moves

Snap Inc. is making moves.

First, it built a cool mobile-only camera and messaging app with millions of engaged users. Snaps are ephemeral and the app opens on the camera.

The founders famously turned down a $3-billion offer from Facebook.

Snap Inc. continued improving the Snapchat product and attracting new users, rising to the most-used teen app in 2016 and making big dents in the over-35 age demo, too. They want to change the way we think about cameras and storytelling.

What’s next for them?

The short answer is Spectacles, a pair of Snapchat glasses, a foray into territory where Google Glass seemed to fail and where others like Vue aren’t quite making it yet.

In this article, I’ll use Octalysis glasses to investigate the Spectacles launch and speculate on Snap Inc.’s future plans for augmented reality.

Continue reading Gamification Analysis: How Snapchat Launched Spectacles

Creating Habit-Forming and Habit-Defeating Products: Pavlok and Moti

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This article was written by Erik van Mechelen with input from Yu-kai Chou and Jun Loayza. 

Attention and time are arguably the two most important resources we have. Wearables are a growing trend in behavior change technology. If designed appropriately, they stand a chance at helping us drop bad habits and spend more attention and time on good habits. As we’ll see in this article, non-wearables are also on the rise.

I’ll be comparing two habit-related products: Pavlok focuses on breaking bad habits, while Moti’s main idea is to form good habits.

Pavlok came on the market to criticism, but has added new functionality since its Indigogo launch in 2015, with more to come soon. Moti is a new product, currently in its last couple weeks of the Kickstarter.

As always, I’ll use the 8 Core Drives of Octalysis to see how these products are designed to affect our underlying behavior, our motivations themselves.

Continue reading Creating Habit-Forming and Habit-Defeating Products: Pavlok and Moti

5 Gamification Examples Changing the World of Learning

Why Epic Meaning and Calling Matters in Learning

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This article was written by Contributing Writer Erik van Mechelen with input from Yu-kai Chou and Jun Loayza. 

It’s easy to get behind products, projects, and people that are changing the world of learning. Previously, Yu-kai wrote about contemporary social gamification examples. This article will continue the ongoing discussion as it seems likely for human-focused design (and gamification) to continue driving world-changing products, projects, and people for some time to come.

Today’s examples will focus on knowledge and learning. Because education is a major part of maintaining and improving culture, these products and services have the potential to change the world.

Since products like Wikipedia, Quora, Edudemy, Skillshare, and Coursera are very well known, we won’t focus on them for this article. Instead, we’ll take a look at some products and services you might not have noticed (or that have made big strides).

As we move forward, consider the 8 Core Drives of Octalysis and this previous article by Yu-kai about intrinsic/extrinsic motivation in education. Recognize that in the first place, each of the following examples plays on Core Drive 1: Epic Meaning & Calling.

Continue reading 5 Gamification Examples Changing the World of Learning

What is Gamification

Gamification President

If you want to make Gamification actionable, Check out my Complete Gamification Framework called Octalysis and my Gamification Book: Actionable Gamification

What is Gamification?

For those who been following my blog regularly, its pretty apparent that I have been writing heavily into the topic of Gamification. This may be an unfamiliar word for many of you. What is Gamification?

This post is a quick overview to explain what is Gamification about and clear up a great deal of misconceptions in the industry.

Gamification is the craft of deriving all the fun and addicting elements found in games and applying them to real-world or productive activities. This is what I call “Human-Focused Design” as opposed to the “Function-Focused Design.” It’s a design process that optimizes for the human in the system, as opposed to pure efficiency of the system.

Most systems are “function-focused” designed to get the job done quickly. This is like a factory that assumes that the workers within WILL do their jobs. However, Human-Focused Design remembers that people in the system have feelings, insecurities, and reasons why they want or do not want to do things, and therefore optimizes for their feelings, motivations, and engagement.

The reason we call it gamification is because the gaming industry was the first to master human-focused design. Games have no other purpose than to please the human inside. There are “objectives” in the games, such as killing the dragon or saving the princess, but those are all excuses to simply keep the player happily entertained inside. Since games have spent decades learning how to master motivation and engagement, we are now learning from games, and that is why we call it Gamification.

Games have the amazing ability to keep people engaged for a long time, build relationships and trust between people, and develop their creative potentials.

Unfortunately, most games these days are simply focused on escapism – wasting your life away on something that doesn’t improve your own life nor the life of others (besides the game makers of course).

Imagine if there is a truly addicting game, where the more time you spend on it, the more productive you would be. You would be playing all day, enjoying it, and your career would be growing, you would be making more income, having better relationships with your family, creating value for your community, and solving the hardest problems in the world.

That is the goal I strive for and the potential I see that Gamification could fulfill.

What Is Gamification in relationship to the Gaming Industry?

Many people think Gamification is a branch of gaming. Upon hearing the term, some people respond with, “Oh I don’t play games.”

That’s a complete misconception on what is gamification all about.

So what is Gamification really? Gamification does not involve games. It is simply absorbing the fun elements in a game (what we call Game Mechanics or Game Techniques) into real-world applications. When you see the progress bar on LinkedIn, or when you Tumblr listing out a Leaderboard on the best content, do you think, “Oh I don’t play games. This is not for me.”? Of course not! Continue reading What is Gamification

Top 10 Social Gamification Examples that will Literally Save the World

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New to Gamification? Check out my post What is Gamification & my Gamification Framework: Octalysis. You can also check out my Gamification Book: Actionable Gamification

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!

Last Week 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.

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

Continue reading Top 10 Social Gamification Examples that will Literally Save the World