How to use Gamification to Influence Your Friends

How to use Gamification to Influence Your Friends

You can usually tell when someone is trying to persuade or influence you.

However, I actually like the idea of being influenced or persuaded to do things that I want to do. 

Is this true for you?

In general, it feels good to be included in interesting, unusual, or fun events or gatherings. It piques your curiosity when a friend who knows you well sends you information or a book or a gift that makes your life better. And when your friends forget to invite you, you get upset.

So, if you care about being influenced, then your friends do too. It’s part of our makeup as humans. We are nodes in social spheres of influence: individual to family to friends and society. And you are a node across many of these networks.

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Learn What Kind of Games You Like To Play (Get Your Player Traits Profile)

This survey was shared by Gustavo Tondello in the Octalysis Prime Community.

Do you play games?

We are looking for volunteers to take part in a study to find out preferences of a particular person when playing different games based on the player traits scale. This research intends to validate a questionnaire to find out what is a user’s preferences with games. The goal is to improve our ability to design better games.

If you decide to volunteer, you will be asked to complete a 20-minute online survey. Survey questions focus on your preferences while using games. Upon completion of the survey, you will be able to find out your player traits profile.
Optionally, you will be invited to a 5-minute follow-up survey after one month of completing the original questionnaire.

Please note that you must be 15 years or older to participate in this study. In appreciation for your time, you can enter your name into a draw for one of two USD $50 international Visa gift cards.

This research is conducted by the HCI Games Group. This study has been reviewed by and received ethics clearance through a University of Waterloo Research Ethics Committee. However, the final decision about participation is yours.

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Why Foursquare Failed (Hint: the Same Reason as Pokemon Go)

What Foursquare did well: Extrinsic Motivation

Development and Accomplishment

Ownership and Possession

Social Influence & Relatedness (Black Hat)

Similar to Pokemon Go, Foursquare did well in creating collection sets and striving for multiple check-ins to become the Mayor. This also included competitive leaderboards (versus collaboration).

But what happens when you realize you can’t become the mayor? Or when you realize the discounts you’re getting aren’t that great? Or that your friends don’t care that much that you checked in somewhere new? (Not to mention competitors were quickly cloning these features.)

What Foursquare didn’t do well: Intrinsic Motivation

Social Influence & Relatedness (White Hat)

Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback

After enjoying the collection of the first few Pokemon nearby your home, would-be Pokemon trainers struggled to keep up with the hard core gamers. For most casual players, there wasn’t enough Core Drive 3 to sustain them through Scaffolding and Endgame phases.

Walking in nature is intrinsically interesting, but Pokemon Go is making players feel like this: “now I have to go for a walk just to collect Pokemon.” The extrinsic design bias in the game motivated us to start walking in our surroundings to add to our collection set. But after a while the extrinsic motivation has completely taken over our intrinsic desire to explore our surroundings. Now going out to hunt for Pokemon feels like a chore rather than a fun game. Motivation wanes.

Same goes with Foursquare. Once Mayors establish themselves, it is hard to dethrone them.

There wasn’t enough creative application of strategy (from the player’s point of view) to keep them interested.

For more on balancing intrinsic and extrinsic motivation…

The key is building an engaging Core Activity Loop and THEN building in tweaks to your overall system.

For additional questions like this and in depth discussion, join us in Octalysis Prime.

Why Seller Motivation Needs a Makeover


This guest post was written by Jonathan Palay, Co-founder of CommercialTribe

Why Seller Motivation Needs a Makeover

From the time we entered the cognitive revolution in 70,000 BC, the human species set off on a more prosperous course, largely driven by our ability to work together.  So it should come as no surprise that sales can be considered one of the oldest professions in the world, because from the time we started to cooperate, we developed the need to persuade.

By some estimates today there are more than 10 million sales people in the world, also known as professional persuaders.  Today, the sales organization exists to organize and drive those sellers toward the actions needed to transact revenue, leading to the creation of what has been described as a coin-operated, compliance-driven culture.  

In this article, let’s explore why that is, why this model has stood the test of time, and why it may finally be ripe for a makeover.

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How we Design Coins on Octalysis Prime

Creating unpredictability and curiosity

Creating unpredictability and curiosity through a shiny chest of coins seems simple enough. Everyone loves gold. And loves spending it.

But what if you couldn’t spend your hard-earned money?

Collection before utility

The coins on Octalysis Prime were implemented before they could be used.

This was a risk.

Motivationally, you could wonder what to do with these coins. You could discover there is no use for them (yet) and get angry or demoralized. Why do I keep coming back for these stupid coins?

Or, you could be motivated. If there is enough curiosity about what the coins might be used for, you might go on collecting them. Here, the effect is a combination of Core Drive 7: Unpredictability & Curiosity and Core Drive 4: Ownership & Possession.

Meanwhile, though, the user will be ready for feature releases which allow those coins to be used.

Maybe, in a perfect world, the user will even be able to generate ideas on how those coins could be used in the gamified economy. That would be some pretty strong Core Drive 5: Social Influence & Relatedness combined with Core Drive 3: Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback.

Who knows, maybe we will give some of the Octalysis Prime pioneers a say in this coin-based creation!

How to get coins (the mechanics of an activity loop)

The coins are awarded by checking back into the Island after 20 hours have passed. (The chest magically fills with coins after you return from your other adventures on the island 20 hours later, but not a second before!)

Clearly, this is part of a habit-building activity loop. Just for returning to the learning environment, you are rewarded. Hopefully, you continue to learn while you’re there!

To learn how to implement coin-based activity loops and other designs (even before they have explicit utility), check out the ongoing conversations in the Octalysis Prime Slack community.