What is Gamification

Gamification Framework Octalysis

If you want to make Gamification actionable, Check out my Complete Gamification Framework called Octalysis.

What is Gamification?

What is Gamification? This may be an unfamiliar word for many of you. As a leading author and pioneer of the industry (since 2003), I’m here to help you grasp the promise of gamification and clear up some 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 is 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, many 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.

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 Design 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

The Octalysis Framework for Gamification & Behavioral Design

This post is a high-level introduction to Octalysis, the Gamification Framework I created after more than 17 years of Gamification research and and Behavioral Design study. Within a year of publication, Octalysis was organically translated into 16 languages and became required literature in Gamification instruction worldwide.

What is Gamification?

Gamification is design that places the most emphasis on human motivation in the process. In essence, it is Human-Focused Design (as opposed to “function-focused design”).

Gamification is the craft of deriving all the fun and engaging elements found in games and applying them to real-world or productive activities. Click To Tweet

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

The challenges with Function-Focused Design

Continue reading The Octalysis Framework for Gamification & Behavioral Design

4 Keys 2 Fun (Game Design Framework by Nicole Lazzaro) – Part 1 of 4.

This series looks into Nicole Lazzaro’s work. As a game designer, Lazzaro worked on Tilt, Myst, Sims, and Star Wars Unleashed. Lately, she’s working in VR, AR, and MR.

Gameful Design in 4Keys2Fun

Nicole runs a company called XEODesign and they published the 4Keys2Fun.

Hard Fun, Easy Fun, Serious Fun, and People Fun are the 4 Keys.

From the 4Keys2Fun blog, we see:

These four main reasons why people play games are how best sellers create more emotions for more captivating play. Each key unlocks a different set of play experiences. Because players alternate between them during a single play session best selling games offer at least three of the 4 Keys 2 Fun. Only XEODesign’s methods take advantage of the 4 Keys 2 Fun to heighten player emotions.

Types of Fun

Hard Fun is about Mastery, “The Brass Ring”, and when one succeeds in this area, one feels fiero.

Easy Fun is a vehicle for imagination

Serious Fun provides meaning and value and we feel excitement upon success.

People Fun is experienced with others, where we experience amusement upon accomplishment.

Player Experience

As you read the 4Keys2Fun chart, notice that the visualization attempts to focus on the Player Experience (PX). Some experiences will move between the 4Keys, for example between Hard Fun and Easy Fun, or from Serious Fun to People Fun.

Octalysis Certificate Achiever: Sameh Ibrahiem Emam

The New Level I Octalysis Certificate

In 2020, we have massively revamped our Octalysis Certificates. We have raised the bar in terms of what is required to obtain a Level 1 Octalysis Certificate.

The intention is that, if you have a Level I or II Octalysis Certificate, you are capable of applying the Octalysis Framework and principles to projects, much like what consultants at The Octalysis Group does.

For those who don’t know, here are the requirements for the Level I Octalysis Certificate.

Also, here is the list of amazing individuals who have obtained their Level 1 and Level 2 Octalysis Certificates

“Plastic Water Bottles & Water Bottling Industry” from Sameh Ibrahiem Emam.

We like to showcase the work of people who have obtained their certificates to showcase the standard of quality required to get the Level I Octalysis Certificate, as well as get a taste of things people will learn in my Octalysis Prime mentorship platform.

Sameh obtained his level 1 Octalysis Certificate with his submission “Plastic Water Bottles.” Sameh designed his own plastic water bottle with an accompanying app in an effort to reduce plastic waste. Check it out!

Congrats Sameh. Your future in gamification and behavioral design is bright!

Preparing for the Post-Covid Resistance

How bad is the Covid-19 Corona Virus

So there are two issues to consider here:

1) virus/health/quanantine (natural disaster)
2) lockdown/economy/social unrest (man-caused issue)

For (1) the question is how bad is it and are the human actions overreacting. If you look at this graph, if countries don’t take extreme measures, it grows radically fast.

With all the underreporting I think things are way worse than it is (many places even if you have symptoms you can’t get tested due to resources. A governor in Mexico said that the data shows confirmed cases only have rich people and therefore poor people aren’t at risk, without thinking it may be that only rich people can get tested.

I think there is an issue with people comparing historical disaster numbers (that have ended) with CURRENT COVID damage (oh look, this historical thing was 12x worse). But COVID is still doubling every few days and we might just be seeing the beginning.

Also, counting deaths to confirmed cases is also an illusion because based on exponential growth, the deaths today are from the much smaller population of confirmed cases a few weeks ago, so match with the denominator of TODAY it appears small.

Perhaps an interesting comparison would be with “resolved” cases, namely deaths vs recovered ratios.

Many regions show numbers closer to 1 death for every 2 recovered people.All this is to say, don’t underestimate it please. The power of exponential curves means that in one day it could cover more ground than the whole previous month. It’s a life or death situation that should be treated seriously.

Yea, we lose a lot of freedom, but if each person has an invisible fused bomb on him/her, I’m sure we would agree losing that freedom temporarily until the bomb threat is resolved would be a prudent move.

Most nations are doubling between 2 to 10 days. Some people say that our lockdown measures are like an elephant getting attacked by a house cat, and in panic, jumped off a cliff (the reaction was more dangerous than the threat).

Well, look at New York. New York was a “calm elephant” that didn’t take strong measures until much later, and now it’s the new Wuhan with some describing it as an apocalyptic war zone.

I know there is a lot of different info out there and perspectives, but for you and your own family I would urge you to be cautious. I already know over a dozen people in my own personal network (none of them Asian) who have COVID. It’s pretty bad and doesn’t just effect the elderly.

Even if you recover it could leave permanent lung damage.
No need to panic, but take cautious steps. Having a calm mind with active (and cleanly washed) hands is good.

There is an estimation that if no or late extreme measures happening, this will end up with about 10 – 50 Million deaths worldwide. The range is pretty large and I believe in it (IF countries and people continue to act the way they are).

In that effect, locking down economies and the DEVASTATING impact MAY be still worth it. Which leads us to (2)

(2) The human-caused economic crisis due to a lockdown…I think would be way worse than previous recessions. Previous recessions were usually about the financial “elite” (as a convenient word but not saying they are better) using too much leverage and suffering: bankers, financial firms, investors, technologists, even home owners. But the foundational economy could still run pretty well.

Waiters, cashiers, and factory workers were obviously indirectly impacted but still made money and spent it at grocery stores. The financial “elite” later on uses this foundation to build back their wealth.This time around the foundational economy is being wiped.

Most restaurants, manufacturers, airlines would go bankrupt in 2-3 months of this lockdown (which is why the US Gov approved $2 Trillion to try to keep them alive). I think this would lead to massive unemployment.

Case in point, Nevada’s historical high in unemployment/week was 8,945 in 2009. A couple weeks ago their unemployment claim was 92,300.

Just for the last week of April, California received 533,568 unemployment claims. I still think this is still just the beginning of the iceberg (unfortunately…)

With this MASSIVE amount of unemployment, there is going to be social unrest, desperation, racial aggression and more. It is for this reason why I left the US as this would not be good for my twin daughters Symphony and Harmony. (Taiwan has a stable society and I believe the worst is already over here).

So onto the (semi) good news:

The Post-Covid Resistance: Beginning of the Heroes Journey.

I believe the virus issue will be dealt with in 2-8 months. I believe the economic issue would last for 3-5 years.

But during this time there is a huge reshuffling too.

Political structures, power and influence distribution, old way of doing things – all this stuff would be shuffled up.In stable times, a lot of things are locked up in Ice and move extremely slowly.

In chaotic times, things become fluid like water (before they stabilize and becomes Ice again). This means that better than any time in history, we are able to hustle and strategically position ourselves to make an impact in the Post-COVID world, replace broken systems in the old world, and achieve things that were never possible before.

In my mind this is like after the Terminator Judgment Day, the remaining humans (who were NOT in power nor respected prior) need to come together and protect humanity against new threats (hmm…like AI-powered robots taking over).

At least for myself, this new sense of purpose at least fills me with hope and drive (instead of just doomsday survival mentality).

I immediately think about 100 things I need to do to make this positioning happen for myself during this 3-5 year reshuffling period.

I plan to share this journey with everyone in hopes more people get inspired and join me on this too.Of course, if I’m the only person passionate about this, I would still do it as it is providing me many benefits. I just hope more people can be on this journey with me too.

We can be part of the Post-Covid Resistance together.