Metablox NFT Game Loop and Tokenomics

Designing Metablox NFT Game Loop and Tokenomics

I’ve been helping companies design Game Loops for Years. It’s one of the most important practices within my work ever since I published my book. At the same time, due to the new Crypto/Blockchain/NFT craze and how they all utilize some form of gamification, I have been designing economies and especially tokenomies.

I’ve spent a lot of time creating the Metablox NFT Game Loop, which helped derive the Tokenomics of the Metablox Coin, its Governance and Dividend Token.

If you want to learn more about how I designed the Game Loop or in general how to create Tokenomics, you can either:

  1. Join the Metablox Discord and learn about it and more from other passionate Metablox Neighbors and initiates alike (You will gain the status of “First Founding Member” if you join before our February launch)
  2. Checkout the Metablox Whitepaper!

Yu-kai Chou Personal Update 2021

It’s been a long two years since I’ve written my last update. Things have been pretty crazy.

At first I thought no one would have noticed as who cares about a random person’s yearly update, but I started getting repeated messages from distant friends on how they haven’t received my update emails for a long time and asked if they have been removed from the list somehow.

I guess people do notice when I slack off on stuff like this.

The past two years have been pretty wild (it’s long but hey – two years of updates!).

Here’s the tl;dr

  1. moved my entire family back to Taiwan March of 2020
  2. Twin daughters Symphony & Harmony Chou are almost 4
  3. Consulting Company (Octalysis Group) and Education Platform (Octalysis Prime) growing and doing well.
  4. I was fortunate enough to also teach my Octalysis Framework to Yale & Oxford University. Google Scholar shows over 1500 academic journals and PhD thesis
  5. My book has sold more than 100,000 copies
  6. I spent some time as Head of Creative Labs and Head of Digital Labs at HTC, contributing to the future of AR/VR and the Metaverse
  7. I started my own NFT project called Metablox with my 16 year work partner Jun Loayza who is from Google/Youtube. Was self-funding but recently a friend convinced us to take his $100K investment so thought might as well open a round of investments.
Continue reading Yu-kai Chou Personal Update 2021

The NFT I believe in

As you most likely have noticed, there is a huge NFT craze going on right now.

Some of them seem exuberant with six, seven or even eight digit sales. Some are based on some fad where people know will eventually blow up, but are living with the “next fool” principle of joining the party while it lasts, while others are there for long term bragging rights and self expression.

Now, being a pioneer in the field of gamification since 2003 and having worked on virtual worlds since 2006, I definitely believe in the future of NFTs and how it powers the upcoming Metaverse.

The Metaverse is particularly interesting to me because it is the intersection of all my passions and expertise: Gamification, Virtual Worlds, VR/AR (I spent some time as Head of Creative Labs & Digital Commerce for HTC VIVE), Blockchain/Cryptocurrency (I was also Chief Experience Officer of Decentral, working with Ethereum Cofounder Anthony Di Iorio), and NFTs. Even my economics degree back in UCLA help me conceive and craft a flowing economy that is balanced and thriving.

Also, being an advisor to many blockchain-based companies, I was also informed that my book Actionable Gamification has been a must read in the NFT world.

Even renowned investors and crypto/NFT pundits Raul Paulo and Jeff Booth mention their familiarity with my work.

Raoul Pal NFT
Jeff Booth NFT


This led me to think deeply – what is the NFT that I could believe in? What would have lasting power, is meaningful in how it’s constructed, and can connect to the inevitable Metaverse of the future?

For that, we need to break down why NFTs are valuable in the first place.

NFTs retain their value because of three components: 1) Scarcity, 2) Meaning, and 3) Community.

If you apply my Octalysis Framework, these correspond to three distinctive Core Drives –

  • Core Drive 6: Scarcity & Impatience
  • Core Drive 1: Epic Meaning & Calling
  • Core Drive 5: Social Influencer & Relatedness
Gamification Framework Octalysis
The Octalysis Framework by Yu-kai Chou
Continue reading The NFT I believe in

Analysis: Gamification Design behind Squid Game

Squid Game – the gamified death experience that is impossible to ignore

I’m a busy professional. I’m running multiple companies, handling multiple client projects, creating video content, working on an NFT/Metaverse concept, all while helping to raise my twin daughters, Symphony and Harmony Chou.

Because of that, I often try to stay away from addictive media that is designed to suck away all my hours and make me less productive – especially when I’m an expert on how media does that to our brain to begin with.

However, as is probably the case for your experience too, I suddenly got approached by a variety of people asking me if I have seen this Netflix show called Squid Game, and how would I use Octalysis Gamification Theory to dissect it.

This happened so frequently within a few days, that I finally took the Red Pill and decided to watch Squid Game. And expectedly, I finished the entire Season 1 within 24 hours. Wait, did I mention I was a busy professional?

Lucky for me, my profession is learning from addictive entertainment and applying them to productive processes such as improving healthcare, education, finance, etc. by making boring but important activities more fun and engaging.

So the joke’s on Squid Game – I didn’t entirely waste my time and it helped me level up.

Here I share my analysis of this gamified death experience and why it rose above the crowd and totally killing it.

Spoilers Alert: not only will parts of the show be spoiled, you will understand the inner workings of how something like Squid Game is designed, ruining your entire experience if watching for the first time.

But what makes it a GAME?

It’s called the Squid Game, but is it really a game? Most of the time we think of games as fun activities that drive good memories. Squid Game seems to just be this perverted meat trap where people are dying for the entertainment of sick rich people.

You see similar scenarios in horror Escape Room movies where many people die if they don’t solve puzzles to escape the room quickly. But they don’t call it a game – just another tortune zone.

However, if you look at similar films here, you will see that something like the Hunger Games also call themselves a game, except the goal is to just kill off one another. In Roman gladiator arenas, there is also the common saying, “Let the games begin!”

So what makes people slaughtering each other a form of game?

Technically, games exist for us to rehearse and train for real life situations that are important. That’s why boys love playing fighting games – in primitive times you don’t want your first ever fight to be of life-or-death. Their brain creates pleasure when tackling these situations so they would have enough practice to survive in the future world.

That’s also why there are also many popular games that are related to socializing, solving puzzles/problems, and building industrial empires – all extremely useful skills to gain for thriving in our harsh world.

So when people are put in an artificially created environment where they need to outcompete each other and even potentially cause each other to be eliminated, they call this a Game. The fact that many sports are just a game that professionals play to entertain a paying audience also fits very well in the setup of Squid Game.

But of course, it goes beyond that. Squid Game actually offers little games that Koreans play as kids when they were growing up, further pushing for that aspect of “I want desperate people to survive and murder each other, but through a gamified environment.”

So what makes the gamified Squid Game so compelling?

There are 2 aspects to consider here: the Squid Game itself for the contestants, and the Squid Game show for the audience.

For both of them, we could use the Octalysis Strategy Dashboard to evaluate the different sets of Business Metrics, Player Types, Desired Actions, Feedback Mechanics, and Rewards/Incentives. For practicality sake, we use a super shrunk down version of this process.

If we look at the Squid Game for the Contestants:

Business Metrics: how thrilling and entertaining the VIPs will feel while watching people struggling and getting eliminated
Player: financially and socially desperate people who have dropped to the bottom of society that have very little to live for or too much to lose if they didn’t have money.
Desired Actions: go through a list of 6 games, surviving each of them, while making sure other contestants are being eliminated
Feedback Mechanics: floating ball with a ton of cash, number of current players, gameful environment with death triggers, soldiers with guns etc.
Rewards/Incentives: a huge deal of money that could likely solve all the problems they are facing in their normal reality.

Now if we look at Squid Game for the Netflix Viewers:

Business Metrics: keep people watching content for a long extended period of time so every month they feel like the fee was worth it – also increase word of mouth.
Player: media-oriented people who prefer watching shows as their main form of entertainment. Also people who like thrillers and aren’t afraid of blood, like the Game of Thrones audience.
Desired Actions: binge watch Squid Game for long periods of time. If they stop watching it, think about it all night long and talk to others about it.
Feedback Mechanics: TV screen – which characters are still alive, what is the new challenge, attachment to characters, drama/tension built between characters, curiosity of the entire organization.
Rewards/Incentives: satisfying ones’ curiosity, feedback of one’s creative guessing, social relatedness towards characters in the show and how they develop

For this article, we will focus on the Game Contestants (and potentially explore Netflix Viewer in another article)

Squid Game Contestant Game Analysis

Squid Game Gamified Analysis

So if we apply the 8 Core Drives of the Octalysis Framework, we could make these analysis to the game from the position of the contestants. Let’s first get the obvious ones out of the way:

Core Drive 4: Ownership & Possession in Squid Game

Of course, the biggest appeal for people to play the Squid Game is the money prize if they are the final winners. There is nothing special about this, but companies who want to motivate people need to think very heavily about incentive designs and how that incentive is presented.

Keep in mind that Core Drive 4: Ownership & Possession is on the left side of the octagon so it is a “Left Brain Core Drive,” which means it is purely an extrinsic motivation design. This means that the players are doing the activities because of a goal, milestone, or reward, but they don’t necessarily enjoy the activity itself. So once they obtain the reward, hit their goals, or the reward becomes stale and uninteresting, people will stop doing the behavior.

For Squid Game, it is not hard to imagine that if the reward suddenly disappears or is not as attractive as they thought, no one would want to continue.

Core Drive 8: Loss & Avoidance in Squid Game

Continue reading Analysis: Gamification Design behind Squid Game

Yu-kai Chou interviewed by an VR Influencer (for HTC)

Yu-kai Chou interviewed by an VR Influencer (for HTC)

Hey all!

Some of you know that in 2020 I started working with HTC alongside my two companies (my consulting/design company The Octalysis Group and my gamified education platform Octalysis Prime).

I was very lucky that the Founder/CEO of HTC Cher Wang has read my book on gamification before, and wanted to explore a variety of ways I could help the Taiwanese-based company. In 2020-2021, I took up roles such as Head of Digital Commerce, Head of Creative Labs, and also managed the North America marketing teams, pushing out some of the highest tier VR Headsets in the industry.

VR Social Ambassador Work for VIVE and our designed ARG

More recently, I shifted my focus on being a Social Ambassador, working with social media and social infuencers/innovators.

Gamified ARG

We recently launched a gamified ARG (Alternate Reality Game) that involves solving a lot of online puzzles and riddles (such as converting music notes into map coordinates, or deciphering a poem about celestial stars arguing about who is the brightest). All of this leads to an amazing giveaway prize where a few lucky/creative winners will travel to a 5-Star Hotel and experience the highest-end VR HTC VIVE has to offer.

At the same time, I was interviewed by an influencer in the VR world – Eric for President. I talk about HTC’s attitude towards the community and my view points of the VR world.

Hope you enjoy!

VR Gamification

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