The Great Delhi Run–How FITology used an Alternate Reality Game to Break the Ice

Adventures @ FITology | #1 – The Great Delhi Run | Alternate Reality Game

This article was written by Saamir Gupta, Founder of FITology. (See bottom of article for full bio.)

Day 1: 7:00 pm, Hotel ITC, Delhi

Imagine, you have taken a long flight to India. This is your first evening in Delhi and you are having dinner with your colleagues from all round the world. You are part of this pool of 20 senior management handpicked to start a new business model for your company. And your discussions with them, as a team start tomorrow. But instead of the work agenda for the next day, at the dinner table, you are handed this brief –

Continue reading The Great Delhi Run–How FITology used an Alternate Reality Game to Break the Ice

5 Reasons why Gary Vaynerchuk has an “Addictive” Brand

Gary Vaynerchuck Gamification

Guest Post on Gary Vaynerchuk’s Engagement Design

Are you following Gary on Facebook or Snapchat? Are you watching the #askgaryvee show or Dailyvee? Getting increasingly popular with entrepreneurs, Gary has found a winning formula to hook us to his content. It goes beyond simply being ‘good content’. What makes his stuff so addictive?

In this article, we analyze the emotions and feelings Gary triggers with his readers through Yu-kai Chou’s cognitive framework Octalysis. The framework identifies several factors with potential to drive engagement (called Core Drives) that can be applied across industries.

So, what makes Gary’s content so addictive?

Continue reading 5 Reasons why Gary Vaynerchuk has an “Addictive” Brand

[Octalysis Guest Post] The Alchemy of Ingress

Ingress Gamification

“Ingress is an acceptable lifestyle choice”  – @Hosette, R1

How Ingress uses gamification and the 8 Core Drives of Octalysis to engage users

(Below is a guest post by Anne Miles. Email yukai[at]yukaichou[dot]com if you have would like to guest post about gamification/Octalysis/Behavioral Design)

For the past three years I’ve been immersed in a global gaming subculture that thrives around the augmented reality game, Ingress. Then I read Yukai’s book and was immediately struck by the Core Drives and how applicable they are to problem-solving in general.  As a User Experience professional, I’ve taken a lot from what I have learned playing the game. My clients and colleagues are always surprised when I say that. They see games as merely entertainment. (One in particular can’t finish a sentence without saying “Roll Tide,” yet he isn’t connecting how deeply games can impact people. Seriously.)

What I know, and what many Ingress players know, is that while games can indeed serve as nothing but escapism or entertainment, they also have the potential to be a shortcut to personal and professional growth. They inspire, motivate, teach and yes, turn into obsessions. I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned about that through the game Ingress in Octalysis parlance. You can read more about Octalysis here. Then I’d like to explain how I’m using what I’ve learned in my own business. To do that, let me set the scene. You need to understand how Ingress works to understand how the Core Drives apply.

You can download an app on your Android or iOS phone that lets you track places in the world that have XM, or exotic matter, bubbling through them. These places all have certain things in common. There are breathtaking public sculptures or murals, important historic sites, natural wonders. Continue reading [Octalysis Guest Post] The Alchemy of Ingress

[Guest Post] When online brands meet social engagement – a match made in heaven

Engaged User

How behavioral economics has turned online brands into emotionally rewarding user experiences – offering a whole new engaging ecosystem within their online assets.

(Below is a guest post by the Gamification and Engagement Platform Captain Up. They are a tool that easily allows any website to implement game design elements to motivate behavior. If you notice, the little widget on the right side of my side is from Captain Up.)

Behavioral economics is a fascinating scientific field. It revolves around the way in which we make decisions and what drives us to do what we do. This is a new bonanza for prominent online brands – a better understanding of their followers and clients, more accurate compliance to their needs. There is no doubt that viewing user engagement as a revenue enhancer is an innovative concept for online brands and a noteworthy trend.

What was once only part of hugely popular social games like “Candy Crush” and “Clash of Clans” is now driving new and exciting engagement features for leading online brands.

Turning motivations into actions

It’s no secret that user acquisition and online marketing are an endless challenge, and that’s even before we get started on user loyalty. It is a Sisyphic struggle, constantly seeking to get new clients on board while also preserving the existing ones. However, the modern online marketer’s arsenal hasn’t really evolved over the past couple of years. User acquisition tools have mainly focused on more-of-the-same marketing methodologies generating more-of-the-same results. But there’s a wind of change blowing.

“Total immersion” – the essence of successful brands

In this day and age, maintaining a great brand is much more than advertising or marketing. It is not all about the quality of your product or service but about the adrenaline rush created by a flawless and exciting user experience, driving users in and getting them to come back for more.

This user experience is driven by what is called “total immersion”. The whole brand scenery surrounds the user, creating a unique atmosphere and a special vibe people get hooked on.

But what creates this atmosphere? Well… everything. From the big picture to the smallest details, every aspect of the user’s journey is pre-calculated and designed to support their decision making process.

Spot the right motivations and provide solutions

The basic assumptions for boosting user involvement and loyalty through engagement are:

  • People are looking for a sense of belonging – belonging to a community is a valid and powerful incentive to act upon. (Core Drive 5: Social Influence & Relatedness in the Octalysis Framework)
  • The right reward for the right action – customizing and offering the right rewards for preferred actions drives excellent engagement from users.
  • Good design has super-powers – getting a message through to users and driving them to action is a form of art combined with psychology. Great and carefully planned design can do magic to online user engagement.
  • People want to be engaged – they are just looking for a good enough reason to engage with your particular experience.
  • Content is king – it won’t do you any good trying to motivate and incentivize your users if your basic offering – your content, service, or product – isn’t good enough. Offer great content and start from there.

Captain Up – The new generation of user engagement solutions for super brands

Today’s brands realize that in order to attain a new level of brand loyalty and engagement with their fans they have to act differently and enhance the user experience dramatically. To do so, the startup Captain Up has developed a platform that aims directly to the heart of these needs.

Captain Up has developed a SaaS platform to provide a new generation of retention and loyalty, based on insights from behavioral economics. The user engagement platform enables online businesses and brands to add social and gaming mechanics, turning visitors into active loyal users.

The outcome is an immediate impact on user loyalty and behavioral patterns once exposed to the exciting features. Most users are drawn to the the new sensation of belonging and involvement, turning a lot of them into brand ambassadors.

Guest Post: “Game Over” for Climate Change!

Gamification for Climate Change

Best of times and worst of times for Behavioral Change

(This is a Guest Post by the WeForest Team. They are applying Octalysis to solve global climate change problems, and we love to promote efforts that make the world a better place. If you want to share a similar post, you can email victoria[at]yukaichou[period]com)

Shigeru Miyamoto from Nintendo once said: “For those who don’t play video games, video games are irrelevant. They think all video games must be too difficult.”

I say, same goes for fighting climate change.

Life as we know it is about to end. Quite literally!

Nowadays, everyone is busy in their own bubbles, whether it is sustaining a living, building a career or raising kids. We don’t often look around to check what is happening around us. Even if we do notice major issues such as poverty, pollution, climate change, natural disasters, we immediately think, “this is out of my league, there is no way I could solve such issues, I prefer to stay in my bubble.”

But what if these major issues will start affecting your bubble? What if you can still move on with your same routine, same lifestyle and still help in solving one of these looming and world-crushing dangers?

Confronting the Hard Truth

It is a fact that Global climate change is real and already starting to transform life on Earth. Glaciers have shrunk, ice on rivers and lakes are breaking up earlier, plant and animal ranges have shifted, and we already see the first climate refugees.

So yes, life as we know it is about to end. Or as James Hansen – the famous NASA and Columbia University scientist – puts it: “If we continue, if we extract oil and burn that and emit that into the atmosphere, we are absolutely at game over with climate change.”

So, let’s do something about it. In the Octalysis Framework, we know that Core Drive 1: Epic Meaning & Calling is a White Hat Core Drive, which means it is very powerful, but lacks urgency. People WANT to make the world better, but there is not immediate trigger to do it today. Core Drive 8: Loss and Avoidance is a Black Hat Core Drive, which means it motivates us immediately through the fear of losing something or having undesirable events happen.

Let’s see how to use that Core Drive 8 to lead into Core Drive 1.

Gaming and Climate Change

Gaming and fighting climate change –  Have you ever thought what they might have in common? Most people see nothing! But if you look deeper, you will find the link.

Gaming is all about problem solving, one of the motives that makes gamers enjoy playing video games is the sense of achievement and accomplishment they get when they pass a level or get a high score. This is Octalysis Core Drive 2: Development and Accomplishment, where we are driven be a sense of growth and desire to achieve targeted goals. So, what if you can take this sense of achievement to a whole new level and create an impact on a major global issue?

Another important aspect is the power of the crowd! The gaming industry can motivate huge crowds and create a movement that can definitely make a difference. Humans have an innate, intrinsic desire to belong to a social group and exert influence socially (Octalysis Core Drive 5: Social Influence and Relatedness). When we see a group of people that we relate to spring into action, we want to participate and play our part in that group. In the same vein, not participating when other people in our group are, may result in a fear of missing out (Core Drive 8: Loss and Avoidance).

Hence, as a gaming company or a gamer, you could do a lot about it actually.

Fighting the New Dragon: Climate Change 

Gamification is the next big thing. Games are no longer just about scores, building fortresses or fighting the dragon anymore; learning from successful games is now a very powerful tool for motivation, education, and spreading awareness. Several initiatives have already started making an impact through social gaming, which makes us strongly believe that global public awareness about the climate change issue could be significantly increased through Gamification. In fact, we believe that only a gamer could have what it takes to combat the new dragon, aka climate change.

What steps does it take to fight Climate Change? 

Did you know that the total electricity consumed by idle electronics equals the annual output of 12 power plants? There are many solutions that one could put in place. Starting from basic actions such as choosing greener computers and game consoles to activating the power management features on your computer. If we can present various ways for people to contribute to climate change, and let them choose how they will participate, they will feel empowered in their autonomous choice perception (Octalysis Core Drive 3: Empowerment of Creativity and Feedback).

In addition, act as an ambassador to the cause and promote it among people you know (Core Drive 5: Social Influence and Relatedness). Awareness is the first step to know about the issue and afterwards start looking for solutions.

WeForst: Planting Trees for every in-game behavior!

As Oxford Scientists put it: “Trees are the best technology to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere” and that’s what we are focusing on at WeForest.

Our main mission is to fight climate change through reforestation and landscape restoration projects. Reforestation is not just about planting trees, it’s a process of reviving a whole community with all its living organisms. By planting trees, you give new life for our Earth and for the community surrounding it, initially by absorbing carbon dioxide and by being a proactive tool in in meeting the international goal of avoiding climate change greater than 2 degrees Celsius.

Planting Trees adds to people’s innate desire for progress (Core Drive 2: Development and Accomplishment). Every tree is like a reward that people can collect, and if grouped together the trees could form part of a collection set. Perhaps you can collect different kind of tree types: teak, mahony, oak, sequoia and get special powers if you complete a tree collection set (Core Drive 4: Ownership and Possession – we are driven by the feeling that we own something).

At WeForest, we offer trees as a currency for companies to engage their millions of gamers. With this powerful tool, gaming companies may choose to plant a certain amount of trees for every gamer who passes a certain game level. With this, everyone will have his share in solving the problem, whether it is the gaming company, the gamer or the organizations. This is one idea of many other solutions.

As we can see, fighting for our planet can be a well-designed gamified experience, using Octalysis Core Drive Motivational design. We can all be part of this virtual movement and create a real difference. Let’s collaborate and plant trees to make our Earth cooler and hopefully receive the message “Congratulation. This story has a happy end. Thank you.”

Check our website to know more about our different reforestation projects ( and if you have any inquires or suggestions, please dont hesitate to drop us a message.