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

Sales and BD Lead Role opening at The Octalysis Group

The digital market in the United States has gone from strength to strength over the last few years. COVID-19 has only strengthened the resolve of companies to nail down user engagement in the current remote work and digital world.

The Octalysis Group has capitalized on this opportunity and has built up an extensive client list, from Fortune 500 companies to innovative Start Ups. But we have only just begun and are looking to double down our efforts on getting the leading Behavioral Science and Gamification Framework in front of companies that need it the most.

Therefore, we are actively looking for a Business Development Lead for the United States market.

What we are looking for:

  • Interest and some understanding of the Octalysis Framework
  • Experience in Sales and Business Development (including cold calling managers in large companies)
  • A proven track record of building and deepening markets
  • Fluency in English (verbal and written)

What we offer:

  • An opportunity to work in the leading Gamification Consultancy worldwide; and with Yu-kai Chou and our amazing team of Octalysis experts
  • Up to 30% revenue share for closed deals
  • Freedom to work from wherever you want
  • Worldwide Annual Retreats

If you are interested in this opportunity, please send a CV and intro email to joris@octalysisgroup.com

4 Dominant Applications of Gamification in 2020

Octalysis Gamification Framework

4 Dominant Applications of Gamification for the New Year

(Below is a snippet of Gamification Book: Actionable Gamification – Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards. If you like this blog post, you will LOVE the book.)

Now that we have covered the different implementation methods for gamification, we will explore the various applications of gamification in several industries.

In general, the majority of my clients represent four fields that I consistently see innovating time and time again, indicating a tremendous amount of application and growth in these sectors:

  • Product Gamification
  • Workplace Gamification
  • Marketing Gamification
  • Lifestyle Gamification

1) Product Gamification

Product Gamification is about making a product, online or offline, more engaging, fun, and inspirational through game design. Most companies struggle to create products that customers fall in love with, continue using, and passionately share with their friends. Some of these products have great “functional” purposes, but don’t focus on the motivation and Core Drives of their users.

In a previous era, consumers didn’t have adequate information and were accustomed to slow gratification. Along with immense barriers for starting new companies, it was not as detrimental for a company to simply assume that customers would use their products – provided that they were marketed correctly. However, people today are spoiled with instant gratification through the Internet, with immersive empowerment and real-time feedback through games, and the constant connection to their social network. Your users, customers, and employees are becoming less tolerant of badly designed products that do not take into account their motivations, especially when they have a variety of competitive alternatives they can choose from.

Status Quo Sloth of Startup Adoption

Many corporations and startups excitedly tell me, “Our product is great! Users can do this; users can do that; and they can even do these things!” And my response to them has been, “Yes, you are telling me all the things your users *can* do. But you have not explained to me *why* the user would do it.”

That’s the problem with a majority of company products – great technology and functionalities, but no traction. People don’t have a reason to go out of their way to use the product. Sometimes, a startup founder tells me, “Hey, Yu-kai, there’s no reason why people wouldn’t use our product. We save them money, we save them time, and we make their lives better.” On lucky days, customers themselves would even say, “Yeah, there’s no reason why I wouldn’t use your product. It saves me money, it saves me time, and it makes my life better. I’ll definitely sign-up sometime tomorrow.”

For those who have run startups or launched products before, you know the crucial part of the entire phrase is the ending. When people say they will do it “tomorrow,” more often than not it means “never.” This is because at this point they are motivated by Core Drive 8: Loss & Avoidance, and specifically by something I call Status Quo Sloth (Game Technique #85) – they are avoiding a change in their habits and behavior.

Remember how we talked about how Gamification is actually Human-Focused Design learned from decades, even centuries of game design experience? When you are launching a new product, its motivational standing is very similar to a game. No one has to play a game. You have to do your taxes; you have to go to work; and you really should go to the gym. But you never have to play a game, and let’s be honest, oftentimes you shouldn’t.

Because games have invested an amazing amount of creativity, innovation, and resources into figuring out how to get people to want to spend more time on them, there are definitely many great lessons you can learn from games for your own products. The key here is to make a product so exciting that customers become obsessed with using your product and are compelled to share how exciting their experiences were to their friends.

2) Workplace Gamification

Continue reading 4 Dominant Applications of Gamification in 2020

Why I Permanently Deleted Facebook – A Year Later

The Effects of Permanently Deleting Facebook
The Effects of Permanently Deleting Facebook

Did you, like me, permanently delete your Facebook account last year? Why did you do it?

I asked myself this very question a few days ago. To my analytical yet generous mind, there is a distribution of reasoning.

These range from ideological to practical. From concerns of privacy to a desire to create free time to reallocate toward my updated medium-term goals, like learning to code at an amateur level and to grasp the history of money.

Since I subscribe to theories of mimetic desire, part of me feels as though I quit Facebook because other people were doing it, which in itself is not always by itself a good reason for doing anything (if you’ll allow me to understate my point).

I didn’t pause or suspend or disable my account: I permanently deleted it. Part of me feels that I permanently deleted it to prove to myself that I could. (When I played online poker, I occasionally entertained folding pocket aces pre-flop to demonstrate I could make a bad play, to illustrate that I–whatever I is–was in charge.)

A year later, what are the Pros and Cons of the decision?

Pros of Leaving Facebook Behind

More Free Time:
I do have additional time each day which I’ve reallocated to other activities. Note: This was part of my digital minimalism kick–to use digital technologies selectively, in other words to choose those which amplify my velocity toward my goals.

More Attention:
Understanding one’s conscious attention is a detailed and complicated topic. To my way of thinking, understanding how one’s attention works is a private and personal activity. A journey that you have to take on your own. Even useful meditation apps like Waking Up will only get you part of the way.

Seeing the Forest and the Trees:
Take a moment to notice how this sentence affects you. That sentence wasn’t so emotionally resonant. Neither was that one. So what?, you might reactively ask. But that is the point. (For one thing, I’ve learned to read better…and to notice less good writing and better writing.) 

“Slowing down” in appropriate ways lets me see the forest and the trees. It also lets me examine products and services and how those human-product or human-service interactions engage my attention. There’s a layer of meta-cognition here which is difficult to appreciate, but rewarding. In Octalysis Prime, we are doing our best to help our members notice how the activity or game loops they create for their players, members, and customers acknowledge the human there.

Cons of Leaving Facebook — And Trying to Return

The Value of Your Network:
Last night at a holiday party, I was where I grew up. Gabon, Indonesia, China, USA. Most of the friends and contacts I made in those places were filed in Facebook. Gone are the digital branches connecting me with those people. (It is hard, but not impossible, to regrow them. Some people have found me again, and me them.)

Managing Facebook Groups:
I want to manage a Facebook Group for work–Octalysis Explorers–which is the largest gamification group on Facebook. In one sense, it is the largest base (outside our mailing list of 30k+) of people who we as a company enjoy talking and hanging out with. Since I’m the Community Manager for Octalysis Prime, it would be useful to understand who those people are too, but I haven’t been able to get back on Facebook, at least not within Facebook’s standard rules.

For example, I recently added a new user–first name “Octalysis” last name “Prime”– and included my personal details, birthday, email, and phone number.

After using Facebook for about 30 minutes, I was asked to upload a picture “with a face” at which time I was locked out of Facebook. A few days later, I’m still not allowed on.

I guess we should acknowledge that Facebook is honoring its commitment to permanently delete my account with them.

What services have you canceled?

What services have you canceled, vowing to never return, but eventually came back?

What was the return like?

Did the service welcome you back? Did they make it easy to jump back in? Hard?

How did it make you feel?

I also left behind Quora, which was one of my favorite social sites, where I had a reasonable following and was a top writer in some topics…in different but meaningful ways, that was a harder decision than leaving Facebook.

Limited Sales Week: Order Team Octalysis Jerseys and the Octalysis Framework Pillow

Limited Sales Week (Ends Sep 27): Order Team Octalysis Jerseys and the Octalysis Framework Pillow

Gamification Esports Hoodie Gamification Esports Jersey

Ever since I posted the picture of me wearing our Team Octalysis Jerseys, people have been asking me how they could get one for themselves. Even though this was meant for our own team members, we received so many requests that we decided to make it possible for Octalysis fans to get one.

Since we are ordering a few more Jerseys for our new members, we are letting people order one so we can batch all of them together.

These Jerseys and Hoodies are of course not cheap, as they are fairly quite high quality. It will also have your personalized name or gamer tag on the back.

Each jersey is 50$ normally and each hoodie is 65$. Again, they will be customized to your name or GamerTag on the back, whatever you choose.

Here are sizing references:

Team Octalysis Jerseys

This is what it looks like on an average Joe – completely relatable instead of the super pro models.

Update: Sorry – the time to order is over 🙁

A Great Addition: The Octalysis Framework Pillow!

Ever felt that the Octalysis Framework is a bit too involved and you just wanted to sleep on it? Now you can. With the Octalysis Framework Pillow, you can absorb Octalysis magic when you are asleep, and you can peak at the answers when you wake up.

Great for bed-time conversations with your spouse and putting your toddlers (and spouse) to sleep.

It also works on your couch where you can impress all your guests with your amazing Octalysis knowledge as you tell them all their life choices were done through Extrinsic/Left Brain Core Drives, and they need to shift to Core Drive 1 and 3 to be happy.


Since even the shape are custom made for our needs, these pillow are even more expensive at $130 a piece. Only invest if you want your kids to grow up into geniuses or you feel proud of being a behavioral nerd.

Update: Sorry – the time to order is over 🙁

Now, enjoy the rest of your life WINNING.

I now have my own eSports Team in Heroes of the Storm!

To Make Games Meaningful

Back in 2003, I had an epiphany that changed my life. I had just quit playing Diablo II and I felt a rush of emptiness.

I spent thousands of hours becoming strong in a video game, but once I was done with the game, all that disappears. I’m still at the same place in life.

It was then when I went on a life journey to make games more meaningful towards our real lives.

At the time, I had considered two options:

Option 1: do what was considered “Gamification” (in today’s terminology)

Option 2: do what was considered “Esports” (in today’s terminology)

Both of them were relevant in my quest of making real life better through gaming (and ensure that playing games wasn’t a “waste of time.”).

The Non-Existent Esports Industry

Back then the esports industry didn’t exist, besides some serious matches of Starcraft in South Korea.

It was just more of a vision for me where, if videos games could be like a real sport such as Basketball, then there would be a real economy and ecosystem around it (Managers, Players, Coaches, Media etc.), and playing/studying games all day long suddenly became very productive.

It wasn’t unfathomable (despite sounding crazy to everyone I talked to – they thought I was just creating more excuses to play games). “Real Sports” like Basketball and Football are basically just games that people played for fun. But when enough people enjoyed playing and watching the game, it sets up a whole economy of ticket sales, advertisers, staff, dedicated venues, and cultural change.

It becomes “legit” and is no longer “just a game.”

Team Octalysis Esports

As you probably know, I ended up choosing the Gamification path. As a result, I became a leading pioneer in the gamification space and am running many of the biggest gamification initiatives in the world (consulting company, the education platform Octalysis Prime, FB community). It worked out quite well for me, and I live every day of my life as a passionate gamer. Even Blizzard has sent their game designers to my workshops to learn about the Octalysis Framework.

But I sometimes can’t help but think about the other choice I didn’t make. If I chose to go down the esports path, I would also become an early pioneer in esports and today I may be running some of the largest esports infrastructure entities in the industry (I’m realistic enough to know that I wouldn’t become a pro-player myself). That would be tremendously fun too.

The two passions meet

Gamification Esports Jersey

Gamification Esports Hoodie

Luckily, because of how strong my gamification efforts are doing, I suddenly have the unique opportunity to go down the path I didn’t take.

We have now sponsored a team in the Heroes of the Storm Global Championship (HGC), the premier Heroes of the Storm competitive league from Blizzard Entertainment. Our team “Team Octalysis” (formerly Team Twelve) is currently a Top 3 Team in North America.

Team Octalysis has 5 amazingly hard-working players, a great team manager, a coach/game analyst, and media members – all there to support competitive play at the highest levels, engage the fans, and spread a little bit of Octalysis love.

Team Octalysis is officially competing in the HGC, where eight teams in each of four regions compete every week to qualify for international tournaments and a shot at a world championship.

Every weekend, you can tune in on Twitch.tv or the HGC Website to watch their competitions, support Team Octalysis, and muse over obviously-less-talented teams fight each other.

You can also follow Team Octalysis on their Twitter: twitter.com/TeamOctalysis

Exciting times for Octalysis and for Gaming!

How to use Jedi mind tricks on your wife to get things done

Note: this post was written by Jun Loayza.

Ok… Juniper will nap from 9:30am to 10:30am. When she wakes up, I’ll feed her and then we’ll quickly jump in the car and drive to story time at 11:15am. After story time, we’ll head back home for lunch and then playtime until her next nap. During that nap, we’ll unload the dishwasher, organize the laundry, and clean up the apartment. Once she wakes up, we’ll all take a walk to Boba Guys and do playtime at Dolores Park. We should get home by 5pm, give her a bath, and then have her in bed by 6:30pm. Ready?!?!… Let’s do this!

This went on for two weeks straight.

Needless to say, both Kim and I burnt out.

Continue reading How to use Jedi mind tricks on your wife to get things done