How Twitch Motivates Streamers with Achievement Symbols | Game Technique #2

Yu-kai Chou and his team have developed over one hundred Game Techniques, some through observation and some through creation during client projects. 

If you haven’t read Yu-kai’s book yet, get it now to learn the framework behind the Game Techniques (so you know how to apply them). 

Primary Core Drive of Achievement Symbols: CD2: Development & Accomplishment
Primary Core Drive of Achievement Symbols: CD2: Development & Accomplishment

Definition & Primary Core Drive:

Definition of Achievement Symbol:

A visual icon that symbolizes an achievement from the user, such as a Badge, Trophy etc.

-Yu-kai Chou

Primary Core Drive:

Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment

How Twitch Usees Achievement Symbols to Motivate Streamers

For starters, we’re going to go through over 100 game techniques. This is just Game Technique #2!, called Achievement Symbols. And I’m taking a look at Twitch today, which by the way is a platform I think you should all look into and understand. It’s good to know because they are doing a lot of things from a design perspective that have really captured the imagination of a lot of streamers right and those streamers have captured the attention of a lot of advertising dollars. There’s really a big ecosystem right around this.

I remember my aunt asking me about twitch several years ago when one of her students wasn’t showing up for class, so it’s definitely something that is capturing attention from a number of different ways–that student by the way was streaming games on Twitch and on his way to becoming a pro gamer, or at least trying to.

How Twitch is Deploying the Achievement Symbol

Let’s look at this Achievement Symbol (icons for use) from the perspective of Twitch as a streamer.

Lately, I’ve been streaming a game that I like play which is actually a board game called Diplomacy. If you haven’t played before I strongly recommend you get in touch with me and I’ll help you get started.

An achievement symbol is simply a way to show that I’ve developed or accomplished something: developing a skill or accomplishing some kind of goal. And, yeah, it’s part of this larger reality of humans as goal-oriented beings. We like to see progress towards a goal. If we’re lost in the woods not sure how to get to the destination, not so much.

Recapturing my Attention (and Investment of Creative Labor)

Achievement Symbols that Twitch is using here help move me through the Onboarding process. I’ve already experienced some friction in establishing my stream and getting my equipment right, and over 9 hours of streaming, but I’m not monetizable yet. Eventually, I’ll attract advertising dollars to the platform and draw an audience. That’s the value tradeoff between the platform and me, the creator.

Right away you can see they have several achievement symbols to indicate what I can do here. Community, affiliate, partner, and so forth. After viewing my Achievement Symbol from previous efforts, the reward acts as a trigger to view other possible goals.

New Day, New Stream

Twitch recaptures my attention to bring me back into that activity loop. So, that is an extrinsic, but white hat; it feels good. Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment is just one of the 8 Core Drives. And Achievement Symbols (GT#2) is just one of over a hundred Game Techniques.

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