The power of #almost

Why retrying should be encouraged

In #gamification we all know about FLOW. That feeling you get when you #almost achieve a goal but feel that you are actually about to get it. In proper terms, FLOW is where the difficulty of a challenge matches the skill of the player, however,  I want to talk about how players feel when they almost achieve their goals.

The feeling of fiero, that thing you do with your arms when your team scores a goal or how people feel at the end of a marathon, comes after a lot of hard work and expectation. Normally you can feel this via proxy, but when it comes to building experiences that make the players feel like that is a complete different story.

Trying to explain it through fancy terms as FLOW and FIERO will take a lot of time. The simplest way is to understand how YOU feel when you are attempting something and ALMOST achieve it. When we are faced with a challenge that matches our abilities (or close to match them) we get excited and want to actually do it.

Whatever activity you are havign the players do, make sure it goes according to their level of tolerance to frustration. If something is too hard, you let it go, you feel disappointed and look for easier challenges, if they are too easy, you get bored and lose interest because there is no challenge. That is wher ALMOST sums all I want to say really simple.

As long as the player is ALMOST capable to get the task done, they will want to try as many times as possible. When they finally achieve it then move to the next challenge with the same feeling. The magic number is 3 to 5 times. If it takes more than 5 times to get it right people will usually start feeling frustrated, although this completely depends on the person, 5 is perfectly reasonable. If it takes less than 3, then it might be too easy. This projection escaltes to the amount of challenges that must be easy or hard accordingly. So if 5 or more tasks in a row are super easy, then the player might get bored, but if less than 3 in a row, they might feel its too hard.

This numbers are NOT hard or strict and they should be dynamic. maybe first you give 5 easy tasks, then 2 hard ones then 3 easy then 4 hards and so on… Easy tasks taking one or two attempts and hard ones less than 5 (most of the time)

Bernardo Letayf

Bernardo Letayf

E.M.B.O.

As of October 2017, I occupy the 14th position in the Gamification Gurus Power 100! I am a Gamification Keynote Speaker & the evil mind behind the operation @bluerabbit, a gamification platform for education. I also developed three frameworks to teach/learn how to create gamification systems and build gamified content at the BLUErabbit Gamification Academy Right now we are developing BLUErabbit as a MOCC aside from all the original functions to transform the educational system. I have declared a world wide war on grades.

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