Why #gamification matters

Why #gamification matters

I am watching the new Netflix series “Dad of Light” which shows a kid whose Dad just got retired and uses Final Fantasy XIV (a MMORPG game) to try and connect with him.

The kid gives his dad a PS4 and a FFXIV game as a gift.

I won’t spoil anything. I’m also only on episode 5, though what I do have to say isa beautiful insight on why #gamification matters.

The series is a reflection of the power of #games in real life. These two characters in the series are completely isolated from each other and the goal is to connect through the game. It reminded me immediately of the project World of Warcraft in the clasroom which inspired me to buid BLUErabbit a couple of years ago.

Now, what hit me the most is how easy the son starts learning new things from his dad by teaching him how to play a game. Though the parent doesn’t know who his son is in the game his wisdom and maturity shows up naturally and can’t be hidden.

My dad (Dr. Jorge Letayf) has worked in professional training for over 40 years and a long time ago he taught me that people can’t hide their tru nature when playing, that’s why I use games in my courses, to show everyone who everybody is truly like and stop being surprised when such behavior shows in the workplace.

The connection both characters in Dad of Light show reminded me of why I’m doing this.

#Gamification matters because it gives purpose to people, it reveals our true nature and it help us become stronger by overcoming challenges in a more dynamic way. Life CAN be as good as a game. Life can have moments of fear and glory and heroism and no need for it to be a full time drama. It all needs is a good system and a clear objective.

We must continue this endeavor and connect with as much people as possible.

#Gamification is much more than just PBL’s or Great mechanics combined in harmony. #Gamification is the way to change everything into a clear definitive plan that will help players overcome everything.

#Gamification is the way.

Deepest RAMP analysis

Deepest RAMP analysis

#gamification core analysis... level 3

Yes, I know… more crazy stuff?  Just a deeper analysis and an explanation on where this is taking my frameworks šŸ™‚

Now, you can download the image on the left and give it a try.

The idea here is to start some combinations on the player types. Not that it will take us anywhere in terms of a perfect definition of them and to develop a new theory around it. What I was doing (and discussed with Andrzej) is that this can grant you a deeper understanding on how players will behave through their gameplay.

Someone who wants to be a specialist might be craving for Autonomy and Mastery. A leader might seek Purpose and Relatedness.

This way you can plan ahead in your #gamification design a bit more focused on what your audience wants. Trying not to preconfigure things too much but to choose the game mechanics that best apply to the situation.

According to this validation there are mechanics directly connected to each player type in the HEXAD. Making a cross between two or more player types will show a larger number of options.

What I’m trying to achieve is to generate a system that will allow you to define how many RAMP points each mechanic gives to your system in each core concept so you deploy a more accurate solution.

In the end, I know it’s not possible to have it 100% accurate, but if we manage to deliver a more quantitative approach it will prove to help build better #gamification systems than ever before.

Imagine building your system with a set of cards that look like Magic: The Gathering, so much fun and so precise you can just focus on the creative part a lot more.

 

Bernardo Letayf

Bernardo Letayf

M.B.O.

14th position in the Gamification Gurus Power 100!

Gamification Keynote SpeakerĀ & the mind behind the operation @bluerabbit, a gamification platform for education.

Developed three frameworks to teach/learn how to create gamification systems and build gamified content

Declared a world wide war on grades.

14 + 3 =

A deeper RAMP analysis

Deeper RAMP analysis

#gamification core analysis... level 2

Ok, So what’s with this image:

I was talking with #gamification guru Roman Racwitz during his last visit to Mexico about how I believe that Purpose is the most important component in RAMP. He then countered by saying that Mastery is better.

In the end we both agreed that all 4 core elements are important, but our preference is way towards both Mastery and Purpose. However it got me thinking that Mastery and purpose feed each other constantly. And that’s what the image above is about.

According to the HEXAD, each player type is related more to a component of RAMP, however the more I use them this proves a bit off (not really wrong but more like weird)

Achievers have a clear relationship with Mastery, Free-spirits with Autonomy and Socialisers with Relatedness. The trick lies in the Philantropist and a post by Andrzej on his website. After discussing things with @RomanRackwitzĀ and the misconceptions I started walking a dark path. What if we release the player types from the RAMP elements?Ā 

I know right? Sacrilegeous!

Before I burn, let me say a couple of things. All player types are motivated by all four RAMP components, not just one specifically. If we release the HEXAD from RAMP, then the philantropist, the socialiser, the free spirit and the achiever get their intrinsic motivation from more than only ONE core concept and this opens a path for many things to come.

It’s just an idea, however, I like to think we can take the player types to an infinite number of combinations that allow us to understand the players in more depth than before.

I believe that even if the trend in #gamification says that an achiever will look for mastery over altruistic purpose, what if the achiever wants to be a master in helping others? What if the socialiser wants to help people be more independent?Ā 

Anyhow, I’d lobe to hear from you guys! šŸ˜€

Bernardo Letayf

Bernardo Letayf

M.B.O.

14th position in the Gamification Gurus Power 100!

Gamification Keynote SpeakerĀ & the mind behind the operation @bluerabbit, a gamification platform for education.

Developed three frameworks to teach/learn how to create gamification systems and build gamified content

Declared a world wide war on grades.

1 + 3 =

A sweet Milestone

Well, we just found this:

Our logo shows up when people look for BLUErabbit in google images. It wasn’t there a couple of days ago! šŸ˜€

Thanks for using BLUErabbit! Let’s keep putting #gamification in every classroom!

RAMP analysis

Short RAMP Analysis

#gamification core elements analyzed

Ok, so what’s the deal with RAMP.

It stands for Relatedness, Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. The four most important concepts of a #gamification strategy.

However it’s not just that simple. Experts all around the world have proposed several explanations on it. It comes from the Self Determination Theory (SDT) and Daniel H. Pink’s book: Drive. Andrzej Marczewski combined all concepts and it’s the most accepted version around.

In SDT, the core concepts are Autonomy, Competence and Relatedness. In Drive, Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose.

Combining them it ends up as RAMP. Competence and Mastery are pretty much the same thing.

The definition for each concept is this:

Relatedness > The need to connect with others. Connectivity.

Autonomy > The freedom to choose and do what’s in your mind. Independence.

Mastery > The ability to become better at, well, anything. Achievement.

Purpose > The feeling to be part of something bigger than ourselves. Belonging.

Edward L. Deci andĀ Richard M. Ryan, as authors of SDT, were looking for an explanation on what motivates people. They worked even further in the definition of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

Now, how does behavioral theories combine with #gamification?

Simple. Games motivate people BETTER than anything else. The reason lies with RAMP. A good game easily offers all core elements to the player.

Now, if you keep your strategy ALWAYS close to RAMP, then everything else will be simpler.

Will post several new things on this analysis šŸ™‚ Let me know your thoughts!Ā 

Bernardo Letayf

Bernardo Letayf

M.B.O.

14th position in the Gamification Gurus Power 100!

Gamification Keynote SpeakerĀ & the mind behind the operation @bluerabbit, a gamification platform for education.

Developed three frameworks to teach/learn how to create gamification systems and build gamified content

Declared a world wide war on grades.

9 + 1 =

Using the 4K2F to test your design

Using the 4K2F to test your design

The Four Keys to FUN

Using the 4K2F to test your #gamification design

4K2F

Despite what some #Gamification experts (yes, I’m talking to you Andzrej) fun is an important element. NOW… Andzrej Marczewski is NOT wrong: Fun must be experienced as a consequence of the experience. Do not FORCE it. So, how do you design for it?

Nicole Lazzarro made this amazing thing called the FOUR KEYS TO FUNĀ where she explains there are FOUR different kinds of FUN:

  1. EASY FUN: The simplest kinds of fun. Popping bubble wrap, tearing up the paper of a plastic bottle, flipping a coin just for the sound, ringing the bell at the front desk. These are simple tasks that reward each player with simple and easy laughs… or at least a smile.
  2. SERIOUS FUN: The kind of FUN you have when you are actually engaged in something. Let’s say you are in a meeting with your boss, you are making decisions and are being Ā taken seriously. You feel empowered and you suddenly realize you could be doing this more often. THAT is serious fun. Regardless of you laughing, you are actually feeling happy and want to be in that “zone”. It’s really relatable to the feeling of FLOW.
  3. PEOPLE FUN: Everything we do is always more FUN with someone else. I try not to go into detail here, but it’s really all about making connection and social engagement. Imagine last scenario without your boss, other people in the room or a market to throw your ideas to. When we interact with others, we have a lot of emotional rewards. When we do that as part of a team, that’s really fun.
  4. HARD FUN: How about long term rewards? How do you feel after working with your team on a VERY long project that finally came ouyt and everything went ok? That experience can’t be bought by money. The feeling is close to “FIERO” which comes exactly after FLOW. The fun you have when achieving HARD work

 

 

Bernardo Letayf

Bernardo Letayf

M.B.O.

14th position in the Gamification Gurus Power 100!

Gamification Keynote SpeakerĀ & the mind behind the operation @bluerabbit, a gamification platform for education.

Developed three frameworks to teach/learn how to create gamification systems and build gamified content

Declared a world wide war on grades.

1 + 10 =

Testing your design

Testing your design

Testing your design

How to know you are going in the right direction

Knowing you are doing the right thing in #Gamification is really hard when you don’t have the right tools at hand. Now, the first thing you should keep in mind are your KPIs. These little guys will tell if ANY project is going in the right direction, however, one thing is the business side of the system and a different the gamified side. When building your system first hand, before ANY data comes in (which is ultimately the one and only compass you must follow) there are a couple of toys you can use to see the north:

Dynamics.

In our Game master framework, the first thing you do is build the game dynamics. Each of them provide a simple question to see if you have dealt with all basic components of a gamified system:

  • Narrative > Why are the players here?
  • Environment > How do the players feel? Are they playing together or against each other?
  • Win State > How do you know you win/finish the game? At what point can I call a victory or a defeat?
  • Progression > How do I know if I’m going forward or backwards? Do you provide enough feedback to your players?
  • Relationships > How do players play between them and by themselves? Are there enough tools that will allow them to play?
  • Boundaries > How long and where can the players play?

SAPS

Introduced by Gabe Zichermann, this simple model helps you check that your rewards are in place and well done:

  1. STATUS: It refers to a position of a player in relation to the rest. This DO NOT mean at any point better or worse. Status as a reward can be received in many different ways.
  2. ACCESS: Players gain access to information, items, objects, experiences or anything that NOT all players do. STATUS can grant ACCESS to some place (like a palace or the store in front) therefore killing two stones with one bird
  3. POWER: The word EMPOWERMENT applies too. The ability to do something not all players can. STATUS can grant ACCESS to information that gives the player POWER to make decisions other players can’t (for example)
  4. STUFF: Things not all players have. Things players earn by completing tasks, quests or challenges. STATUS can grant ACCESS to a place where the player has the POWER to use the information he earlier gained to earn STUFF they couldn’t get anywhere else.

When using SAPS make sure players receive rewards that are well rounded in all FOUR types. STUFF can be perceived as money (and it usually is). Not the best way to reward players because by human nature, MONEY IS NEVER ENOUGH!

4K2F

Nicole Lazzarro made this amazing thing called the FOUR KEYS TO FUNĀ where she explains FOUR different kinds of FUN:

  1. EASY FUN: Curiosity, surprise, wonder, awe. This are basic elements to consider. Everybody likes having simple fun.
  2. SERIOUS FUN: Excitement, Zen focus, engagement. The feeling you get when doing something you like.
  3. PEOPLE FUN: Amusement, Admiration, teamwork. Everything is more fun with someone else, right?
  4. HARD FUN: Frustration, Fiero, relief. How good does it feel when finishing off a hard project? There. That’s it.

Inclusion

This part refers to the player types and the differences. Make sure to include them in your design as well. We based our framework in the use of the HEXAD from Andrzej Marczewski. All details can be found in his website and in one of the following posts.

The Hexad covers basically 6 different type of players. Based on the work by Richard Bartle, Marczewski proposes four intrinsically motivated player types and 2 additional ones: The player/user type and the disruptor.

  1. Achiever: Motivated by MASTERY, this type of player will try to achieve EVERYTHING in the system (finish each and every quest). Think of them as the “A” student, always in front of the class, always studying. Favorite question: “Am I the only who read the instructions?”
  2. Philantropist: Motivated by PHILANTROPIC PURPOSE.Ā Really important to make the difference. These players will want to help others just because they want to. They also like to be or lead teams in order to accomplish meaningful goals. Great Leaders. Favorite question: “Why won’t you separate plastic?”
  3. Socialiser: Motivated by RELATEDNESS, this players will want to connect with as many others as possible. They love social games, cooperation and competition as long as it means connecting with more players. Favorite question: “So what’s the best place to party around here?”
  4. Free-Spirit: Motivated by AUTONOMY they will want to follow their hearts through the game. They use their guts as guidance and love to explore EVERYTHING that seems explorable. Favorite question: “Can I go to the top of the mountain?”

Now, this are just 4 different ways to test your design. We are missing the most crucial one, but we’ll talk about it in another post. This one is already too long.

 

 

Bernardo Letayf

Bernardo Letayf

M.B.O.

14th position in the Gamification Gurus Power 100!

Gamification Keynote SpeakerĀ & the mind behind the operation @bluerabbit, a gamification platform for education.

Developed three frameworks to teach/learn how to create gamification systems and build gamified content

Declared a world wide war on grades.

4 + 5 =

The effects of violent video games

The effects of violent video games

The effects of violent video games

Hard-core players of violent video games do not have emotionally blunted brains

I read this information a while back, but I wanted to share it with you.

Violent GAMES do NOT, I repeat, DO N-O-T,Ā cause aggression.

The full article is here (please, support them by clicking)Ā and you can read even further Ā hereĀ 

It’s great to know this because the brain KNOWS the difference between killing polygons and people. So please tell your parents about it.

Let everyone know that according to an FMRI study:

Excessive users of violent video games do not show emotional desensitization

Abstract

Playing violent video games have been linked to long-term emotional desensitization. We hypothesized that desensitization effects in excessive users of violent video games should lead to decreased brain activations to highly salient emotional pictures in emotional sensitivity brain regions. Twenty-eight male adult subjects showing excessive long-term use of violent video games and age and education matched control participants were examined in two experiments using standardized emotional pictures of positive, negative and neutral valence. No group differences were revealed even at reduced statistical thresholds which speaks against desensitization of emotion sensitive brain regions as a result of excessive use of violent video games.

SOURCE: Ā https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11682-016-9549-y?wt_mc=alerts.TOCjournals
Bernardo Letayf

Bernardo Letayf

M.B.O.

14th position in the Gamification Gurus Power 100!

Gamification Keynote SpeakerĀ & the mind behind the operation @bluerabbit, a gamification platform for education.

Developed three frameworks to teach/learn how to create gamification systems and build gamified content

Declared a world wide war on grades.

11 + 11 =

Thre Paradox of #gamification design

Thre Paradox of #gamification design

The Paradox of #gamification design

The harder for the game master the easier for the player... at least in theory...

The Paradox

The harder for the Game Master, the easier for the players.

This idea came to me as a Dungeons and Dragons Game Master (which is pretty much the one skill you need to become a gamification designer). The thing is that the amount of rules the game master has to know is gigantic. A good Game Master goes on to read at least three complete manuals (that’s aroun 300 pages each) while the player can simply get his character sheet and simply play the game.

When you are a Game Master you have to build scenarios of possibilities. You N-E-V-E-R (and I can’t stress this enough) know how your players will play. They will use your own rules against you whenever possible.

Now, the paradox is there to tell you that the more time you invest in developing a #gamification system the more your players will be able to take from it.

However another thing comes to mind: Rules must be simple. Story however, can be as complex as it may.

Simple is VERY different from easy (golf, bowling, soccer). A simple set of rules will ensure your players stay bound by them without too much thought, but if the story is complex and has many plots and turns, players will focus on it rather than the rules.

Now, if the rules MUST be complicated, then use a tutorial, DO NOT throw all of them at once. If it’s a system that will be played over months or years, take the first three to four weeks to get the players on board (Yes, the ON-BOARDING phase that Yu Kai and Andrzej talk about).

The other problem is that you are NOT dealing with characters in a fictional space where physics don’t apply. You are tending to human beings who are as complex as possible and will seek all opportunities to cheat, game, defeat or whatever the system. It is a common phrase around game designers: “You should always design for cheaters”.

Make sure players can only “cheat” under YOUR terms. Think of the law principle that states that whatever is not forbidden is allowed, so always design with that rule in mind.

Can your players repeat a quest 20 times and level up each time? Should your players figure that out by themselves? Should the difficulty of the game rely on everyone behaving?

People LOVE rules. Rules help us keep it together and make sure to point out who isn’t playing by them.

Remember there is a HUGE line between making mistakes and cheating. One is completely OK, the last one should not allow the players to continue.

Take this four things into account always

  • Make it FAIR
  • Keep it Simple (stupid! –> K.I.S.S.)
  • Make complex plots
  • What’s not forbidden is allowed

What do you think? Is there anything else you should be thinking with this paradox?

 

Also read The Paradox of Play by Andrzej Marczewski

 

 

Bernardo Letayf

Bernardo Letayf

M.B.O.

14th position in the Gamification Gurus Power 100!

Gamification Keynote SpeakerĀ & the mind behind the operation @bluerabbit, a gamification platform for education.

Developed three frameworks to teach/learn how to create gamification systems and build gamified content

Declared a world wide war on grades.

9 + 12 =

The power of ALMOST

The power of ALMOST

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, Ā 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

M.B.O.

14th position in the Gamification Gurus Power 100!

Gamification Keynote SpeakerĀ & the mind behind the operation @bluerabbit, a gamification platform for education.

Developed three frameworks to teach/learn how to create gamification systems and build gamified content

Declared a world wide war on grades.

11 + 1 =