Gamification – motivation to play

Gamification – the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service. I would like to share some motivation to play games according to Octalisys gamification framework.
Gamification techniques - gamification,octalsis framework, motivation to play

Epic meaning & calling

People belive they are doing something greater than themselves and/or were “chosen” to take that action”
  • Narrative – give the player some context about why they should play the game
  • Elitism – instills group pride. Each member tries to secure the pride of the group by taking specific actions.
  • Humanity Hero – Contribute to projects such as Wikipedia – protecting humanity’s knowledge
  • Higher Meaning
  • Beginners Luck – The effect where people believe they have some type of gift that others don’t or believe they are lucky getting that amazing sword at the very beginning of the game
  • Free Lunch
  • Destiny Child
  • CoCreateor

Development & accomplishment

Drive for making  progress, developing skills, achieving mastery, and eventually overcoming challenges. “Badge or trophy without challenge is not meaningful at all”
  • Points – examples: Brainly – you gather points for answering. Swarm – you gather points for check-ins
  • Badges
  • Fixed actions rewards
  • Leaderboard
  • Progress bar
  • Quest Lists
  • Win Prize
  • High-Five – If user respond correctly (behavior), they are given an appropriate reward
  • Crowning -representing a level of surpassing achievement, attainment, etc.; supreme
  • LevelUp Symphony
  • Aura effect – certain influence a persons presence has on those around him or her, due to the infectiousness of their personality
  • Step-by-step tutorial
  • Boss fights

Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback

Users are engaged in a creative process where they repeatedly figure new things out and try different combinations.
  • Milestone Unlock
  • Evergreen Mechanics – Minecraft – a game designer no longer needs to continuously add additional content to keep the activity fresh and egaging. the brain simply enterains itself
  • General’s Carrort – user is given a goal, as well as a variety of tools and methodologies to strategize towards reaching that goal
  • Real-Time Control
  • Chain Combos
  • Instant feedback
  • Boosters
  • Blank fills
  • Voluntary autonomy
  • Choice perception – poeple like something more when they are given a choice
  • Legos and making art is intrinsically fun

Ownership & Possession:

People feel like they own or control something.
  • Virtual Good 
  • Build from Scratch
  • Colection set
  • Avatar
  • Earned Lunch
  • Learning Curve
  • Protection
  • Recruitment
  • Monitoring

Social Influence & Relatedness

Elements that motivate people, including: mentorship, social acceptance, social feedback, companionship, and event competition and envy. When you see a friend that is amazing at some skill or owns something extraordinary, you become driven to attain the same.
  • Friending
  • Social Treasure/Gifting – Rewards that can only be given to you by friends or other players
  • SeeSaw Bump
  • Group Quest – Challenging quests that require an entire team to muck in. Eg. World of Warcraft- invite friends to join and make instances (Dungeons, Raids)
  • Touting
  • Bragging – Person explicitly and vocally talks about their accomplishments and achievements
  • Water Cooler – The place where people take a small break from work or play and chat about a variety of non-work related topics
  • Thank-You Economy
  • Mentorship – Experienced member in the organization will be matched up with a new potential member going through a semester-long training process known as “pledging”
  • Social Prods – Action of minimal effort to create social interaction, often by a simple click of a button. Facebook Likes and Google’s +1’s, Linkedin Endorsmenet
  • Conformity anchor – The effect in products or experiences displaying how close users are to the social norm through feedback mechanics

Scarcity & Impatience

Wanting something simply because it is extremely rare, exclusive, or immediately unattainable.
  • Appointment Dynamics – formerly declared or recurring schedule where users have to take the Desired Actions to effectively reach the win-state. You can watch this TEDx Boston talk on The Game Layer on Top of The world to know more. Eg. Happy hours
  • Fixed Intervals
  • Dangling
  • Prize Pacing – creating a sense of scarcity and at the same time increasing the value of the eventual win. You can read more  about it here.
  • Options Pacing
  • Patient Feedback
  • Count Down
  • Throttles –  doesn’t let the user really shine as he likes
  • Moats  –  randomly generated challenges that require great skills and planning to overcome. This forces users to try new ways to utelize their veteran skills to overcome the challenge


  • Appointment Dynamics or Torture Breaks – come back 2 hours later to get your reward – the fact that people can’t get something right ahead motivates them to think about it all day long
  • Facebook was available only for Harvard students
  • Mailbox and waiting list to use a product

Unpredictability & Curiosity

Being constantly engaged because you don’t know what is going to happen next. When something does not fall into your regular pattern recognition cycles, your brain pays attention to the unexpected. Often misunderstood it as the driver behind points, badges, and leaderboard mechanics in general.
  • Glowing Choice – makes users feel smart and competent during the Onboarding Phase
  • MiniQuests
  • Visual Storytelling 
  • Easter Eggs
  • Random Rewards – “loot” or “drops” – which are random rewards that appear once the player achieves a win-state. Example: World of Warcraft and items after each “mob”
  • Obvious Wonder
  • Rolling Rewards – rule that somebody has to win during each period – if user “stays” in the game longer, he will has more chances to win.
  • Mischief – harm or trouble caused by someone or something:
  • Sudden Rewards
  • Oracle Effect – it claims people who trust their feelings are more likely to make accurate predictions than those who don’t.
  • Swarm and points after check-in
  • Gambling addictions
  • lottery programs
  • movies: game of thrones
  • read novels

Loss & avoidance

Motivation to avoid something negative from happening.
  • Sunk-cost tragedy – users play event it’s no longer enjoyable. They continue to commit the actions because, they don’t want to feel the loss of givint up on everything.  Example: Facebook – you won’t remove your account because you won’t lose friends connections, photos, conversations and posts 
  • Progress loss
  • FOMO
  • Evanescence Opportunity – opportunity that will disappear if the user does not take the Desired Action immediately
  • Status Quo Sloth – highly engaging activity loops that allow the user to turn  actions into habits
  • Scarlet letter – socially unappealing to not move forward in the game
  • Visual grave
  • Weep tune
  • losing previous work
  • changing one’s behavior
  • avoid admitting that everything you did up to this point as useless because you are now quitting
  • if people didint act immediately they would lose the opportunity to act forever (eg. “special offer for a limited time only”)

Gamification by octalsis framework to increase motivation to play with your product.

If you like I really recommend read more here Octalysis – complete Gamification framework
Gamification – motivation to play

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