To become a player, one must voluntarily accept the rules and constraints of the game. This acceptance of the game’s rules is part of what Bernard Suits calls the lusory attitude. (Lusory derives from the Latin word for game.)
The lusory attitude of the players is defined as the “State of affairs where in one adopts rules which require one to employ worse rather than better means for reaching an end.”
For example, in the game of golf: The objective is to get the ball in the cup on each hole with the least amount of swings of the club. Whoever has the least amounts of swings wins the round. Putting it in the hole with your hand would be best way to do that. You would not choose to take a stick with a piece of metal on one end of it, walk 300 or 400 yards away from the hole, and then attempt to drive the ball into the hole with the stick.
But if you’ve played golf, you do just that… because you have accepted the rules of the game – even though the rules constrain your efficiency to achieve the objective of the game.
In fact the rules of golf are considered by some to be so ludicrous that the millennials are staying away from the game in droves.
Golf courses are exploring new ways to keep Millennials on the green as the industry struggles to hold the attention of a tech-savvy generation with limited funds. In a bid to renew golf’s appeal, faster, easier versions of the sport are being invented. Increasing the size of the hole to 15”, foot golf - a hybrid of football and golf and top golf outdoor sports bars, are just a few of the new engagement strategies in the industry.
The voluntary acceptance of the rules of the game, is part of the psychological and emotional state of players that we need to consider as part of the player centric process of gamification design.In life, and we set our own objectives and work as hard as we feel necessary to achieve them. We don’t need to accomplish all of our objectives to have a successful life. In games however the objective is a key element without which the experience loses much of its structure, and our need to work the objective is a measure of our involvement in the game.
Johan Huizinga describes the physical and/or conceptual spaces in which a game takes place as the magic circle, a temporary world where the rules of the game apply, rather than the rules of the old ordinary world.
So in gamification design, once your players have agreed to step inside that magic circle – what behaviors do you need them to perform in order for you to achieve your business objectives.
See these gamification articles for more ideas on gamification design to achieve your business objectives:
- Gamification Design: A Starting Point
- The 4 Questions to Ask Before Implementing Gamification
- Gamification Simplified
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About the Author: Monica Cornetti
Founder and CEO, Sententia www.SententiaGames.com www.monicacornetti.com
A gamification speaker and designer, Monica Cornetti is rated as a #1 Gamification Guru in the World by UK-Based Leaderboarded. She is the author of the book Totally Awesome Training Activity Guide: Put Gamification to Work for You, writes The Gamification Report blog, and hosts the weekly Gamification Talk Radio program.