Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Gamification and Player Centric Design

In gamification design, it is important to realize that you, as a developer and/or player, have different motivations for playing than most of the people you encounter. The problem for the designer is without identifying the motivation profile of you, the designer, and anticipating different motivation profiles of potential players, the designer will not be able to identify why some people engage and others disengage.

In other words, if a gamification designer is highly motivated by one Motivator, say, Social Contact, and a player is low motivated in the same area, the designer won’t understand why the player doesn’t want to share their experience or knowledge with team members. The designer will view the player as obstinate and cantankerous, when all they really are is low motivated by Social Contact. The player doesn’t want to “play games” with other people. They’d much rather work on their own and have their own experience with the gamified process.

Here is a short video of a presentation by Jonathan Peters, PhD on the power of understanding the 16 Motivators - or Identifying the Why? in player-centric gamification design.

As you can see, a great gamification designer must identify their own motivation profile so they can anticipate what elements will be missing from their design, where disengagement is likely to happen, and where the strategy is likely to fall apart.

For instance, a designer who is average or low motivated in Expediency won’t anticipate that high motivated Expediency people will game the system. Those players will find ways to “cheat.” However, anticipating this blind spot, a designer can build “cheating” routines into the gamified processes, even reward the behavior as long as the players achieve the end goal for the activity.

The best gamification designers begin by understanding their own Motivation Profiles so that they can anticipate weaknesses in their design.

For more information on Sententia and Gamification Design please contact us at guru@sententiagames.com

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.

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