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The term “gamification” gained popularity in 2010; by the end of 2012, it had reached mega-trend status. For decades, video games had demonstrated phenomenal power in engaging the focus of people of all ages. Now, businesses were using gamification, which we define as game-inspired tactics to engage people, often with similarly powerful results.
However, the tech research firm Gartner made headlines in late 2012 when it predicted that 80% of current gamified applications would fail to meet business objectives — due to poor design, ineffective communication, or ill-defined business objectives. Even so, Gartner also predicted that by 2015, 40% of Global 1000 organizations will use gamification as the primary mechanism to transform business operations.
If poor design is a primary culprit of failed gamification, how can you improve your chances of success?
Assuming you have defined the right business objectives, the most important key is to target the right motivators: the drives that make people want to engage and that stimulate the right thoughts and actions to accomplish your objectives.
In this episode, Jesse discusses:
- Discovery of the 300+ human needs by Harvard psychologist Henry Murray
- Organization and prioritization of the 300 needs by Murray’s student, Abraham Maslow (the famous Hierarchy of Needs pyramid)
- Discovery of the huge importance of the Three Needs by Maslow’s student, David McClelland
- The “Killer Confusion” and “Killer Contraints” of trying to apply Richard Bartle’s Player Types to gamification
- Amy Jo Kim’s Social Engagement Verbs as one attempt to overcome the limitations of Bartle’s Player Types
- Why the Three Needs is a more fundamental and helpful model than either Bartle’s Player Types or Kim’s Social Engagement Verbs
Resources Mentioned in This Episode
- New book: Gamification: Engaging Your Workforce, available from Ark Group (also see Amazon) – features chapters by Jesse Lahey, Andrzej Marczewski, Yu-kai Chou, and Stephen Kaukonen & Thomas Hsu.
- Blog post explaining the Three Needs
- Blog post: Killer Gamification: Targeting the Drives That Make People Want to Engage
- Bartle, Richard (1996), “Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, Spades: Players Who suit MUDs”
- Burn-Callander, Rebecca 2013, “Gamification: How To Create A ‘Super User’,” interview with Michael Wu, chief scientist at Lithium, a social-engagement software provider.
- Burnham, David (2002), “Inside the Mind of the World-Class Leader”
- Kim, Amy Jo (2012), “Social Engagement: Who’s playing? How do they like to engage?”
- Wikipedia, “Henry Murray”
- Wikipedia, “Need theory”
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