Highlights of the gamification panel at Techweek Chicago

Yes, I actually mapped these games to Parten’s stages of play.

I was thrilled to be on a panel yesterday afternoon discussing gamification alongside Nathan Verrill, Birju Shah and Abby Ross. The talk went swimmingly, thanks in large part to a terrific audience armed with thought-provoking questions. The entire session was captured on video for those that missed the event or live stream.

Some of the key takeaways included:

  • “Gamification” is a buzzword, but within its definition there are useful and powerful design mechanics we’d be foolish to ignore.
  • The best examples of “applied gaming” (Nathan’s phrase) are those that help a user accomplish something he or she would or should want to do anyway.
  • Introduce social aspects at a player’s “moment of triumph” rather than randomly, generally or incessantly.
  • It’s important to establish the scope of what game mechanics can accomplish for a given project. If your project involves cars, don’t try building a branded competitor to Forza or Gran Turismo.
  • Figure out what motivates your players. Try asking them!
  • Practice makes perfect. The more games/apps/websites/etc. you make, the better you’ll become.

I’m sure there are other gems hidden in the video, but those are what stuck out for me. If I missed anything particularly important, please let me know in the comments.

Some links to things I mentioned during my responses:

Thanks to Waggener Edstrom for sending me, Techweek for having me, my fellow panelists for such a fun chat, and everyone who came to the talk. Chicago is beautiful, I hope to visit again.

Responses

Tac says

I’m really sad I missed this. I had the chance to be on the panel with you but had already booked my family vacation. But I’m really glad the panel went well, the video was really fun.

Responded

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