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.