Blog Page 103

How much do game mechanics really affect your life?


Here’s an interesting exercise – Stanford Professor B.J. Fogg created this interactive public graph on Google Docs on how game mechanics alter behaviors. Anonymous users are invited to view and edit this range bar graph. The purpose is to place popular websites, social media companies and apps in relative dimension to their “gamey-ness” (how many game mechanics exist in the platform) and how much the platform changes one’s behavior off-line. The size of the font used on the platform’s name suggests its relative popularity.

What’s kind of amusing about this is that the graph itself mimics some of the same game mechanics it’s seeking to analyze. Viewers can chat and interact with each other, move and add components and feel like an important participant in the ultimate outcome. If, in the end, the graph matches your own opinion you might even feel like you’ve “won”. Below is a screenshot of the graph, though bear in mind it’s in constant flux. Do you agree with the layout right now or do you feel compelled to get in on the game?

Distinguishing these characteristics is no easy task. For example, some frequent users of eBay might feel it doesn’t affect their life at all. They might visit the site, buy & sell items and forget all about it when they close it out. Others may plan their day around making bids, adding apps and paying for auction reminders sent to their phone. They may spend hours trudging through flea markets and garage sales (Hi, Mom!) looking for a diamond in the rough to resell at a profit, or researching the retail value of cherished collectibles.

Even more importantly, some users take a lot of pride in leveling up to “Power Seller” status while others are much less affected by negative feedback. It’s a fundamental tenet of the power of game mechanics: now more than ever, who you are online is defining who you are, period.

As I write this, there are over 267 (268…269…) unique users viewing the graph. It has changed noticeably over a dozen times, with certain titles moving around the plane, debating its own significance and effect on daily life. I myself have made some changes, as there is disagreement on the effect of Twitter, which I can’t help but take somewhat personally.  The fact that we’re so motivated to weigh-in on the conversation suggests how affected we all already are.

Hear more about Gamification & the Gamey-ness of life: Gabe will be appearing on CNet’s Reporter’s Rountable on today (9/24), noon PT / 3pm ET where this topic will surely come up. Click here for a link to the live show.


Need help with behavioral science and gamification? Get in touch with our boutique consulting agency Dopamine.

They Made a Gabe Sandwich (Badge)


If you watch Curb Your Enthusiasm you might remember a particularly hilarious episode in which Larry gets a sandwich named after him at a famous deli. He isn’t happy with the actual sandwich so he tries to trade (and eventually usurp) Ted Danson’s instead. Ungrateful? Maybe. Funny? Definitely.

So yesterday I found out that I’ve been given the honor of gamification’s sandwich wall: a new startup has created a badge with my name and face on it.

MOJO, which bills itself as “Foursquare for the Web” (and is not to be confused with mojopages) is the latest service from The Social Collective. It lets you check in to website content you find interesting and allows you to then aggregate checkins from various services as well.   The idea is that if you really like a brand like Nike, you can earn points and status items for tweeting, reading, etc. Clinton Bonner, a social web expert was enamored enough of my book and blog to create the badge and wrote about both of them on his site.

So, if you sign up for mojo and follow me on Twitter, you’ll earn the badge. Cool! Follow the instructions in the post linked above and LMKWYT of the service.

Unlike Larry David, I’m not going to quibble about the badge design or name, instead graciously thank the folks at the social collective for the honor. But is there any chance the next one could come with a pickle? I really like pickles.


Need help with behavioral science and gamification? Get in touch with our boutique consulting agency Dopamine.

Announcing: Gamification Summit 2011 & Keynotes, Big Blog Changes


With great pleasure, we’re excited to announce the 2011 Gamification Summit (Jan 20-21, San Francisco) along with some major sponsors and keynotes. This is an exciting day – and space is strictly limited, so if you’re really into Gamification, skip the preamble and register now.

Gamification is a burgeoning industry with many new advances emerging every day and lots of both confusion and opportunity around best practices, market size/definition and the right approaches. So, working together with the amazing Margaret Wallace and our esteemed advisory board, we’ve put together an event that simply cannot be missed.

Whether you are a marketer, brand strategist, UX designer/architect or a startup person, Gamification Summit brings together the best minds for the first time for a series of keynotes, lectures, panels and networking that will help you learn best practices and the latest techniques from the field.

Our major sponsors include BigDoor Media and Bunchball, and other sponsors include Pillsbury, Winthrop and M2 Research. Thanks, Sponsors! More information about them can be found on the conference website.

Keynotes & Major Speakers Include:

Prominent game designer, Jane McGonigal, Director of Game Research and Development at the Institute for the Future, will keynote the event, discussing how game mechanics can be harnessed to bring about change, even on a global scale. McGonigal will also use the Summit as the backdrop for launching her much-anticipated new book, “Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World” (The Penguin Press).

Gabe Zichermann, celebrated author of “Game-Based Marketing” and blogger at Gamification.Co, who will share his vision for why page-views are a dead metric and will be replaced by an “engagement score”.

Amy Jo Kim, renowned gamification guru and author will be offering a full day, hands-on gamification workshop, along with an overview of designing for engagement.

And many more speakers listed on and even more to be announced.

Read the complete press release here.

Changing the Blog!

And, as many of you noticed, we’ve updated the FunwareBlog’s URL, look and purpose. Now at Gamification.Co, we’re going to be writing regularly, bringing you the freshest information about gamification – every day. Let us know what you think!


Need help with behavioral science and gamification? Get in touch with our boutique consulting agency Dopamine.