In review: What really makes good gamification?

What really makes good gamification? by Andrzej Marczewski

I’ve just got back from a very long but interesting two days at the Learning Technologies event in London. Gamification Nation had a stand there that An and I were manning. I’d like to say that either of us got a chance to explore, but to be honest we were so busy we could hardly move!

However, a theme began to emerge as we spoke to people at our stand, one that both surprised me but that also made a lot of sense in a strange kind of way.

We were, of course, not the only people there who had gamification to speak about. Lots of the people who game to our stand had spoken to others about that exact topic. However, as we spoke to them there was an obvious “lightbulb” moment with most. It was always at the exact same time, when we explained the basic process we go through when looking to apply gamification.

Now, the part of the process that got their attention is nothing secret. I have spoken about it for years, it is the reason the Hexad of User Types exists. An has been speaking about it for probably longer than me!

This magical part, the lightbulb moment…. People!

It seems so obvious. Gamification is all about people, not platforms, AAA games, clever frameworks or any of that. It is about understanding people.. The moment we saw the light bulb was when we said “We talk to the people who will be using the system to find out what it is that interests them and how we can best design the solution for that.” So many people found this to be both surprising and refreshing as we spoke to the

The best gamification is created when the designer listens to what people want and then weaves that into what the project or business needs.

You can’t implement a technology then work backwards and you can’t just think of the business needs and ignore the people who will be involved. It all has to work together symbiotically!

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