I got to attend a talk (July 28th) organized by Sophie @wickedgeekie the speaker was @bengonshaw. I attended because of three reasons.
1. I wanted to see or learn more about how it has been applied in the UX community
2. I wanted to get ideas, and ways I could apply to my current projects.
3. It was free (amazing huh, big thanks to City Uni)
The title of the talk was Gamification: Loops & Ludology. You can see the slides here > http://www.slideshare.net/BenGonshaw/loops-ludology
Humans have always played games to amuse themselves and or other reasons. But it’s only been recently people have begun to apply the principles behind gaming to other aspects of our lives.
One major characteristic of games is control. Unlike Life, our control is minimal, we can plan all we want, but unexpected things happen. I planned that one day I would visit the World Trade Center. I even had dollars saved for it, and I had it all mapped out. But right now, the towers no longer exist and with it went lots of lives, sadly. In a game world, I would probably be able to reset, or go to last save…and possibly save the world. People play games because they can control it.
But more importantly, why do people keep on playing, because even with control, it gets boring. People usually want more, a challenge, that’s why life can be very interesting. This is the reason why the Challenge/Reward Loop is the basis for great game design.
What is THE LOOP. As identified by Ben, in video games for example, it all started with a simple feedback loop which typifies a control loop. You, Press a button –> Character Moves —> Game world updates —> Press a Button and something else happens. In Mario World for example, Press B to fire —> fireballs come out of Mario —-> Koopas die/ vanish. This feels great! But as one goes on, this becomes redundant hence the need for other loops like the Challenge/Reward Loops which keep the user motivated to complete the goal of the game. In Mario World, we see the loop in forms of more powerful ‘enemies’ and difficult stages with Mario also being able to level-up or upgrade to meet them. None of this takes away from the overall goal of the game, it only makes it seem more rewarding to go through.