Gamifying innovation: get to know your players

The greatest challenge in gamifying your innovation initiatives is to construct the process so that everyone, or at least the majority of people, will feel in the flow, as we’ve seen. But how can you efficiently engage as many ‘players’ as possible?

For that, you must first understand their different profiles. The Bartle Test of Gamer Psychology classifies players of multiplayer online games into categories according to their gaming preferences. This framework works for most gamified situations.

a. Achievers
Players who prefer to get points, levels, equipment and other concrete measurements of success in a game. They’re looking for rewards in the status and prestige that comes with these items.

b. Explorers
Players that want to dig around within the environment. They don’t like timeframes requiring them to proceed because they enjoy exploring and discovering at their own pace (sometimes even more than progressing).

c. Socialisers
Those who participate and play for the social aspect rather than the actual game/challenge itself. These players are known as ‘hearts’. They like to interact with other people, and the game is just a tool or means to this.

d. Killers
They want to compete for the sake of competition, so they seek to vanquish and destroy other players. Showing everyone they are in control of the situation is their biggest motivation for participation. Killers are usually only 1% of the population, but they are the ones who participate the most intensively.

All of us tend to be in all quadrants depending on the project at hand and time in our lives. But identifying different players’ profiles helps when designing a gamified process and more effectively reaching target participants.

In a second step, while shaping a process that is appealing and sustainably engaging for the targeted participants, the designer identifies the engines that will guide them. This means understanding which game mechanics are more relevant to players’ specific desires (see the table below).

Source: Bunchball

The green dots refer to the most impactful game mechanics for each human desire. The grey ones show other mechanics that also have some relevance to specific desires.

All mechanics relate to the desire for status, achievement and competition. These are essential to reinforcing the engagement potential of gamified processes, so that people feel fulfilled by their activities.

But what benefits does this mechanics bring to your innovation initiatives? How can you apply it in developing them? We’ll discuss this in our next post.

Why should you gamify innovation, anyway?

Gamifying innovation: How to engage your people in key business challenges

Pedro da Cunha, Exago’s CEO and co-founder/ pdc@exago.comFrancisco Rhodes Sérgio, VP Inbound Strategy and Sales – Latin America /

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Why should you gamify innovation, anyway?