Abstract Details

Deliberate Fun: A Purposeful Application Of Game Mechanics To Learning Experiences

When it comes to creating gamified or game-based learning experiences, most practitioners throw game mechanics at a program without a methodology or rational strategy. They then present the learning program to their students, hoping the learners will find the program interesting and engaging. The reason why so many gamified and game-based programs fail to deliver significant results is because there has not been a purposeful approach to applying game mechanics to a learning program, until now.

When budgets and time are in short supply, organizations cannot afford to simply apply game mechanics without a purposeful approach that predicts which game mechanics will appeal to this specific audience. This session outlines just such an approach.

Using an empirically-based taxonomy of core human desires we will explore a new theory of fun that predicts which game mechanics will appeal to a specific “motivation profile.” We will also establish why programs we assumed would be successful often are not (we call the problem “Self-hugging”). Using a predictive approach, we will begin with the learner, determine how they define “fun” then apply the game mechanics that appeal to them specifically and avoid the ones that will cause them to disengage from our program.

Armed with this understanding, you will confidently and purposefully apply game mechanics, knowing why some people like competition while others prefer quiet concentration, and still others enjoy letting it all ride on black.

Instead of trying to force everyone to play your game, you will create experiences designed specifically for them. The results? Engaged, excited, and happy learners, and a healthy return on your investment.

Following this session, participants will have:

  • A basic understanding of the work of Dr. Steven Reiss and the Reiss Motivation Profile
  • A grasp of a theory of fun that proposes that a game mechanic is “fun” because it satiates a one or more core human desires
  • A practical approach for choosing only the game mechanics will appeal to a specific audience
  • An ability to predict which game mechanics will cause a specific audience to disengage
  • A list of 99 Game Mechanics along with the Core Desires each mechanic satiates.

Audience: Designers of learning experiences seeking to add game mechanics to learning experiences.

Duration: 90 minutes

Attendance: Unlimited

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