A rewarding article on gamification

A rewarding article on gamification

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This article will address 2 key areas:

1)     Design elements and structure for gamification implementation

2)     Positive physiological and psychological effects

Design Elements

When considering implementing gamification in life or your business there is are some clear step considerations that will help create the correct design.

1)      Cultural acceptance

2)      Define what is the behavior problem you need to solve?

3)      Clarification on why have you chosen gamification as part of the solution?

4)      Identify who is the target audience (participants in the gamification process)

5)      Agree how you address intrinsic and extrinsic motivations

To create the correct and closed loop design of your gamification process use my below model for implementation:

Source: JAMSO : Gamification Design Model Fig 1

Source: JAMSO : Gamification Design Model Fig 1

From the above model design and prior considerations to context and reasons, you will need to consider the design criteria and applicability for the below elements.

1)      Badges

2)      Levels

3)      Leader boards

4)      A progress bar

5)      Virtual currency

6)      Challenges between users

7)      System for sharing, exchanging, gifting andtrading points

Psychological and chemical elements

To ensure we generate motivational change in the minds of the system we need to address the chemical changes that occur. You can see from my model below that dopamine is in part synthesized in the brain when experiences cross with challenges, achievement, pleasure and perception of improved status. This is a very fascinating area of study that I cannot claim to be any expert in. However we can see the effects and recognize the symptoms in everyday life already.

Source: JAMSO dopomine interaction loop for gamification impacts

Source: JAMSO dopomine interaction loop for gamification impacts

In the above example I have focused on dopamine as it is a self-produced chemical in the body. It causes you to want, desire, seek out and explore. The effects increases the goal directed behavior and hence improve results.

See how other chemicals are affected from the gamification process.

Achiever (Mastery): Endorphin, Dopamine

Socializer (Relatedness): Oxytocin, Serotonin

Philanthropist (Meaning / Purpose): Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin

Free Spirit (Autonomy): Dopamine

Player (Rewards): Dopamine, Endorphin, Serotonin

Above source from www.gamified.uk


The benefits of designing any task that is more fun and rewarding requires little explanation as a good thing. A balance of cultural sensitivity and the need to keep a design up to date and relevant is important to up hold the credibility of gamification.

The are many attractive reasons to introduce gamification in areas of performance management and behavior change through its program incentives. From a simplistic perspective gamification also follows many of the traditional values we have within modern western society. We are told to study hard, reap rewards through the hard work and continue sharing and caring for others.

The power (yes I use that big word POWER) of gamification in our opinion at JAMSO is yet to be fully realized. The impact is yet to be seen as it penetrates all areas of society, work and pleasure touch points. There is strong reason to engage in gamification to make positive changes to improve the performance on a personal level and that of any team or organization.

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