Gamification and Human Behavior - Case Studies

Goals

To provide 3-4 detailed case studies that highlight how specific technology and/or apps are "gamifying" human behavior. Focus on industries like (but not limited to) financial services, technology, communications, and consumer products.

Early Findings

For the purposes of this research, we defined "gamification" as using technology to turn everyday activities into games where users can score points and compete against other players. Our findings indicate that using gamification serves a duel purpose: it increases consumer engagement while at the same allowing organizations to collect valuable data. During this hour of research, we were able to provide a case study of one popular gamification framework: Octalysis.

Case Study #1: The Octalysis Group

  • Octalysis is a gamification framework founded in 2013 by Yu-kai Chou for use in sectors like human resources (HR) to increase employee motivation in the workplace. Several mainstream brands have implemented the system, including Google, Tesla, Facebook, and LEGO.
  • The system works by mapping "core drives" of human behavior to effectively motivate employees and/or consumers to take desired actions or make certain choices (for example, purchasing a particular product or service). It targets both left-brain drives like logic and right-brain drives like creativity.
  • The Octalysis Group has found that using gamification results in employees and consumers who are 89% more productive and 88% happier.

An Overview of the Octalysis Gamification Framework

  • The first part of the Octalysis framework is the establishment of a sense of meaning for the player. This can take the form of a specific objective, a sense of elitism, or a manufactured "lucky break" that makes a player feel gifted or talented.
  • Personal development and accomplishment take this sense of meaning to the next level as players overcome challenges to earn points, awards, or some other recognition.
  • The next level of the framework is empowerment, where players reach milestones or get to "see the results of their creativity."
  • The framework simulates feelings of ownership and possession in players through the use of avatars, "virtual goods," collections, and/or "exchangeable points." This satisfies an innate human desire to "accumulate wealth."
  • Gamification also incorporates the natural urge for social influence through friending, mentoring, community forums, or group events.
  • The Octalysis framework uses the concept of scarcity to create a sense of "wanting something because [players] can’t have it." One popular way of creating scarcity is through "appointment dynamics," which is where players have to return to a game within a certain time frame to claim a reward.
  • Another element of the framework is fostering curiosity where players naturally want to see what happens next.
  • The final principle of the Octalysis framework is loss and avoidance. Players continue participating to avoid fear of missing out (FOMO), progress loss, or some other sense of a lost opportunity.

Proprietary Research

In addition to this public search, we scanned our proprietary research database of over 1 million sources and were unable to find any specific research reports that address your goals.

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