martes, 16 de abril de 2013

Why use Gamification?

Understanding Gamification as a tool

We know what Gamification is, why games are a source of happiness and some of the phychological reasons  underlying but...

Why should i use Gamification in my business? Why should i implement a gameful design as Sebastian Deterding (@dingstweets) calls it, or a human-focused design (@yukaichou) in my business? 

As business people usually say..."What do i get from it? Is it worthy?"

The answer is definitely: YES!!!!!

And there are two approaches here to support this: the business approach and the well-being point of view. 

So combining both, the answer is: You will achieve your business goals in a more effective way but also have happier and more motivated customers that will like you more :)

And you say this because.....????!!!

The PERMA Happiness elements

We have already settled that people play because it makes them happier by fulfilling their basic human motivators (more info here: but, which are those Happiness elements? 

What are the key factors of well-being? To answer this question we must quote the author of the well-being (as he calls happiness), Dr. Martin Seligman and his book "Flourish"(

Dr. Martin Seligman is an American psychologist, teacher at the University of Pennsylvania, best seller writer, and an authority in the world of positive psychology (apart from a very nice man, that answers all the questions that you have about perma here:

But the most important thing for us is his PERMA Model that includes the 5 main factors or elements of well-being (happiness) that are: 

- Positive emotions

- Engagement

- Relationships

- Meaning

- Achievement

These 5 factors are the basic pilars of happiness and well-being and every well-designed game mechanic, dynamic or aesthetic (MDA) increases one of them in one way or another. Because fun is all about happiness

If you want to learn more about it, and i truly recommend it check it out here: or buy his books, "Authentic Happiness" and "Flourish" to understand these 5 factors, what is involved in each of them and which are the requirements to be a factor itself.

As an introduction read about the 24 strengths that underpin all this elements here:

But we should combine this with the self-determination theory of Deci and Ryan and some further additions of Daniel H. Pink to make it complete!

The Self-Determination theory + Dan Pink (@danielpink): Types of motivation

Some years ago, two researchers called Edward Deci and Richard Ryan elaborated this theory that focuses in the types of motivations that human beings have. Also some few years ago, Daniel Pink, introduced some new additions that made it more complete. 

But, for us, and to state it in a very simplyfied and easy way, lets focus on the two types of motivation existing : intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation and which elements they involve.

It is obvious that extrinsic motivation and rewards, are powerful tools for boosting people to get things done, they release a significant dopamine dose in our brains and make us happy. Nevertheless, in the long term, they usually cause negative effects and decrease their power. That´s why the have to be very careful with this topic that will be further analysed when MDA comes to scene. (If you want to know more and you want it now, read "Drive" of @danielpink)

So, for now, lets just stick to the most powerful of the motivations, the intrinsic motivation. Following our simplistic approach, intrinsic motivation as seen by Deci and Ryan and Daniel Pink all together is compounded by:

- Mastery (sounds like achievement?)

- Autonomy (isn´t it a powerful boost for perma?)

- Purpose (similar to meaning?)

- Relatedness (seems like relationships?)

So, as you can see, the elements of intrinsic motivation are closely related to Happiness. This is a topic that i will talk about later on, because it´s still to be fully validated but....

Why use Gamification?

Because gamification helps us achieving a goal through happiness and a big dose of motivation.

In other words, and for the business world: Gamification is a tool that allows us to achieve our business goals, encouraging people through both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, making them happier at the same time. 


But....... does it always work out in this wonderful way.....??? Is there any chance that gamification is no good at all or shouldn´t be applied? YES there is, so dont miss out the next blog to discover when!!! ; )

Victor Manrique

2 comentarios:

  1. Victor,

    Another insightful article.
    I love your drawings and diagrams.


    1. Thank you so much Sergio!

      Its always a pleasure to write when the public is so kind and passionate as you are,

      Im always trying my best to improve and will keep on doing so!!!

      Cheers!! ; )