A gamification solver. Task # 1: Internet project with UGC content
With this publication, we begin a series of articles devoted to solving problems in various fields using gamification. The purpose of the article is to provide theoretical information and a general solution algorithm. The first task: how to make a working online project with content that users should generate through gamification. Let's get started!
Formulation of the problem
So, there is an online project. Most of its content, if not all, should be generated by users themselves, it can be of different types.
Participants themselves must publish content, evaluate and moderate the content posted by other users.
Let there be a travel web service on which participants must upload travel reports. It will be used to make the text less abstract, however, everything written below is suitable for other services with UGC content.
A game add-in or gamification consists of three layers: game aesthetics, game dynamics, and game mechanics.
Game aesthetics is an emotional packaging that defines how users perceive the gamification of a service, how they perceive themselves and their actions in it. Aesthetics is realized thanks to the human imagination, the general atmosphere in the game and on the service, the graphic design of the service, text messages and the general tone of the service’s communications with the user.
Game dynamics - describes what happens on a gamified service and in a game over time, how the role of the participant in it changes, what are the short-term and long-term game goals for the user of the service.
Game mechanics- A set of specific mechanisms, rules, elements that allow you to implement the desired dynamics and aesthetics. It is game mechanics that are implemented functionally on the Internet portal, but their tasks are to support the game through, aesthetics, history, dynamics.
Great story at your service
Truly massive and viral are the stories and aesthetics of service, not mechanics. The idea of gamification should work even in retelling to friends, and the badges that are traditionally given away cannot be retold.
In the case study “Travel service with travel reports”, you can leave everything as it is, i.e. make a functional and convenient reporting service. But if we are talking about gamification, then it can be presented as a "club of travelers." The game almost always allows the player to experience a new gaming experience for him. Let the service allow the user to feel like a discoverer. A sort of Christopher Columbus of the 21st century. When posting his report, the user as if puts on the map valuable information unknown to the guidebooks, but valuable and authentic for the country for which it is indicated.
Emotional repackaging functionality
Suppose your service has purely utilitarian functionality. For example, voting, which is necessary to assess the quality of published content. Emotional repackaging is what the user thinks and how he perceives ordinary actions when he performs them.
In our example, the voting function regarding the quality of the published report can be emotionally beaten. For example, the user is told that he is taking part in choosing the most creative traveler of the month.
Social gameplay on the internet service
Social gameplay is a game process for building social micro-communities and joint solution of more global tasks that cannot be solved alone or can be solved more effectively with separation of duties. Several communities can exist on the service at the same time, which to one degree or another compete with each other. The service encourages competition and the development of large communities, the cooperation of individual users.
In the case study of the “club of travelers”, several micro-communities can be distinguished. For example, by type of travel or by country. As was written above, the micro-community together solves a big problem. For example, open the entire map. Those. the implicit task is to remove the “fog of war” from the map, while a piece of the map is opened with each report. There may be a competitive task, for example, competition between countries over where the level of authenticity of information is higher. The task of the community can be determined both by the creators of the service and its loyal users.
User career in social gameplay
The user's career determines how his role and capabilities on the service change over time. In fact, the social gameplay and the user's career in it relate to the game dynamics and set clear short-term and long-term game goals for the user.
I will illustrate a career option using the example of the Travelers Club. The user comes to the service as a beginner, begins to deal with the service on their own. After certain events committed on the service, representatives of different micro-communities turn to the user, in clan gaming terms. They can do this through the functionality of the service, for example, invites. They make an offer to become his mentors and when he understands enough, connect to their community. By connecting to the organization, the user receives opportunities that were previously not available to him. A role model can exist in the community, for example, a novice, mentor, curator of the map territory, researcher, traveler. The user makes a career in the community, he himself becomes a mentor, starts a ward,
Formal elements of the game
To make gamification look like a game, you do not need cool graphics, you need formal elements of the game. I will list them and show them in a case study. Players are service users represented in the aesthetics of the game by travelers. The goals of the game - determine what the user must achieve, progress is stimulated by specific mechanics. For example, the goal may be associated with the "discovery of the map", become the "king of the hill" in some territory. The conditions for victory and the conditions for the progress of the player in the game are also formal elements of the game. They describe what is the criterion for the success of the user on the service and how to achieve it. For example, a career in the micro-community, the capture and retention of territory. Alternatively, you can open the territory with published reports, and capture with evaluated reports.
Game mechanics for managing micro-community users
Various game mechanics are used to control the activity. Their choice is determined by dynamics and aesthetics. For example, daily tasks, quests, group missions, time-limited rewards, ratings, torn cycles that explain why the user needs to return to the service daily. Game mechanics in isolation from aesthetics and most importantly the speakers do not work, or work for a short time.
Adapting a solution algorithm to a specific service
For this resolver it does not matter which Internet service to consider. However, in order to implement gamification for a specific Internet service, it is critically important what the service is about, what kind of behavior you need to get from users on it other than generating content.