Gaming Achievement Analysis

Part
01
of four
Part
01

Executive Summary

An executive summary for Achievements and Gaming has been provided below. More comprehensive research on any of the topics in this request may be located by scrolling down to the individual research dealing with that topic. The completed research has also been included in a Google Doc for convenience.

Research By Age Versus Segmentation — Digital Displays of Achievement

  • Researchers have noted that, when it comes to leisure activities, demographic factors like age "have proven to be weak, and ... personality may be a better predictor of choice than demographics for experiential products."
  • EEDAR's one-of-a-kind "Gamer Segmentation" report does detail gamer demographics, including by age, in the full report, but primarily focuses on segmenting gamers by their level of engagement which we have studied extensively in previous research.
  • Based on the above, we hypothesize that the player's view of digital achievements is likely more based on their gaming style than their age; e.g., a Super Gamer is far more likely to actively collect and take pleasure in their achievement trophies than a Transitional who simply doesn't have the time to try for 100% completion anymore.
  • Since Transitionals are defined as formerly-avid gamers whose greater responsibilities have forced them into more casual gaming, we hypothesize that the age 35+ gamer segment would be over-represented in this group. If so, then achievements are likely fading in importance for many at this age.
  • Likewise, a person's success in the real world would likely impact how they regard in-game achievements more than age; i.e., someone who has found success in the ABCs of self-determination theory (autonomy, belonging, and competence) would likely care less for in-game achievements than someone for whom gaming is their primary source of self-determination.
  • Also, considering that 44% of gamers are over the age of 35, it would make sense that the research done pertaining to how gamers as a whole view achievements and avatars, would apply to this group as well.
  • While most players enjoy achieving and displaying their own achievements, few pay attention to the achievement trophies of others, making the system primarily useful for reinforcing the way the game's designer wishes for it to be played.

35+ Gamers' View of Achievements and Avatars

  • An extensive search, including several psychological studies, provided no breakdowns in terms of ages when studying how gamers view achievements and avatars. Most scientific and market studies are focused on how to gain more players or make more revenue. The scientific studies that did cover the topic where not broken down by age.

The Psychology Behind Achievements and Avatars

Why They Work

  • Achievements, and the steps needed for success, are generally seen as positive as they provide a road map as to how the game should be played.
  • According to Psychology of Games, there are eight potential reasons why the badges, achievements, and trophies work: they anchor performance expectations higher, having goals increases self efficacy, completing goals leads to satisfaction, they create goal commitment, they act as guidance and provide feedback, they facilitate "psychological flow" through feedback, they trigger social proof ("where we look to the opinions and actions of those around us in order to answer questions or form opinions"), and they trigger "motivating social comparisons". ("Psychological flow is a state of mind characterized by engagement with an activity that’s in the sweet spot between effort and ability. We generally want flow and players are motivated to pursue it. Getting feedback on how well you’re doing the task (or if you’re doing it at all) and good, accurate, and timely feedback is critical to achieving flow. To the extent that achievements facilitate that kind of feedback and thus psychological flow, they will be motivating").
  • It is of interest that when players can see their progress, like with progress bars, they tend to be more motivated to play.
  • Badges and trophies let a person show their expertise and are motivating status symbols.
  • Badges, leader boards, and performance graphs seem to make a task seem more meaningful. They give a game meaning that it would not have otherwise.
  • Others have likewise noticed that "gamification" — that is, teaching or guiding work goals via game-like elements including achievement badges, scoring, and other elements — is incredibly effective in teaching or achieving other goals.
  • Most players are proud of their achievements but overestimate how much other players care about their trophies — which is to say, that others care about them at all. Achievements are ultimately about self-affirmation rather than affirmation from others.

Why Gamers Enjoy Them

  •  Virtual trophies are the adult versions of sports trophies. As a society we have put a certain amount of importance on trophies, which makes them desirable.
  • In a study completed at the Aalborg University Copenhagen , they discovered the main reason why gamers enjoyed achievement based rewards in games. The reasons were:
  • They prolonged playtime.
  • They were a way to play the game with goals in mind and to stay motivated.
  • They challenge the player to try harder.
  • They create a sense of accomplishment.
  • They let the player display what they have accomplished and are proof of what the player has done.
  • They evoke the feeling of being special when something is unlocked.
  • They create a sense of completion.
  • They work as a checklist for the player.
  • They create a feeling of mastery and give the player bragging rights.
  • There is a social aspect.
  • They compliment the player for doing something special.
  • They are something the player can collect.
  • Some negatives associated were that it made the game too time-consuming, the tasks were mundane, and they force the player to replay levels that have already been completed.

Psychological/Scientific Experiments

Self Determination Theory

  • The self-determination theory states that people have a hierarchy of needs represented by ABC. A represents autonomy, B represents belonging, and C represent competence. We do things to satisfy one of these needs, either to be in control, to belong, or to feel good at what we are doing. Gaming gives a person control over playing, belonging with social groups, and competence when they reach an achievement or get a badge. This is one of the reasons that gaming is so popular.

The Overjustification Effect

  • In 1972, scientists Lepper, Greene, and Nisbett conducted a study. They took a group of children that liked to draw and divided them into three groups. The first group was promised a reward, the second group was not promised one but was given one at the end, and the third group did not get a reward at all. After rewarding some groups, they stopped giving any rewards at all. The findings showed that intrinsic motivation is reduced when extrinsic motivators (achievements, badges, etc.) are removed.
  • In another study by Science Direct, an online simulation environment was used with multiple configurations. They discovered that badges and leaderboards satisfied the need to demonstrate competence and that avatars and teammates gave the player a sense of social relevance.
  • This can be applied to gaming. A gamer's motivation can change from just playing a game for enjoyment, to playing it for achievement. The achievements give a gamer the motivation to play the game and engage more frequently.

Gaming Avatars — Specific Research

  • Player relationships with their in-game avatars are more complicated, ranging from idealized versions of themselves to villainous, depending on the nature of the game and the desires of the player.
  • The concept of "avatar identification" is one that is presently underdeveloped, with a study as recent as late 2018 calling for more study of the subject.
  • A Stanford University study shows, "when inhabiting a virtual avatar, people often act out personal fantasies due to the inherent risk-free atmosphere of online spaces, but also project certain behavior through their characters’ static appearances, both negative and positive." This has been picked up on by other studies, which note that players "based their avatar on their own personality with different types of profiles (i.e., actualized, idealized, alter ego, or negative hero), influencing player’s identification to their character." In other words, the relationship between a player and their avatar can vary from game-to-game and even playthrough-to-playthrough.
  • An avatar similar to one's offline personality tends to embody idealized traits while avatars that are distant from the player's offline personality embody "less socially desirable traits." Games in which the avatar choice is closely tied to game mechanics may lead to completely different avatar choices, e.g., "we decide to look like an elf because elves get +5 Intelligence and we want to max out our mage build."
  • Another academic journal notes that players become personally invested in their avatars as well as the game environment, and thus, "game playing is thought to be a personally revealing activity."
Part
02
of four
Part
02

Digital Displays of Achievement

Researchers acknowledge that traditional segmentation by demographics is less useful when studying leisure activities than the personalities of the participants. Consequently, there are at present no studies in the public domain which specifically target or segment out gamers over the age of 35 on the subject of how they view and interact with digital achievements. There are a few reasonable inferences that we may make based on the available studies which we present below.

Useful Findings

  • Researchers have noted that, when it comes to leisure activities, demographic factors like age "have proven to be weak, and ... personality may be a better predictor of choice than demographics for experiential products."
  • EEDAR's one-of-a-kind "Gamer Segmentation" report does detail gamer demographics, including by age, in the full report, but primarily focuses on segmenting gamers by their level of engagement:
    • Super Gamers (13% of US gamers)
    • Console Warriors (14%)
    • Transitionals (11%)
    • Easy Accessors (17%)
    • Daily Dabblers (19%)
    • Incidental Players (26%)
  • Based on the above, we hypothesize that the player's view of digital achievements is likely more based on their gaming style than their age; e.g., a Super Gamer is far more likely to actively collect and take pleasure in their achievement trophies than a Transitional who simply doesn't have the time to try for 100% completion anymore.
    • Since Transitionals are defined as formerly-avid gamers whose greater responsibilities have forced them into more casual gaming, we hypothesize that the age 35+ gamer segment would be over-represented in this group. If so, then achievements are likely fading in importance for many at this age.
  • Likewise, a person's success in the real world would likely impact how they regard in-game achievements more than age; i.e., someone who has found success in the ABCs of self-determination theory (autonomy, belonging, and competence) would likely care less for in-game achievements than someone for whom gaming is their primary source of self-determination.

Research Strategy

Having previously researched the use of avatars and achievements by gamers of all ages, we returned to our sources to seek insights based on age. Somewhat disconcertingly, while a few of the studies mentioned the mean age of the participants, none attempted to segment the participants by demographics to demonstrate differences between them. Indeed, as one study notes, when it comes to "predicting leisure behavior, the traditional demographic variables," like age, education, income, sex, race, etc., "have proven to be weak, and, as suggested before, personality may be a better predictor of choice than demographics for experiential products." While the possibility remains that one of the abstracts which we could not fully access (example) might contain more demographic insights, based on the aforementioned quote, we are not hopeful.

This left us gravely concerned for the ultimate success of the project, so we changed tracks and began searching for any demographic surveys of the computer gaming community which might guide our research. EEDAR's "Gamer Segmentation 2018 Syndicated Report" seemed to be unique in that regard. However, the sections which appear to be most relevant to the question, like "Video Game Play," "Social Media Usage," and "Gamer Segment Profiles" were unavailable in the free version of the report, and from context, we are not even sure that the specific question of achievement badges would be addressed in the full report (available here). However, this report did provide the thesis provided in our findings above.

As a final attempt to produce more useful findings, we sought anecdotal evidence in the form of blog and forum posts by older gamers, e.g., The Older Gamers forum. While it is true that the plural of anecdote isn't data, we hoped that we would find some consistent patterns. Unfortunately, no clear patterns emerged. Some older gamers disdained achievement badges while others could be seen asking if their achievements would be preserved even if they uninstalled a game, and nearly all relevant posts were far too old to guarantee their relevance today.

Having exhausted all possible research strategies, we focused instead on providing reasonable hypotheses from the available data.
Part
03
of four
Part
03

Achievement Preferences in Gaming (35+)

While there are many scientific studies and market research that apply to gaming, there is none that specifically discusses the over 35-year old gamers and how they view achievements in games. Generally, gamers enjoy in-game achievements, as it gives them a chance to feel accomplished and a sense of belonging.

35+ Gamers' View of Achievements and Avatars

  • An extensive search, including several psychological studies, provided no breakdowns in terms of ages when studying how gamers view achievements and avatars. Most scientific and market studies are focused on how to gain more players or make more revenue. The scientific studies that did cover the topic where not broken down by age.
  • Considering that 44% of gamers are over the age of 35, it would make sense that the research done pertaining to how gamers as a whole view achievements and avatars, would apply to this group as well.

The Psychology Behind Achievements and Avatars

Why They Work

  • Achievements, and the steps needed for success, are generally seen as positive as they provide a road map as to how the game should be played.
  • According to Psychology of Games, there are eight potential reasons why the badges, achievements, and trophies work: they anchor performance expectations higher, having goals increases self efficacy, completing goals leads to satisfaction, they create goal commitment, they act as guidance and provide feedback, they facilitate "psychological flow" through feedback, they trigger social proof ("where we look to the opinions and actions of those around us in order to answer questions or form opinions"), and they trigger "motivating social comparisons". ("Psychological flow is a state of mind characterized by engagement with an activity that’s in the sweet spot between effort and ability. We generally want flow and players are motivated to pursue it. Getting feedback on how well you’re doing the task (or if you’re doing it at all) and good, accurate, and timely feedback is critical to achieving flow. To the extent that achievements facilitate that kind of feedback and thus psychological flow, they will be motivating").
  • It is of interest that when players can see their progress, like with progress bars, they tend to be more motivated to play.
  • Badges and trophies let a person show their expertise and are motivating status symbols.
  • Badges, leader boards, and performance graphs seem to make a task seem more meaningful. They give a game meaning that it would not have otherwise.

Why Gamers Enjoy Them

  • Virtual trophies are the adult versions of sports trophies. As a society we have put a certain amount of importance on trophies, which makes them desirable.
  • In a study completed at the Aalborg University Copenhagen , they discovered the main reason why gamers enjoyed achievement based rewards in games. The reasons were:
  • They prolonged playtime.
  • They were a way to play the game with goals in mind and to stay motivated.
  • They challenge the player to try harder.
  • They create a sense of accomplishment.
  • They let the player display what they have accomplished and are proof of what the player has done.
  • They evoke the feeling of being special when something is unlocked.
  • They create a sense of completion.
  • They work as a checklist for the player.
  • They create a feeling of mastery and give the player bragging rights.
  • There is a social aspect.
  • They compliment the player for doing something special.
  • They are something the player can collect.
  • Some negatives associated were that it made the game too time-consuming, the tasks were mundane, and they force the player to replay levels that have already been completed.

Psychological/Scientific Experiments

Sharetribe

  • Sharetribe has an online community that is vital to the operation of the company. They conducted a field study of about 3,000 actually users. In this study they offered badges for determined levels of participation (achievements). They discovered that it increased the engagement levels. Users were more apt to participate when badges were offered.

Self Determination Theory

  • The self-determination theory states that people have a hierarchy of needs represented by ABC. A represents autonomy, B represents belonging, and C represent competence. We do things to satisfy one of these needs, either to be in control, to belong, or to feel good at what we are doing. Gaming gives a person control over playing, belonging with social groups, and competence when they reach an achievement or get a badge. This is one of the reasons that gaming is so popular.

The Overjustification Effect

  • In 1972, scientists Lepper, Greene, and Nisbett conducted a study. They took a group of children that liked to draw and divided them into three groups. The first group was promised a reward, the second group was not promised one but was given one at the end, and the third group did not get a reward at all. After rewarding some groups, they stopped giving any rewards at all. The findings showed that intrinsic motivation is reduced when extrinsic motivators (achievements, badges, etc.) are removed.
  • In another study by Science Direct, an online simulation environment was used with multiple configurations. They discovered that badges and leaderboards satisfied the need to demonstrate competence and that avatars and teammates gave the player a sense of social relevance.
  • This can be applied to gaming. A gamer's motivation can change from just playing a game for enjoyment, to playing it for achievement. The achievements give a gamer the motivation to play the game and engage more frequently.

Research Strategy

  • To present a comprehensive view, we consulted scientific research. Therefore, some research is past the standard Wonder two year time frame. We have chosen to include this information as it is still timely and gives a view into the mindset of a gamer.
Part
04
of four
Part
04

Achievement Preferences in Gaming

While most players enjoy achieving and displaying their own achievements, few pay attention to the achievement trophies of others, making the system primarily useful for reinforcing the way the game's designer wishes for it to be played. Player relationships with their in-game avatars are more complicated, ranging from idealized versions of themselves to villainous, depending on the nature of the game and the desires of the player.

Gaming Avatars

  • A Stanford University study shows, "when inhabiting a virtual avatar, people often act out personal fantasies due to the inherent risk-free atmosphere of online spaces, but also project certain behavior through their characters’ static appearances, both negative and positive."
  • This has been picked up on by other studies, which note that players "based their avatar on their own personality with different types of profiles (i.e., actualized, idealized, alter ego, or negative hero), influencing player’s identification to their character." In other words, the relationship between a player and their avatar can vary from game-to-game and even playthrough-to-playthrough.
    • An avatar similar to one's offline personality tends to embody idealized traits while avatars that are distant from the player's offline personality embody "less socially desirable traits."
    • Games in which the avatar choice is closely tied to game mechanics may lead to completely different avatar choices, e.g., "we decide to look like an elf because elves get +5 Intelligence and we want to max out our mage build."
  • Another academic journal notes that players become personally invested in their avatars as well as the game environment, and thus, "game playing is thought to be a personally revealing activity."
  • Male players enjoy games more when playing a self-similar avatar, or one that resembles a close friend. Early studies suggested that women enjoy games more with avatars that don't resemble themselves, but they have been called into question by more recent work.
  • The above studies and observations notwithstanding, the concept of "avatar identification" is one that is presently underdeveloped, with a study as recent as late 2018 calling for more study of the subject.

Gaming Achievements

  • While achievement trophies or badges are relatively recent, gamers have always competed with each other through high scores, their strongest Pokemon, the combos they could do in fighting games, etc.
  • Even outside of a computer gaming context, achievements and trophies are a powerful motivator. For example, a researcher added public badges for certain behaviors to virtual marketplace Sharetribe to see if they would increase certain types of activities and found them to be very effective.
    • Others have likewise noticed that "gamification" — that is, teaching or guiding work goals via game-like elements including achievement badges, scoring, and other elements — is incredibly effective in teaching or achieving other goals.
  • The researcher suggests eight potential reasons why badges of achievement might be such powerful motivators (quoted verbatim):
  • Gamers collect virtual trophies for much the same reason that athletes collect physical trophies.
  • One of the primary purposes of achievements is to create a set of goals for the player; in effect, reading a list of available achievements provides a kind of map for how the game is meant to be played.
  • However, warn some, this means that achievements may blind players to alternative ways to play; e.g., achievements for killing a certain number of enemies might blind the player to a more stealthy approach to victory.
  • Psychologists have known since a 1972 study that offering an extrinsic (external) reward like an achievement trophy can reduce the intrinsic (internal) motivation for conducting an otherwise enjoyed activity; this is known as the "overjustification effect."
  • Game achievements do have some intrinsic motivational aspects, however, in that they serve as benchmarks by which a player can gauge their competence. This, in addition to the game providing a sense of belonging to a community and at least the illusion of autonomy, the three hierarchies of needs in self-determination theory.
  • Most players are proud of their achievements but overestimate how much other players care about their trophies — which is to say, that others care about them at all. Achievements are ultimately about self-affirmation rather than affirmation from others.
Sources
Sources

From Part 03
Quotes
  • "2. You do whatever’s put in front of you. In coding achievements, game developers design a guide to playing their game. You see this as how the game is meant to be played, and so pursue the achievements. In doing so, you are blind to all of the other ways you could be approaching the game."
  • "3. You overestimate the amount that other people care about your trophies. We are cultural animals. We care about what other people think, especially the other members of our social groups. But, think about the last time you inspected anyone else’s achievements. You can’t remember because you haven’t done so in a long time. Because you don’t really care. So, even though your achievements are a way for others to discover your supposed aptitude, they never actually discover it because they never started looking."
  • "6. You see virtual trophies as modern versions of sports trophies. Trophies and achievements existed before video games. They were physical objects in actual space. And, as a society, we have placed certain values on trophies that lead each of us to desire them. Trophies are worth 3 friend points, 7 son points, -2 brother points. These tacit scores and reasoning carry over to gaming."
Quotes
  • "Sharetribe is very community focused, so it really wants users who log in regularly, participate in markets, and provide important information to other users. So the researcher wanted to see if adding achievements –in the form of badges displayed on user profiles– would help increase these kinds of user activities. To do that he conducted a field study of almost 3,000 actual website users. It was also longitudinal. About half the data covered users who registered up to 1 year before the badges were added to the site while the rest covered those who registered after badges were added."
  • "To cut straight to the chase, Hamari did indeed find that adding badges to the website had the intended effects. It increased the likelihood that any given user would use the website to “post trade proposals, carry out transactions, comment on proposals and generally use the service in a more active way.”3"
  • "Eight potential reasons why badges, achievements, and trophies might work are: 1. They anchor our performance expectations higher 2. Having goals increases our self efficacy 3. Completing goals leads to satisfaction 4. They create goal commitment 5. They act as guidance mechanics and provide feedback 6. They facilitate psychological flow through feedback 7. The trigger social proof 8. They trigger motivating social comparisons "
  • "9. I’ll also note that if you make players feel that they have already begun progress towards an achievement by the time you present it to them, you will increase their commitment to reaching it.7"
  • "10. Psychological flow is a state of mind characterized by engagement with an activity that’s in the sweet spot between effort and ability. We generally want flow and players are motivated to pursue it. Getting feedback on how well you’re doing the task (or if you’re doing it at all) and good, accurate, and timely feedback is critical to achieving flow. To the extent that achievements facilitate that kind of feedback and thus psychological flow, they will be motivating."
  • "11. Social proof is a term often applied to situations where we look to the opinions and actions of those around us in order to answer questions or form opinions. It’s so powerful that it can cause us to disbelieve our own senses. It can also causes us to pursue activities if we think that other people are also engaging in those activities or pursuing those goals. Thus, if an achievement system tells us that everyone is completing a certain side quest or playing with a certain loadout, social proof will lead us to believe that it’s not only possible, but that it is in fact normal for all players to do the same."
Quotes
  • "It’s pretty safe to say that achievements and trophies are extrinsic motivators. They’re coming from something outside of you. The game designer is making these, you’re playing the game, and the game is giving them to you in terms of goals. And the rewards themselves are extrinsically motivating. If you do this thing, you’ll go and achieve this outside reward given to you by someone else."
  • "Another factor that’s important is whether the external motivator is seen as controlling and even manipulative rather than simply informational. It matters if a game tells you “Hey you aren’t playing right if you don’t aim for this achievement.” That’s controlling and hurts intrinsic motivation. But if it tells you “Hey, you’ve been doing your thing and that earned you this achievement” that’s informational and should increase intrinsic motivation."
Quotes
  • "And since then a lot has changed. When reading forum discussions it is easy to find some of the effects achievements have. And put simply I think they can be listed in two all-encompassing statements: - They make you do things you wouldn’t otherwise - They make you not play things you would otherwise "
  • "All options could be considered to be one and only one thing, the overjustification effect. This has been covered in a very interesting study conducted in 1972 by Lepper, Greene & Nisbett. In short they took a group of children who enjoyed a drawing activity and then split them in three groups. The first one was then promised a reward, the second was not promised a reward but given one at the end and the third had no reward at all. They then stopped giving the reward. The findings are very interesting as it turns out the first group’s initial intrinsic motivation reduced, due to the existence of the extrinsic motivation, or we could say the motivation changed focus. All the while the third group saw no impact on its initial intrinsic interest. (Feel free to have a read of the whole document if interested) "
  • "Those findings I believe can easily be applied to the world of gaming today. With them we can then understand how a gamer’s motivation can change (without necessarily noticing it) from playing a game because it’s fun, to playing a game because it gives achievements. And from there naturally, if something doesn’t have achievements there is no reason or motivation to play it."
Quotes
  • "To recap what the two groups say, here is a comparison of the opinions in favor and against achievements. Achievements are good because they... ...prolong playtime: - They are a way to play a game again, but with new goals in mind. - They challenge the player to try harder difficulty settings. - They entice the player to try new game mechanics. …create a sense of accomplishments: - They let the player display what he/she have accomplished. - They work as proof of what the player have done. - They evoke the feeling of being special when unlocked. ...create a sense of completion: - They work as a checklist for the player to make sure that everything is done. - They create a feeling of mastery of the game. ...have a social aspect: - They have a natural element of competition, gives the player bragging rights. - They encourage cooperative gaming, such as Achievement boosting. - They have created a community of forums and web pages. ...give the player a digital praise: - They complement the player for doing something special. - They release tension after a long build-up, which is concluded in a small sound. ...create a sense of collection: - They are something the player can be collecting. "
  • "Achievements are bad because they... ...are too time consuming: - They assign mundane tasks for the player to do. - They assign repetitive tasks for the player to do. - They are only for gamers with more spare time. - They forces the player to replay a game he/she has already completed"
Quotes
  • "He understands some gamers—himself included—complete a daunting checklist in a video game to get a sense of accomplishment. “In some ways it’s just the sense of completion and fulfillment,” he told me. “If things are going wrong with your life or you’re bored and nothing seems rewarding, it’s very easy for people to latch onto [a video game] and say, ‘I can do this perfectly.’”"
  • "There’s a psychological concept called self determination theory. It suggests that humans have a hierarchy of needs represented by ABC. A is autonomy, we want to feel like we’re in control. B is belonging, we want to feel connected to others. C is competence, we want to feel we’re good at whatever we’re doing."
  • "“We’re intrinsically motivated to do things that satisfy at least one of those three needs. To the extent that they satisfy all three of them they’re more motivating. And so [video game completionism] is satisfying the competence need. You can quickly turn on the game and feel like you achieved something. But also, you feel in control. You’re holding a controller. You get to decide what you're doing. We never have control over anything in our real lives.”"
Quotes
  • "1. Badges are fun and interesting Could it be that badges break up the monotony of everyday actions enough to motivate us to strive for more? No – we don’t think so, and neither do Antin and Churchill. Instead, they suggest it’s because of the following points: "
  • "2. Goal-setting Antin and Churchill argue that perhaps the most obvious function of badges is as a goal-setting device: goals keep us focused on what we need to achieve and badges challenge us – i.e. give us the extra motivation – to complete the actions. There’s plenty of research to show that setting goals motivates us to achieve them, and in fact it is often thought that the fun and interest of goal seeking is the reward, rather than the badge. In this case, the badge merely directs the user or the learner in the correct direction – the goal gets them there. "
  • "One important point that Antin and Churchill note, and which we tackle on our Academy Learning Management System, is that goal setting is most effective when learners can see their progress towards the goal. Therefore we make sure to award learners points alongside badges, which accumulate to push learners over the threshold of their current ‘level’ of achievement and ‘level up’."
  • "3. Instruction Sometimes, particularly on a Learning Management System if learners are not familiar with the learning environment, badges are helpful to show people which direction to take. For instance, learners on the Academy LMS are able to check out the badge cabinet, which shows not only all the badges they’ve already achieved, but those available to them. If they didn’t already realise they could share their progress on Twitter, they do now – and they can get a badge for it! "
  • ". Reputation, status and affirmation Everyone likes to be thought of as an expert, and what better way to prove this than by showing off your trophy cabinet full of badges!? In this way, badges can be motivating as status symbols – they advertise learners’ achievements and accomplishments without the learner shouting, “Hey! Look at me! Check out what I can do, I’m the best!” Because, let’s face it, they wouldn’t have any friends if they did that. "
Quotes
  • "When it comes to mobile gaming in North America, single-player experiences associated with progression, completion, and achievement most consistently drive play."
  • "Top Five Motivations to Engage: 1. Progressing to a higher level 2. Beating new levels/personal records 3. complete a personal goal 4. unlocking new content 5. completing all content"
  • "By contrast, motivations relating to multiplayer (whether competitive or cooperative) or in-game social interactions appear nowhere in the top 10. In fact, they rank much closer to the bottom of the battery of 33 gameplay experiences."
  • "Bottom Five Motivations To Engage: 1. Being destructive 2. competing as a group 3. working as a group 4. going head to head 5. interacting with others "
Quotes
  • "44% of gamers are over the age of 35. "
  • "Price and genre are the two most important factors for engagement."
Quotes
  • "Based on a self-determination theory framework, we present the results of a randomized controlled study that used an online simulation environment. We deliberately varied different configurations of game design elements, and analysed them in regard to their effect on the fulfilment of basic psychological needs. Our results show that badges, leaderboards, and performance graphs positively affect competence need satisfaction, as well as perceived task meaningfulness, while avatars, meaningful stories, and teammates affect experiences of social relatedness."
  • ". Perceived decision freedom, however, could not be affected as intended. We interpret these findings as general support for our main hypothesis that gamification is not effective per se, but that specific game design elements have specific psychological effects."
  • "To sum up, the game design element group with badges, leaderboards, and performance graphs (experimental condition 1) fostered competence need satisfaction and autonomy need satisfaction reading task meaningfulness. The game design element group with avatars, meaningful stories, and teammates (experimental condition 2) fostered social relatedness need satisfaction. However, autonomy need satisfaction in regard to decision freedom was not affected by any of the tested game design element groups. "
  • "Furthermore, badges, leaderboards, and performance graphs also seemed to contribute to an increase in perceived task meaningfulness. One possible explanation for this unexpected result is that badges, leaderboards, and performance graphs can also create meaning at game level. "
From Part 04