Tuesday, 12 March 2013

30 Elements of Gamification

Game elements are your toolbox for gamification. They are extracted from games and used in different ways to make business practices more game-like. If you would look to all games you can think of, you will find a vast array of different paths, elements, templates and design patterns that can be applied to other games or gamification.

Kevin Werbach's framework of gamification elements

Kevin Werbach is a professor who is teaching people about gamification and also have published great book called "For the win!". K. Werbach have developed a framework for gamification elements. These are base elements that can be found in gamification and some structure around different kinds of those elements. These are not every possible element, nor are these the best elements, nor elements that should be in every example of gamification or game. The best example is not that uses the most elements, it's the one which uses the elements most effectively. This framework should give some sense how different elements and structures can be applied in gamified systems or games.

It is a pyramid structure that have 3 levels:

  1. Dynamics (top)
  2. Mechanics (middle)
  3. Components (bottom)

Kevin Werbach's gamification framework: Dynamics

At the top of the pyramid are the game dynamics. These are the most high level conceptual elements in a game or gamified system. You can think about these as a grammar - the hidden structure.

  1. Constraints
  2. Emotions
  3. Narrative
  4. Progression
  5. Relationships

Kevin Werbach's gamification framework: Mechanics

At the next level of the pyramid are the game's mechanics. These can be understood as verbs of gamification. The elements, that moves the action forward. There are more mechanics than dynamics - that's the notion of the pyramid. Game mechanics are tools, that can help to figure out how to move the action forward and get the players into the game. The mechanical elements of the game are:

  1. Challenges
  2. Chance
  3. Competition
  4. Cooperation
  5. Feedback
  6. Resource Acquisition
  7. Rewards
  8. Transactions
  9. Turns
  10. Win states

Kevin Werbach's gamification framework: Components

In the most surface level there are components. Specific examples, specific ways to do the higher level things that dynamics and mechanics represent.
  1. Achievements
  2. Avatars
  3. Badges
  4. Boss Fights
  5. Collections
  6. Combat
  7. Content Unblocking
  8. Gifting
  9. Leader-boards
  10. Levels
  11. Points
  12. Quests
  13. Social Graph
  14. Teams
  15. Virtual goods

Kevin Werbach's lessons from the Pyramid

Altogether there are 30 different elements. A great list, which should show you some of the options, that you have to play with while implementing some gamified system. The structure of the pyramid shows that the lower level examples are the way of doing some higher level things. That is how the structure fits together. Happy gamifying!

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