The theme of this session - Everything can be a Game.
This session focused on game dynamics and how game psychology can drive engagement, interaction and loyalty on your website, traditionally a non-gaming environment.
Gabe was clearly passionate about the gaming concept and explains it as "the only force that exists without the threat of violence that makes people do irrational things."
Here's a few key takeaways I walked away with:
- The definition of a game is changing and what people really want is to do something they like, something they consider fun, and/or something that makes them feel like they accomplished something.
- There are three basic things to make something fun: Challenges, Leaderboards and Points - when added to any experience it changes peoples behavior.
Advice is to think about how to make an experience fun from day 1. If you’re not in a situation to do that you can still go through the experience and layer in gaming mechanics to et more engagement and interaction from your existing community.
- Game mechanics involve rewarding people along their journey. You can have different metrics for success to make them feel like they are 'winning'; for example slice and dice the data - different activities can have different leaderboards and that data can be grouped by network or time.
- Gaming Essentials from Gabe: It needs to be overly simple (no instructions required); you need to be able to play with one hand; you need to be able to start/stop playing at any time; and it needs to be infinitely playable.
- Interesting stats - woman who are 35+ are not thought to be traditional 'gamers' however they are the demographic that drives a big portion of the gaming industry including Yahoo Games.
- Gabe dropped an interesting bomb about how women don’t respond as well to 3D environments and the fact that they are not well liked by a lot of people because they are confrontational. He recommends sticking to a 2D environment like the world we live itn. He says 2D environments are easier to navigate and ultimately more flexible.