Applied Game Design
Games are not trivial; games are effective tools for motivating and educating. If we want to get people to do the things they need to do, the best way to get them to do it is to make it playful. Games and play are super engagement generators because they (typically) focus on fun.
How It Works
Games use mechanics that are engineered to capture and maintain our engagement. They reward us quickly, often and constantly, which outfoxes our desire for instant gratification. By providing an objective measure on how well we’re doing with constant feedback on our progress, a way to track our progression and opportunities to level up, games boost our confidence to do more, and increase our sense of self-efficacy. With a little healthy competition to motivate us to play harder and longer towards achieving our goals, we not only get the chance to gloat over our sense of accomplishment when we get it done, we also get worthy achievements to brag about to our friends via our social media and networking tools.
Connecting with our friends to do things drives our engagement and increases our chances of success; the buddy system works! By propagating though invitations games help us build our own networks, which is great because the more mutual friends we have playing with us the more engaged we are in playing, and the more we’ll be invested in succeeding in the game.
Games also allow us to hack into our natural feedback loops. As anyone who’s observed a toddler exploring the world can attest, people’s brains instinctively turn feedback into games. Feedback loops are how we course correct and learn. By showing us where we stand and giving us some evaluation of our progress, feedback loops are potent mechanisms that can help us change behavior patterns. With the application of game design, they can be used to habituate positive behaviour, by turning progress itself into a reward.
Putting it all together
By leveraging fundamental biological processes, social networks and game mechanics, our games use play to help people learn new information, practice without fear of failure, and habituate new behaviour. Whether it’s engaging in a healthier lifestyle, managing a chronic disease, improving patient adherence or acquiring new professional skills, games harness the power of play, which can help people get where they want to be in their lives.
Small incremental changes can lead to permanent change. And because we are all connected, changing the behaviour of small clusters of people within a community can have a ripple effect over entire populations. Behaviour change can be contagious and our goal at Ayogo is to make becoming better, a fun thing to spread.
Developing new ways of
leveraging technology for
learning with an emphasis on
and behavioural change.