Four Traits of a Game

One way of motivating people to do things they didn’t really think they would do, is to make a game out of it. Gamification if you like. From Jane Mcgonigal’s book, I’ve found her defining traits of a game:

“The goal is the specific outcome that players will work to achieve.” It gives players purpose.

Rules place limitations on how players can achieve the goal.” They push players to “explore preciously uncharted possibility spaces” and “unleash creativity and foster strategic thinking”.

“The feedback system tells players how close they are to achieving the goal.” This refers to points, a score, progress bar or levels. Real-time feedback pushes players.

Voluntary participation requires that everyone who is laying the game knowingly and willingly accepts the goal, the rules, and the feedback.” It establishes common ground between players.

She says that everything else in games works to enhance these four primary traits. Wow.

One thought on “Four Traits of a Game

  1. I didn’t know you had that book, Carrie! I’ve wanted to read that for a long time. Finally, we have a very good reason to carve out the time to do just that :)