What Wordle can teach us about designing motivating experiences

It’s every game designer’s dream: a game that goes from 90 to 300,000 daily players in less than three months. It’s especially impressive from a side-project whose owner has no intention of monetising it.

Wordle is a simple game: you have six tries to guess a five-letter word. Your first…

Adapted from Jesse Schell’s ‘The Art of Game Design’

Most importantly, a learning game — or gamified learning experience — has to achieve its learning objectives. But to do that it needs to work well as a game, and that means having game balance.

Jesse Schell, in his seminal book, ‘The Art of Game Design’, talks about many types…

Everybody plays differently — use this to help them learn

Play and learning are intimately connected. For some — including those who’ve looked at the studies — this is obvious, but for many adults, this seems counterintuitive: play is for kids. It seems somehow frivolous to bring play into adult work and learning. If we follow this rabbit-hole to the…

Asymmetry and balance in learning games

In Monopoly, and Chess, thousands of other games, every player starts in the same place, with the same options. They move in the same way, are allowed to do the same things, and have the same powers. Differences result only from luck or different decisions.

It’s an easy way to…

What is endogenous value and how can you create it?

Everyone’s heard of the employee-of-the-month award that nobody wants. I’ve even heard of teams agreeing to nominate or vote for a new person each month on rotation, just to derail the whole process. Why would they do this? Because they don’t value the award. …

Including some definitely not intended for it…

My background is in face-to-face learning. For twenty years I’ve been designing learning experiences, most of them face-to-face, and for the more recent half of that, I’ve been increasingly using games-based learning solutions, and gamifying learning experiences.

Just like for many people, everything changed for me in March 2020. Since…

How to use motivational models in gamification

A staircase in a Mexican subway station, decorated so that each step is the key in a giant piano keyboard

When you can’t see the motivation for the models

The study of human motivation provides dozens of competing models, all respected, all explaining motivation differently. Gamification is finding out what motivates people to play games, and using that to motivate them to do other things, so models of motivation are indispensable. But which one to use?

It’s crucial to…

Terry Pearce

A consultant and designer in game-based learning and gamification for learning. Go to www.untoldplay.com for more.

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