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*This article continues on “Gamification Model Canvas Framework. Evolution. Part 2/2”
According to provided information until 2015 the Gamification Model Canvas framework (GMC) has been used by more than 16,000 gamificators from more than 180 different countries. Canvas author and Gamification company AIWIN’s CEO Sergio Jiménez has given more than 100 workshop to learn about this very intuitive and complete tool internationally. The philosophy behind the Canvas has been used on a lot and very successfull projects for very important brands and in many sectors, such banking, software consulting, pharma, etc. In addition it has been also referenced in gamifiction key publishing books, as in the case of Brian Burke’s (Gartner) Gamify: How Gamification Motivates People to Do Extraordinary Things (2014).
The excellent results of Gamification Model Canvas’ implementation are observable in projects for relevant companies as Banco Santander, Banco BBVA, Pernod Ricard España, abbvie, Telefónica, Deloitte, SAP, IBM, ORACLE, among other and despite Gamification Model Canvas is under a Creative Commons License in PDF format, a more completed and printed version with card-driven aids was available to support both gamification studios and professionals. The name of this version is Game ON! Gamification Tookit (actually sold out). Both Canvas own trajectory as the success of business initiatives around it -i.e. its author and other professionals- can attest the grand value of this asset in gamification projects during the three years of tool’s life.
Our experience with the Canvas is very positive. GECON.es has released some projects where canvas has had a key role, specifically in the following sectors: Tourism, Events, Human Resources, Education and Pharma among others. Due to our extensive research on gamification topic and taking into account that during Canva’s three years of life the gamification has experienced a considerable transformation, we had identified some aspect to improve the effectiveness of the Canvas, that is why we contacted Sergio Jiménez in order to evolve the framework together.
In view of the above and working jointly, both Sergio Jimenez and GECON.es teams agreed to intervene in the following four aspects to evolve the Canvas. In order of importance are the following:
- Evolution 1. Player profiling and a decision support model on sequential GMC’s layers
- Evolution 2. GMC adaptation to other sectorsof interest
- Evolution 3. MDA interpretation improvement in GMC
- Evolution 4. Intuitive Game Design Mechanics incorporation in GMC
At the end of 2015 both teams signed an agreement to start with the major and first evolution about user profilling and decision support model. This is the information we are sharing with you on two different reports. The first report is about the preliminary research about most popular motivation theories for players and the second is about the functional hypothesis adaptation to the Canvas and some suggestions and changes to Game ON! Gamification Toolkit.
Player profiling and decision support model on sequential Gamification Model Canvas’ layers (Aesthetics, Dynamics and Components). Part 1 of 2
1. Objectives and Tasks
The most relevant objectives are the following:
- To identify a user typology spectrum as one of the most early steps on Gamification projects.
- To define a playful design methodology for user types identification.
- To incorporate the methodology into the model in order to execute correctly the following stages of the framework (Aesthetics, Dynamics and Components)
These deliverable tasks are the following:
T1.2. Evolution 1. To incorporate player profiling techniques and decision-making systems between players and the most appropriate Aesthetics, Dynamics and Components according to the selected profiles.
2. Motivation Theories and Models
One of the main reasons for user profile analysis is to connect with their motivations. On the other hand to also connect with the behaviors the Gamification starters want to encourage in these users and, finally, to connect with the following Gamification development according to the Aesthetics, Dynamics and Components framework.
The aim of any process of gamification is to generate a motivation that drive the user to work thanks to dynamics that meet the target behaviors set by the initiator
Motivation refers to psychological processes which are responsible for starting and continuing behaviors. This is only one of the plausible definitions but there are several definitions related to both motivation and the very concept of motive, i.e:
- Buchanan and Huczynski (1991) defined “motive” as the learned influences in human behavior which allow us to follow specific goals because they are socially valued. Motivation, on the other hand, would be the decision-making process thanks to an individual chooses the most desirable results and kickstarts the appropriate behaviors to achieve them.
- Kast and Rosenzweig (1985) defined “motive” as anything that prompts a person to act in a certain way or at least develop a propensity for specific behavior.
- Ballachey et al (1962) defined “motivation” as the direction and persistence of action. This is related with why people choose to act on a way which is at expense of others and why they continue going that way during a long period of time against all odds.
- Kempner (1987) defined “motivation” as the process of starting and driving behavior. Individuals start and keep behaviors when the behavior satisfy the goal of please a necessity
Beyond all these definitions, we are interested on theories and models which explain the mechanics of motivations. We found again a huge range of theories, perspectives, schools of thought and models to explain the phenomenon. We truly recommend to read both Sailer et al. (2013) and Schlagenhaufer & Amberg (2014) articles in order to obtain a clear vision on some of the frequently cited theories used on Gamification Works. A review of these two documents –bounded only to Gamification topic- reveals the existence of multiple approaches.
In general, different theories and models should not be interpreted as contradictory visions of motivation neither of motivational design. Those simply focus on different aspects (some more general than others) and in many cases are complementary.
As our goal is not to research new theories of motivation but rather gamified design experiences, these approaches to motivation should be useful for a double purpose:
- How much valuable are the theories of motivation in a gamification context?
- ¿How to incorporate the theories of motivation to our gamification framework?
The scope of all these psychological studies related to motivation (not bounded to Gamification) is vast and far beyond the goal of this report. However we would like to highlight a set of approaches, theories and models on which to base the user profiling study. We would like to select those features -more conformed to real situations according to our expertise- and apply them to a model which allows us to run the profiling stage of the Gamification Model Canvas with a more academic and methodological support:
- Incentives Theory (extrinsic)
- Drive Reduction Theory (intrinsic)
- Arousal Theory of Motivation (intrinsic)
- Humanistic Theory of Motivation (intrinsic)
2.1. Theory of Incentives:
This approach to motivation based on a combo of different theories about incentives emerged in the 40-50’s and describes how human behaviors are driven by external stimuli: Positives to be followed, Negatives to be avoided.
These external boosts could be economic rewards or social recognition by people. Cultural, social and psychological factors can make a reward relevant for a specific individual but completely irrelevant for another. Or even the same reward could be relevant for the same individual depending on its circumstances and progress in time.
The theories of incentives propose a very short intervention, straight and quick on user’s motivations, causing a behavioral activation depending on the capacity to connect to pleasure or pain. One of the most relevant personalities of this school of thought was B.F. Skinner with his radical conductivism, author from who we highlight The Behavior of Organisms: An Experimental Analysis (Skinner, 1938) and Operant Behavior (Skinner, 1963).
2.2. Drive Reduction Theory:
Perhaps the most ignored of the theories right now, drive reduction theory (Hull, 1943) was one of the first theories on motivation based on scientific method and supported by a mathematical formula to estimate the excitatory potential (Hull et al., 1940)
This theory used to be the paradigm during 40s and 50s and influenced a lot of later theories like the well-known Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (1943)
It is based on the idea of the need of constantly balance of mind and body with the surrounding environment and meeting the needs that emerges to achieve that balance. Some of the weak points of this theory are its difficulty of explaining the secondary efforts or behaviors which are not related to the net balance stated by this theory.
2.3. Arousal Theory of Motivation:
This set of theories suggests that human beings try to keep an ideal level of arousal through a variety of behaviors. This perspective considers human being as an arousal intermediate balance seeker, that is, when this arousal is on a very low level we fall into boredom, while when this arousal is too high we get trapped by stress. Yerkes-Dodson law (1908) empirically explained the relationship between arousal and performance: performance increases with physiological or intellectual arousal up to a point where performance decreases.
It is also of interest to point out “arousal” could refer to both a state of adrenaline excitation and states of sexual horneyness. There is a certain level of curiosity and even craftiness in this theory based on the search of a balance between both sides: High and low excitement, therefore we would have to seek some boosters when we are sedated or some relaxers when we are overexcited.
2.4. Humanistic Theory – Self Determination
This movement was formed by an eclectic group of researchers on personality and experts in personal growth, therapeutic, educational and ludic theories joined together because a consensus about the lack on behaviorist and psychoanalytic theories (Rosal Cortés, 1986).
This humanistic approach advocates for the highest level of personal development of each one of us as well as the feelings of self-determination beyond our basic needs and other desires like social recognition.
The self-determination concept was settled when psychologist and humanist Abraham Maslow introduced the Hierarchy of Needs Theory (Maslow, 1943). Self-determination is presented as the final level of psychologic development that can be reached when all basic and mental needs have been satisfied, meaning a level full of happiness, harmony and love.
Individuals who Maslow studied and considered of having reached self-determination level tended to be characterized by up to 15 features (Maslow, 1954). We would like to emphasize the following:
- Acceptance and realism: they have a realistic perception of both themselves and the surrounding world
- Decisive: They are concerned on seeking solutions for problems and are motivated by a high sense of responsibility and ethics.
- Spontaneity: They are spontaneous in their inner thoughts and external behavior. They can adjust themselves to social norms and expectations and tend to be open-minded and unconventional if required
- Autonomy and self-reliance: They need independence and privacy. They enjoy company as much as time to stay alone in order to be focused in their own individual potential.
- Refreshing perception: They watch the world around in a way they keep being surprised. Even simplest experiences often are inspiring and pleasurable
- Top Experiences: They are capable of generating intense experience of joy, surprise or ecstasy. After enjoying such experiences they feel inspired, encouraged, renewed and transformed.
2.5. Fogg Behavior Model
Fogg’s behaviors Model (Fogg, 2009) is not a theory but a complete framework for behavior change.
Fogg’s Behavior Model (FBM) points that we cannot strongly affirm that we can motivate individuals not by using motivational elements but by persuading them using triggers to drive a behavior change avoiding simplicity/difficulty barriers. The explanation of why using triggers instead of motivators is because the motivators are exclusively on the user side and are impossible to be changed.
Depending on the target behavior (point, lapse or path) we would use a specific type of trigger (spark, facilitator or signal), however this relationship between behaviors and triggers is more complicated than one to one.
According to Fogg, behaviors are divided into three types:
- Point: Very short term and immediate behaviors to be made just one time. i.e. Call someone or doing a specific purchase
- Lapse: Medium term behaviors. I.e. Being on a diet during the summer or taking pills during a month.
- Path: Long term behaviors with open ending. i.e. Try to remove food rich in cholesterol for your entire life
In order to increase the willingness to perform the desired behavior, motivation, simplicity factors and triggers must converge. If the behavior is not triggered that means a failure in one of the other elements.
FBM’s Simplicity Elements that can influence behavior change acceptance are:
- Time: Every behavior takes time or even a new rhythm of life, that is, scheduled time lapses.
- Money: Some economic adjustments or an increase in expenditure are needed in order to develop some behaviors. This affects profiling because depending on the socio-economic origin of the user the simplicity factors could vary.
- Physical Effort: Artificial variables and energy that allow me to reach a goal thanks to a balanced use of my own physical energy. However, for some people physical effort works as a motivator as a self-demonstration of achievement.
- Brain Cycles: This is about the mental effort needed for a behavior change. It can refer to think deeply or in other ways to which we are used to.
- Social Deviance: In addition to the foregoing, when someone tries to initiate a new behavior against the establishment it is needed to face the pressure and social conventionalisms. For example quit smoking in a smoking environment.
- Non-Routine: It’s usually difficult to break some routines even when doing it would save us money and time. To transform point behaviors into routines also involves certain difficulties.
Fogg’s “elements of motivation” to a certain extent seem to be inspired on Maslow’s Needs Pyramid. Fogg confronts the two ends of the chain that could act as motivators: Pleasure / Pain, Hope / Fear, Social Acceptance / Rejection which could be relocated on the above-mentioned pyramid:
- Pleasure / Pain. They are the most immediate motivators. Standing along the bottom section of the pyramid (“primitive response” as Fogg pointed) the motivator is so strong, appealing to our deepest instincts: sexual, feeding necessities and self-preservation activities. Pleasure searching and pain avoiding are everyday behaviors and are very reinforced.
- Hope / Fear. These motivators are based on our own capabilities to predict events. That is, hope acts as the anticipation of something good to happen and fear is the opposite. In some cases people prefer to suffer an immediate pain in order to avoid a worst future situation (ie. Suffering the soft pain of a flu vaccine despite being sick). Fear of bigger problems or hope of changes for good are good motivators in job search, dating portals and software security updates.
- Social Acceptance/Rejection. Social acceptance is indispensable for human, only few fringe individuals like to live isolated. Social acceptance or rejection is the base of one of the most relevant Internet evolutions, that is, the social networks. Social dynamics grow hierarchies, leaders, trends, ideologies, etc., which are very powerful motivators. In fields such as energy savings peer pressure is one of the most relevant motivator.
According to Fogg motivations are eminently intrinsic, that is, they are always at the user’s side, however the “triggers” are the elements which act on the user from outside and impact directly on those motivations.
“Triggers” in FBM are the third factor. Triggers are the little reminders/stimulators that let us perform actions which we don’t keep in mind when they should be there to help us drive that behavior change.
Triggers are so valuable in the persuassion theory, in fact every condition for a behavior change could be meet but persuasion not executed, namely, the user to have the right motivations and simplicity elements totally fullfilled but, unfortunately there would be no trigger to start the user’s state.
Fogg describes three different triggers: sparks, facilitators and signals. A spark triggers a behavior, a Facilitator eases it and a Signal indicates or remembers it:
- Spark. It works in tandem with a motivation element (see above). Sparks are the lever for some of the motivational elements in demotivated users.
- Facilitator. Specially designed for those people who dont have enough ability to perform a behavior on an easy way.
- Signal. These triggers work better when people have both the ability and the motivation to perform a specific behavior. They are exclusively reminders or indicators to keep alive a certain behavior when both ability and motivation already exist.
*This article continues on “Gamification Model Canvas Framework. Evolution. Part 2/2”
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