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52 Gamification Mechanics and Elements as proposed by Andrzej Marczewski (from gamified.uk)

Periodic-Table-of-Gamification-Elements

52 GAMIFICATION MECHANICS AND ELEMENTS

Below is a list of various elements and mechanics that support different User Types and contexts.

General

Name Description
Consequences If the user gets things wrong, what are the consequences? Do they lose a life, points or items they have earned?
Curiosity / Mystery Box Curiosity is a strong force. Not everything has to be fully explained, a little mystery may encourage people in new directions.
Flow Getting the perceived levels of challenge and skill just right can lead to a state of Flow. Balance is the key.
Investment When people invest time, effort, emotions or money, they will value the outcomes all the more.
Loss Aversion No one likes to lose things. Fear of losing status, friends, points, achievements, possessions, progress etc can be a powerful reason for people to do things.
Narrative / Story Tell your story and let people tell theirs. Use gamification to strengthen understanding of your story by involving people. Think like a writer!
On-boarding / Tutorials No one uses manuals anymore! Help people get used to your system with a nice tutorial or a gentle introduction on how everything works.
Progress / Feedback Progress and feedback come in many forms and have many mechanics available. All User Types need some sort of measure of progress or feedback, but some types work better than others.
Scarcity Making something rare can make it all the more desirable.
Signposting Sometimes, even the best people need to be pointed in the right direction. Signpost next actions to help smooth early stages of a journey. Use “just in time” cues to help users who are stuck.
Strategy Make people think about what they are doing, why they are doing it and how it might affect the outcomes of the game.
Theme Give your gamification a theme, often linked with narrative. Can be anything from company values to werewolves. Add a little fantasy, just make sure users can make sense of it.
Time Pressure Reducing the amount of time people have to do things can focus them on the problem. It can also lead to different decisions.

Schedules

Name Description
Fixed Reward Schedule Reward people based on defined actions and events. First activity, level up, progression. Useful during on-boarding and to celebrate milestone events.
Random Rewards Surprise and delight people with unexpected rewards. Keep them on their toes and maybe even make them smile.
Time Dependent Rewards Events that happen at specific times (birthdays etc.) or are only available for set period of time (e.g. come back each day for a reward). Users have to be there to benefit.

Player Types

Socialisers

Name Description
Competition Competition gives people a chance to prove themselves against others. It can be a way to win rewards, but can also be a place where new friendships and relationships are born.
Guilds / Teams Let people build close-knit guilds or teams. Small groups can be much more effective than large sprawling ones. Create platforms for collaboration but also pave the way for team based competitions.
Social Discovery A way to find people and be found is essential to building new relationships. Matching people based on interests and status can all help get people started.
Social Network Allow people to connect and be social with an easy to use and accessible social network. It is can be more fun to play with other people than to play on your own.
Social Pressure People often don’t like feeling they are the odd one out. In a social environment, this can be used to encourage people to be like their friends. Can demotivate if expectations are unrealistic.
Social Status Status can lead to greater visibility for people, creating opportunities to create new relationships. It can also feel good. You can make use of feedback mechanics such as leaderboards and certificates.

Free Spirits

Name Description
Branching Choices Let the user choose their path and destiny. From multiple learning paths to responsive narratives. Remember, choice has to be or at least feel meaningful to be most effective and appreciated.
Creativity Tools Allow people to create their own content and express themselves. This may be for personal gain, for pleasure or to help other people (teaching materials, levels, gear, FAQ etc).
Customisation Give people the tools to customise their experience. From avatars to the environment, let them express themselves and choose how they will present themselves to others.
Easter Eggs Easter eggs are a fun way to reward and surprise people for just having a look around. For some, the harder they are to find, the more exciting it is!
Exploration Give your Free Spirits room to move and explore. If you are creating virtual worlds, consider that they will want to find the boundaries and give them something to find.
Unlockable / Rare Content Add to the feeling of self expression and value, by offering unlockable or rare content for free spirits to make use of. Link to Easter eggs and exploration as well as achievement.

Achievers

Name Description
Boss Battles Boss battles are a chance to consolidate everything you have learned and mastered in one epic challenge. Usually signals the end of the journey – and the beginning of a new one.
Certificates Different from general rewards and trophies, certificates are a physical symbol of mastery and achievement. They carry meaning, status and are useful.
Challenges Challenges help keep people interested, testing their knowledge and allowing them to apply it. Overcoming challenges will make people feel they have earned their achievement.
Learning / New Skills What better way to achieve mastery than to learn something new? Give your users the opportunity to learn and expand.
Levels / Progression Levels and goals help to map a users progression through a system. It can be as important to see where you can go next as it is to see where you have been.
Quests Quests give users a fixed goal to achieve. Often made up from a series of linked challenges, multiplying the feeling of achievement.

Philanthropists

Name Description
Access Access to more features and abilities in a system can give people more ways to help others and to contribute. It also helps make them feel valued. More meaningful if earned.
Care-taking Looking after other people can be very fulfilling. Create roles for administrators, moderators, curators etc. Allow users to take a parental role.
Collect & Trade Many people love to collect things. Give them a way to collect and trade items in your system. Helps build relationships and feelings of purpose and value.
Gifting / Sharing Allow gifting or sharing of items to other people to help them achieve their goals. Whilst a form of altruism, the potential for reciprocity can be a strong motivator.
Meaning / Purpose Some just need to understand the meaning or the purpose of what they are doing (epic or otherwise). For others they need to feel they are part of something greater than themselves.
Sharing Knowledge For some, helping other people by sharing knowledge with them is its own reward. Build the in the ability for people to answer questions and teach others.

Disruptors

Name Description
Anarchy Sometimes you just have to burn it all to the ground and start again. Sit back, throw the rule book out of the window and see what happens! Consider running short “no rules” events.
Anonymity If you want to encourage total freedom and lack of inhibitions, allow your users to remain anonymous. Be very, very careful as anonymity can bring out the worst in people!
Development Tools Think modifications rather than hacking and breaking. Let them develop new add-ons to improve and build on the system.
Innovation Platform Disruptors think outside the box and boundaries of your system. Give them a way to channel that and you can generate great innovations.
Light Touch Whilst you must have rules, if you are encouraging disruption, apply them with a light touch. See how things play out before jumping in. Keep a watchful eye and listen to the feedback of users.
Voting / Voice Give people a voice and let them know that it is being heard. Change is much easier if everyone is on the same page.

Player

Name Description
Badges / Achievements Badges and achievements are a form of feedback. Award them to people for accomplishments. Use them wisely and in a meaningful way to make them more appreciated.
Leaderboards / Ladders Leaderboards come in different flavours, most commonly relative or absolute. Commonly used to show people how they compare to others and so others can see them. Not for everyone.
Lottery / Game of Chance Lotteries and games of chance are a way to win rewards with very little effort from the user. You have to be in it, to win it though!
Physical Rewards / Prizes Physical rewards and prizes can promote lots of activity and when used well, can create engagement. Be careful of promoting quantity over quality.
Points / Experience Points (XP) Points and XP are feedback mechanics. Can track progress, as well as be used as a way to unlock new things. Award based on achievement or desired behaviour.
Virtual Economy Create a virtual economy and allow people to spend their virtual currency on real or virtual goods. Look into the legalities of this type of system and consider the long term financial costs!

Source: 52 GAMIFICATION MECHANICS AND ELEMENTS by Andrzej Marczewski

Codes for Gamification Mechanics and Elements

  • GE - General
  • PA - Player Type: Achiever
  • PD - Player Type: Disruptor
  • PF - Player Type: Free Spirit
  • PH - Player Type: Philanthropist
  • PP - Player Type: Player
  • PS - Player Type: Socialiser
  • SC - Schedules
Name code Description
Access PH01 Access to more features and abilities in a system can give people more ways to help others and to contribute. It also helps make them feel valued. More meaningful if earned.
Anarchy PD01 Sometimes you just have to burn it all to the ground and start again. Sit back, throw the rule book out of the window and see what happens! Consider running short “no rules” events.
Anonymity PD02 If you want to encourage total freedom and lack of inhibitions, allow your users to remain anonymous. Be very, very careful as anonymity can bring out the worst in people!
Badges / Achievements PP01 Badges and achievements are a form of feedback. Award them to people for accomplishments. Use them wisely and in a meaningful way to make them more appreciated.
Boss Battles PA01 Boss battles are a chance to consolidate everything you have learned and mastered in one epic challenge. Usually signals the end of the journey – and the beginning of a new one.
Branching Choices PF01 Let the user choose their path and destiny. From multiple learning paths to responsive narratives. Remember, choice has to be or at least feel meaningful to be most effective and appreciated.
Care-taking PH02 Looking after other people can be very fulfilling. Create roles for administrators, moderators, curators etc. Allow users to take a parental role.
Certificates PA02 Different from general rewards and trophies, certificates are a physical symbol of mastery and achievement. They carry meaning, status and are useful.
Challenges PA03 Challenges help keep people interested, testing their knowledge and allowing them to apply it. Overcoming challenges will make people feel they have earned their achievement.
Collect & Trade PH03 Many people love to collect things. Give them a way to collect and trade items in your system. Helps build relationships and feelings of purpose and value.
Competition PS01 Competition gives people a chance to prove themselves against others. It can be a way to win rewards, but can also be a place where new friendships and relationships are born.
Consequences GE01 If the user gets things wrong, what are the consequences? Do they lose a life, points or items they have earned?
Creativity Tools PF02 Allow people to create their own content and express themselves. This may be for personal gain, for pleasure or to help other people (teaching materials, levels, gear, FAQ etc).
Curiosity / Mystery Box GE02 Curiosity is a strong force. Not everything has to be fully explained, a little mystery may encourage people in new directions.
Customisation PF03 Give people the tools to customise their experience. From avatars to the environment, let them express themselves and choose how they will present themselves to others.
Development Tools PD03 Think modifications rather than hacking and breaking. Let them develop new add-ons to improve and build on the system.
Easter Eggs PF04 Easter eggs are a fun way to reward and surprise people for just having a look around. For some, the harder they are to find, the more exciting it is!
Exploration PF05 Give your Free Spirits room to move and explore. If you are creating virtual worlds, consider that they will want to find the boundaries and give them something to find.
Fixed Reward Schedule SC01 Reward people based on defined actions and events. First activity, level up, progression. Useful during on-boarding and to celebrate milestone events.
Flow GE03 Getting the perceived levels of challenge and skill just right can lead to a state of Flow. Balance is the key.
Gifting / Sharing PH04 Allow gifting or sharing of items to other people to help them achieve their goals. Whilst a form of altruism, the potential for reciprocity can be a strong motivator.
Guilds / Teams PS02 Let people build close-knit guilds or teams. Small groups can be much more effective than large sprawling ones. Create platforms for collaboration but also pave the way for team based competitions.
Innovation Platform PD04 Disruptors think outside the box and boundaries of your system. Give them a way to channel that and you can generate great innovations.
Investment GE04 When people invest time, effort, emotions or money, they will value the outcomes all the more.
Leaderboards / Ladders PP02 Leaderboards come in different flavours, most commonly relative or absolute. Commonly used to show people how they compare to others and so others can see them. Not for everyone.
Learning / New Skills PA04 What better way to achieve mastery than to learn something new? Give your users the opportunity to learn and expand.
Levels / Progression PA05 Levels and goals help to map a users progression through a system. It can be as important to see where you can go next as it is to see where you have been.
Light Touch PD05 Whilst you must have rules, if you are encouraging disruption, apply them with a light touch. See how things play out before jumping in. Keep a watchful eye and listen to the feedback of users.
Loss Aversion GE05 No one likes to lose things. Fear of losing status, friends, points, achievements, possessions, progress etc can be a powerful reason for people to do things.
Lottery / Game of Chance PP03 Lotteries and games of chance are a way to win rewards with very little effort from the user. You have to be in it, to win it though!
Meaning / Purpose PH05 Some just need to understand the meaning or the purpose of what they are doing (epic or otherwise). For others they need to feel they are part of something greater than themselves.
Narrative / Story GE06 Tell your story and let people tell theirs. Use gamification to strengthen understanding of your story by involving people. Think like a writer!
On-boarding / Tutorials GE07 No one uses manuals anymore! Help people get used to your system with a nice tutorial or a gentle introduction on how everything works.
Physical Rewards / Prizes PP04 Physical rewards and prizes can promote lots of activity and when used well, can create engagement. Be careful of promoting quantity over quality.
Points / Experience Points (XP) PP05 Points and XP are feedback mechanics. Can track progress, as well as be used as a way to unlock new things. Award based on achievement or desired behaviour.
Progress / Feedback GE08 Progress and feedback come in many forms and have many mechanics available. All User Types need some sort of measure of progress or feedback, but some types work better than others.
Quests PA06 Quests give users a fixed goal to achieve. Often made up from a series of linked challenges, multiplying the feeling of achievement.
Random Rewards SC02 Surprise and delight people with unexpected rewards. Keep them on their toes and maybe even make them smile.
Scarcity GE09 Making something rare can make it all the more desirable.
Sharing Knowledge PH06 For some, helping other people by sharing knowledge with them is its own reward. Build the in the ability for people to answer questions and teach others.
Signposting GE10 Sometimes, even the best people need to be pointed in the right direction. Signpost next actions to help smooth early stages of a journey. Use “just in time” cues to help users who are stuck.
Social Discovery PS03 A way to find people and be found is essential to building new relationships. Matching people based on interests and status can all help get people started.
Social Network PS04 Allow people to connect and be social with an easy to use and accessible social network. It is can be more fun to play with other people than to play on your own.
Social Pressure PS05 People often don’t like feeling they are the odd one out. In a social environment, this can be used to encourage people to be like their friends. Can demotivate if expectations are unrealistic.
Social Status PS06 Status can lead to greater visibility for people, creating opportunities to create new relationships. It can also feel good. You can make use of feedback mechanics such as leaderboards and certificates.
Strategy GE11 Make people think about what they are doing, why they are doing it and how it might affect the outcomes of the game.
Theme GE12 Give your gamification a theme, often linked with narrative. Can be anything from company values to werewolves. Add a little fantasy, just make sure users can make sense of it.
Time Dependent Rewards SC03 Events that happen at specific times (birthdays etc.) or are only available for set period of time (e.g. come back each day for a reward). Users have to be there to benefit.
Time Pressure GE13 Reducing the amount of time people have to do things can focus them on the problem. It can also lead to different decisions.
Unlockable / Rare Content PF06 Add to the feeling of self expression and value, by offering unlockable or rare content for free spirits to make use of. Link to Easter eggs and exploration as well as achievement.
Virtual Economy PP06 Create a virtual economy and allow people to spend their virtual currency on real or virtual goods. Look into the legalities of this type of system and consider the long term financial costs!
Voting / Voice PD06 Give people a voice and let them know that it is being heard. Change is much easier if everyone is on the same page.
[
{
"code": "GE01",
"name": "Consequences",
"description": "If the user gets things wrong, what are the consequences? Do they lose a life, points or items they have earned?"
},
{
"code": "GE02",
"name": "Curiosity / Mystery Box",
"description": "Curiosity is a strong force. Not everything has to be fully explained, a little mystery may encourage people in new directions."
},
{
"code": "GE03",
"name": "Flow",
"description": "Getting the perceived levels of challenge and skill just right can lead to a state of Flow. Balance is the key."
},
{
"code": "GE04",
"name": "Investment",
"description": "When people invest time, effort, emotions or money, they will value the outcomes all the more."
},
{
"code": "GE05",
"name": "Loss Aversion",
"description": "No one likes to lose things. Fear of losing status, friends, points, achievements, possessions, progress etc can be a powerful reason for people to do things."
},
{
"code": "GE06",
"name": "Narrative / Story",
"description": "Tell your story and let people tell theirs. Use gamification to strengthen understanding of your story by involving people. Think like a writer!"
},
{
"code": "GE07",
"name": "On-boarding / Tutorials",
"description": "No one uses manuals anymore! Help people get used to your system with a nice tutorial or a gentle introduction on how everything works."
},
{
"code": "GE08",
"name": "Progress / Feedback",
"description": "Progress and feedback come in many forms and have many mechanics available. All User Types need some sort of measure of progress or feedback, but some types work better than others."
},
{
"code": "GE09",
"name": "Scarcity",
"description": "Making something rare can make it all the more desirable."
},
{
"code": "GE10",
"name": "Signposting",
"description": "Sometimes, even the best people need to be pointed in the right direction. Signpost next actions to help smooth early stages of a journey. Use “just in time” cues to help users who are stuck."
},
{
"code": "GE11",
"name": "Strategy",
"description": "Make people think about what they are doing, why they are doing it and how it might affect the outcomes of the game."
},
{
"code": "GE12",
"name": "Theme",
"description": "Give your gamification a theme, often linked with narrative. Can be anything from company values to werewolves. Add a little fantasy, just make sure users can make sense of it."
},
{
"code": "GE13",
"name": "Time Pressure",
"description": "Reducing the amount of time people have to do things can focus them on the problem. It can also lead to different decisions."
},
{
"code": "PA01",
"name": "Boss Battles",
"description": "Boss battles are a chance to consolidate everything you have learned and mastered in one epic challenge. Usually signals the end of the journey – and the beginning of a new one."
},
{
"code": "PA02",
"name": "Certificates",
"description": "Different from general rewards and trophies, certificates are a physical symbol of mastery and achievement. They carry meaning, status and are useful."
},
{
"code": "PA03",
"name": "Challenges",
"description": "Challenges help keep people interested, testing their knowledge and allowing them to apply it. Overcoming challenges will make people feel they have earned their achievement."
},
{
"code": "PA04",
"name": "Learning / New Skills",
"description": "What better way to achieve mastery than to learn something new? Give your users the opportunity to learn and expand."
},
{
"code": "PA05",
"name": "Levels / Progression",
"description": "Levels and goals help to map a users progression through a system. It can be as important to see where you can go next as it is to see where you have been."
},
{
"code": "PA06",
"name": "Quests",
"description": "Quests give users a fixed goal to achieve. Often made up from a series of linked challenges, multiplying the feeling of achievement."
},
{
"code": "PD01",
"name": "Anarchy",
"description": "Sometimes you just have to burn it all to the ground and start again. Sit back, throw the rule book out of the window and see what happens! Consider running short “no rules” events."
},
{
"code": "PD02",
"name": "Anonymity",
"description": "If you want to encourage total freedom and lack of inhibitions, allow your users to remain anonymous. Be very, very careful as anonymity can bring out the worst in people!"
},
{
"code": "PD03",
"name": "Development Tools",
"description": "Think modifications rather than hacking and breaking. Let them develop new add-ons to improve and build on the system."
},
{
"code": "PD04",
"name": "Innovation Platform",
"description": "Disruptors think outside the box and boundaries of your system. Give them a way to channel that and you can generate great innovations."
},
{
"code": "PD05",
"name": "Light Touch",
"description": "Whilst you must have rules, if you are encouraging disruption, apply them with a light touch. See how things play out before jumping in. Keep a watchful eye and listen to the feedback of users."
},
{
"code": "PD06",
"name": "Voting / Voice",
"description": "Give people a voice and let them know that it is being heard. Change is much easier if everyone is on the same page."
},
{
"code": "PF01",
"name": "Branching Choices",
"description": "Let the user choose their path and destiny. From multiple learning paths to responsive narratives. Remember, choice has to be or at least feel meaningful to be most effective and appreciated."
},
{
"code": "PF02",
"name": "Creativity Tools",
"description": "Allow people to create their own content and express themselves. This may be for personal gain, for pleasure or to help other people (teaching materials, levels, gear, FAQ etc)."
},
{
"code": "PF03",
"name": "Customisation",
"description": "Give people the tools to customise their experience. From avatars to the environment, let them express themselves and choose how they will present themselves to others."
},
{
"code": "PF04",
"name": "Easter Eggs",
"description": "Easter eggs are a fun way to reward and surprise people for just having a look around. For some, the harder they are to find, the more exciting it is!"
},
{
"code": "PF05",
"name": "Exploration",
"description": "Give your Free Spirits room to move and explore. If you are creating virtual worlds, consider that they will want to find the boundaries and give them something to find."
},
{
"code": "PF06",
"name": "Unlockable / Rare Content",
"description": "Add to the feeling of self expression and value, by offering unlockable or rare content for free spirits to make use of. Link to Easter eggs and exploration as well as achievement."
},
{
"code": "PH01",
"name": "Access",
"description": "Access to more features and abilities in a system can give people more ways to help others and to contribute. It also helps make them feel valued. More meaningful if earned."
},
{
"code": "PH02",
"name": "Care-taking",
"description": "Looking after other people can be very fulfilling. Create roles for administrators, moderators, curators etc. Allow users to take a parental role."
},
{
"code": "PH03",
"name": "Collect & Trade",
"description": "Many people love to collect things. Give them a way to collect and trade items in your system. Helps build relationships and feelings of purpose and value."
},
{
"code": "PH04",
"name": "Gifting / Sharing",
"description": "Allow gifting or sharing of items to other people to help them achieve their goals. Whilst a form of altruism, the potential for reciprocity can be a strong motivator."
},
{
"code": "PH05",
"name": "Meaning / Purpose",
"description": "Some just need to understand the meaning or the purpose of what they are doing (epic or otherwise). For others they need to feel they are part of something greater than themselves."
},
{
"code": "PH06",
"name": "Sharing Knowledge",
"description": "For some, helping other people by sharing knowledge with them is its own reward. Build the in the ability for people to answer questions and teach others."
},
{
"code": "PP01",
"name": "Badges / Achievements",
"description": "Badges and achievements are a form of feedback. Award them to people for accomplishments. Use them wisely and in a meaningful way to make them more appreciated."
},
{
"code": "PP02",
"name": "Leaderboards / Ladders",
"description": "Leaderboards come in different flavours, most commonly relative or absolute. Commonly used to show people how they compare to others and so others can see them. Not for everyone."
},
{
"code": "PP03",
"name": "Lottery / Game of Chance",
"description": "Lotteries and games of chance are a way to win rewards with very little effort from the user. You have to be in it, to win it though!"
},
{
"code": "PP04",
"name": "Physical Rewards / Prizes",
"description": "Physical rewards and prizes can promote lots of activity and when used well, can create engagement. Be careful of promoting quantity over quality."
},
{
"code": "PP05",
"name": "Points / Experience Points (XP)",
"description": "Points and XP are feedback mechanics. Can track progress, as well as be used as a way to unlock new things. Award based on achievement or desired behaviour."
},
{
"code": "PP06",
"name": "Virtual Economy",
"description": "Create a virtual economy and allow people to spend their virtual currency on real or virtual goods. Look into the legalities of this type of system and consider the long term financial costs!"
},
{
"code": "PS01",
"name": "Competition",
"description": "Competition gives people a chance to prove themselves against others. It can be a way to win rewards, but can also be a place where new friendships and relationships are born."
},
{
"code": "PS02",
"name": "Guilds / Teams",
"description": "Let people build close-knit guilds or teams. Small groups can be much more effective than large sprawling ones. Create platforms for collaboration but also pave the way for team based competitions."
},
{
"code": "PS03",
"name": "Social Discovery",
"description": "A way to find people and be found is essential to building new relationships. Matching people based on interests and status can all help get people started."
},
{
"code": "PS04",
"name": "Social Network",
"description": "Allow people to connect and be social with an easy to use and accessible social network. It is can be more fun to play with other people than to play on your own."
},
{
"code": "PS05",
"name": "Social Pressure",
"description": "People often don’t like feeling they are the odd one out. In a social environment, this can be used to encourage people to be like their friends. Can demotivate if expectations are unrealistic."
},
{
"code": "PS06",
"name": "Social Status",
"description": "Status can lead to greater visibility for people, creating opportunities to create new relationships. It can also feel good. You can make use of feedback mechanics such as leaderboards and certificates."
},
{
"code": "SC01",
"name": "Fixed Reward Schedule",
"description": "Reward people based on defined actions and events. First activity, level up, progression. Useful during on-boarding and to celebrate milestone events."
},
{
"code": "SC02",
"name": "Random Rewards",
"description": "Surprise and delight people with unexpected rewards. Keep them on their toes and maybe even make them smile."
},
{
"code": "SC03",
"name": "Time Dependent Rewards",
"description": "Events that happen at specific times (birthdays etc.) or are only available for set period of time (e.g. come back each day for a reward). Users have to be there to benefit."
}
]
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