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The Wild World of Gamification Drivers

Gamification by Dara

“Left Brain vs Right Brain, White Hat vs Black Hat, and the Hidden Ninth Core Drive”

Gamification is a fascinating way of motivating people to achieve their goals by using game mechanics. The success and driving force of gamification are largely tied to its well-known eight gamification drivers, but did you know that there is a hidden 9th drive? At the same time, there are different categories for each of these drivers too. This blog post will provide a brief overview of the eight core gamification drivers before delving into these various categories and the Hidden Ninth Core Drive: Sensation.

Epic Meaning & Calling: Epic Meaning & Calling is all about feeling like you’re part of something bigger than yourself. World of Warcraft has players band together in groups called “guilds”.  By working together and taking on quests or battles, players feel like they’re part of something greater than themselves.

Development & Accomplishment: This drive is all about the satisfaction of making progress and achieving goals. The fitness app Strava encourages users to set and achieve personal goals. They can range from running a certain distance to completing a workout challenge. By seeing progress and earning virtual badges, users feel motivated and keep pushing forward.

Gamification drivers and their categories

Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback: The drive empowerment is about being able to express yourself and receive feedback on your creative works. Minecraft allows players to build and customize their virtual worlds, that can be shared with others. By receiving positive feedback and seeing their creations appreciated by others, players feel a sense of empowerment and pride.

Ownership & Possession: This driver is all about feeling a sense of ownership and control. The loyalty program for coffee chain Starbucks rewards customers with “stars” for every purchase they make. These “stars” can be redeemed for free drinks and other perks. By earning stars and moving towards rewards, customers feel like they have control over their coffee-drinking experience.

Social Influence & Relatedness: Influence & Relatedness is about the desire to connect with other human beings and have an impact on them. Instagram allows users to follow and engage with others, and to receive comments or hearts on their posts. By receiving positive feedback, users feel connected and valued driving them towards repeating behavior.

Scarcity & Impatience: Fear of missing out and the desire for instant gratification works behind this drive. Amazon uses time-limited deals and countdown timers to create a sense of urgency and encourage customers to purchase quickly.

Unpredictability & Curiosity: This driver is all about the thrill of the unknown and the desire to explore new things. The vast open world of Fallout 4 has countless hidden secrets and surprises. The world offers unpredictability and while uncovering new things, players feel excited and they keep coming back for more.

Loss & Avoidance: Loss & Avoidance also triggers the fear of missing out. By triggering the fear of losing something and the desire to avoid negative consequences. Many super stores send out discount offers in the mail. By highlighting the possibility of missing out on savings stores encourage customers to purchase.

Now with the basics out of the way let’s take a look at the 9th one, among the gamification drivers this one is often left out of the discussion. 

Sensation Core Drive

It is all about the pleasure of experiencing new and exciting things. This drive includes thrill-seeking, adrenaline, and sensory pleasure. By understanding the Sensation Core Drive, you can create a gamification experience that taps into people’s desire for excitement, adventure, and rush. A great example of a gamification experience that blends the Sensation Core Drive in a positive way with other drives is Nike’s Run Club app. The app uses a variety of game mechanics to motivate users to run. It includes badges and achievements, personalized coaching, and live events to name a few. But perhaps the most exciting aspect of the app is the “Mystery Run” feature. This feature allows users to select a random running route based on distance and terrain, giving them a sense of adventure and experiencing new and exciting things.

Left Brain VS Right Brain Gamification Drives

Now moving into groupings within the drivers, we have Left Brain, VS Right Brain. However, it is important to note that this breakdown does not actually focus on the left and right hemispheres of the brain; instead, it attempts to illustrate and group the drives into logical and emotional motivators.

Coined as Left Brain Drives, we have logical and analytical drivers. These include things like progress, development, and completion. While

Right Brain Drives, on the other hand, focus more on emotion and creativity. These drives include things like social influence, unpredictability, and curiosity. 

By understanding both Left Brain and Right Brain Core Drives, gamification experience can be designed to motivate people on both a logical and emotional level.

One great example of a gamification experience that uses both Left Brain and Right Brain Core gamification drivers is Duolingo. Duolingo is a language-learning app that motivates users to complete lessons through a combination of progress tracking (a Left Brain Core Drive) and social influence (a Right Brain Core Drive). Users can track their progress and feel a sense of accomplishment by earning points and unlocking achievements. At the same time, users can connect with friends and join leaderboards to compete with others, creating a social and emotional element to the learning process.

White Hat vs Black Hat Gamification Drives

The second group to look at is the White Hat vs Black Hat Core Drives. Starting with White Hat Core Drives are positive motivators that encourage people to take action for the greater good. These drives include things like altruism, social influence, and empowerment. 

On the other hand, Black Hat Core Drives are in a way negative motivators that manipulate people into taking action. These drives include things like fear, scarcity, and avoidance. 

By understanding both White Hat and Black Hat Core Drives, you can create a gamification experience that positively motivates people while avoiding manipulative tactics.

A great example of a gamification experience that uses White Hat Core Drives is Habitica. Habitica is a habit-building app that turns your goals and habits into a game. Habitica uses positive reinforcement to encourage users to take action and build positive habits, rather than using fear or scarcity tactics.

Gamification can be a powerful tool for motivating people to achieve their goals and engage with products or services. By understanding the different core drives and their various categories, brands can design gamification experiences that tap into people’s emotional and logical motivators. So, whether you are a business looking to increase customer engagement or an individual seeking to improve your own habits and productivity, consider incorporating gamification into your strategy. 

With the right design and gamification drivers you can turn any daunting tasks into fun and exciting experiences. Resulting in better outcomes and a more enjoyable journey. Reach out to us to discover how you can incorporate gamification into your business.