What’s Up #24: The Latest From Our Favorite Gamification Gurus

They came to gamification with a love of games and a fascination with their power to motivate and inspire, to instill passion, perseverance, and a sense of community. Gamification evangelists, theorists and practitioners Jane McGonigal, Yu-Kai Chou and Andrzej Marczewski have put their expert knowledge of game design and mechanics in the service of this new “discipline” driven by the ambition to harness the huge potential of games for good. What have they been up to lately?


Yu-Kai Chou, “The Great Motivator

Best known for developing the Octalysis Framework, which analyzes and systematizes the basic types and sources of human motivation, in 2016, Yu-Kai Chou launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund his new project, Octalysis Prime, which reached its $15,000 goal in a matter of hours.

“Octalysis Prime is a gamified learning journey where players can learn all about Yu-Kai Chou’s latest research in behavioral science, gamification, and motivational psychology through an epic adventure.”

Our French-speaking readers can find out more about Octalysis Prime in Yu-Kai Chou’s special two-part interview (part 1 and part 2) for lagamification.com!

Meanwhile, Yu-Kai released the 22nd installment of the Beginner’s Guide to Gamification dedicated to the Onboarding Phase of Player’s Journey:


At the Gamification World Congress 2016 Conference, Yu-Kai Chou gave a talk entitled “The Golden Era of Game-Based Solutions” on “the importance of understanding Behavioral Science in gamification solutions, as well as methodologies to apply intrinsic motivation design over incentive-based extrinsic motivation systems”.


Jane McGonigal – Thinking About the Future

“I specialize in games that help gamers enjoy their real lives more — and I make games that challenge players to tackle real-world problems, and collaborate at a planetary-scale.”

Typically referred to as a “visionary”, Jane is a sought-after keynote speaker, best-selling author, innovative game designer, and has contributed enormously towards promoting the idea that “gaming can make a better world” (see our Character sheet: Jane McGonigal, the Super-Optimist!).

Jane McGonigal’s 2016 was marked by the future – it was the predominant theme in her keynote talks, research, and of course, games.


As part of her own active civic commitment and personal efforts to help build a better future, she collaborated with MoveOn.org to develop the Pokemon GO inspired “Swing Voter Go” (see Anti-Trump election game comes from MoveOn.org and game scholar Jane McGonigal, VentureBeat).

Shortly after the U.S. presidential election, McGonigal launched her latest “alternate reality game” in collaboration with Institute for the Future – a 30-hour online event designed to explore “the future of empathy” (see for ex. USA Today, 30-hour game event aims to teach teens empathy).


In December, McGonigal posted a short survey online and we can all help with the research for her next book by taking a minute to complete it. The seven seemingly simple questions are sure to get you “thinking about the future”!


Andrzej Marczewski – Winner of the Award “GWC Best Contribution to Industry 2016”

Founder of Gamified UK Gamification Consultancy and author of Even Ninja Monkeys Like to Play Andrzey Marzchewski has long been recognized as one of the leading gamification gurus worldwide. This year he joined Gamification Nation and was distinguished at the  GWC Conference for best contribution to the industry.

The award came in recognition for his work on player types and the HEXAD model, which distinguishes six personality types associated with different game design elements and sources of motivation.

Image source: gamified.uk


In July 2016, Andrzej announced an overhaul of the User Type Test in collaboration with the Austrian Institute of Technology and HCI Games Group. The ongoing research will  provide further empirical data to validate the Hexad framework and explore its practical implications for gamification design.

Find your own Hexad type by taking the test here and check out Andrzej’s 2016 Roundup for an overview of his blogs throughout the year!


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