What are Game Mechanics?
Game mechanics are rules and processes which a game is comprised of that create an engaging experience. They are an internal part of gamification, a process which can nowadays be applied to almost anything in order to increase engagement and loyalty.
Game mechanics go hand in hand with game dynamics – human desires and needs which are fulfilled through the use of game mechanics. Though it may seem complicated, the process is rather simple. Certain mechanisms are used in order to trigger the desired behavior, resulting in the user’s positive experience, which further on increases their satisfaction and interest.
Game Mechanics in Detail
Some of the well-known game mechanics are
- Virtual goods
Levels usually show a person’s progress or accomplishments. They represent a status and can very frequently be shared or highlighted. Levels are usually based on the number of points somebody collects and they often grant additional features and new content. In terms of game dynamics, levels tap into the human desire of competition and achievement.
Points can also indicate status, or in some cases they are used to purchase new real or virtual goods. The act of collecting points is a very powerful motivational tool since the end-result is gaining a better place at leaderboards or enables challenges. Game dynamics associated with points are rewards and progress.
Like in life – it’s not all about collecting points. The possibility to own virtual goods gives the players a chance to personify their presence. In that way, the human need which is satisfied through these game mechanics is the need for self-expression.
Challenges or missions encourage the player’s need to accomplish as an individual or team. They give an additional purpose to the game and an extra motivation since they usually come with a badge or trophy. This satisfies the human need for competition and gives the players the opportunity to show their achievements.
Their primary role is to classify the performance of users. Leaderboards can be made on many levels, either on individual or team performance. They work as a powerful tool to keep the players in the game and competing in order to remain at or reach the top. The main game dynamics associated with leaderboards are Challenge, Community, Collaboration and Competition.
Using Game Mechanics in Marketing
Game mechanics tackle basic human needs and this is why they are so applicable in many areas, especially marketing. Creating an emotional connection, encouraging interaction and providing an overall great experience for users is what marketing and gamification have in common, so no wonder why many marketers decide to include game mechanics in their strategies.
Making your users feel like champions can’t do any harm, right? By including game mechanics into marketing, you can increase brand loyalty, customer satisfaction and give them an overall unforgettable experience.
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