Definition: A virtual or physical representation of an accomplishment. They are representative of progress and are a way to brag indirectly. These are often viewed as rewards in and of themselves.
Game Application: Ribbons are the achievements in Farmville which are released when different tasks are completed. The ribbons can be yellow, white, red and blue depending on the level achieved. The achievements can be posted to the player’s timeline for all friends to see.
Non-Game Context Application: When someone completes a course, a diploma is given to the person. This is perceived as an achievement and a reward. The diploma winner feels recognized and important, which is key to increase brand loyalty.
Definition: Game mechanic which compels players to take action, but they can only do so after or during a specific interval of time. The player usually gets rewarded for taking the action, or is given the opportunity to gain the rewards.
Game Application: A few quests in Elder Scrolls: Oblivion can be undertaken only during a certain time in the game world.
Non-Game Context Application: ´Happy Hour´ in pubs. Customers receive a free drink when required action (buying a drink) is taken during a specific time. As a result, a sale has already been made and there is high probability that the customer will come back again.
Definition: Game mechanic which causes the player to be punished or lose an advantage if a specific set of instructions is not obeyed. It can be used to induce time based action. It can also be used to direct the progress in the game.
Game Application: Initiating offensive action in Neverwinter Nights 2 will cause an invisible player to lose the advantage of invisibility. This will cause the player to avoid getting into combat situations while in invisibility mode.
Non-Game Context Application: Points on a driver’s licence. Drivers must follow the rules and drive safely to avoid losing their points. This leads to a more conscious driving style.
4. Behavioral Contrast
Definition: Changing player response to one situation Lexbase based on a changed circumstances in a separate situation.
Game Application: In Diablo 2, the player can break barrels and overturn stones to get either of the three results – positive (gold or items), negative (explosion or spawned enemy), neutral (nothing happens). The result is decided randomly. But, let us say the first 10 barrels broken result in more negative and neutral results as compared to overturning the first 10 stones. The player will perceive the stones as being more beneficial than the barrels, and will also avoid barrels to not get damaged. This happens even though both results were decided randomly.
Non-Game Context Application: A kid is rewarded with a small candy when he hugs someone. The kid is happy and continues to hug (and receive candies). On the fourth hug the reward is changed to chocolate cake. The kid is delighted. But, next time the reward changes back to a candy. Now, the kid is unhappy as well as angry because he didn’t get the chocolate cake. He throws away the candy and he refuses to hug anymore.
This game mechanic teaches us that if the objective is to drive behaviour in one direction the subject’s actions must be incentivised by a constant reward and let subject´s expectations to do the job.
5. Behavioral Momentum
Definition: Leveraging the tendency of players to keep doing what they have been doing by rewarding repetitive and consistent action.
Game Application: In Elder Scrolls:Oblivion, high level in the speechcraft skill results in avoiding combat and getting information quickly. A player who is not a combat type character will keep increasing this skill because it rewards his actions.
Non-Game Context Application: Check out this video to learn how to maximize the potential of behavioral momentum mechanic.