Gamification Mechanic Monday: Open World

Gamification Mechanic Monday: Open World

In an open world you can go and fight battles anywhere you dare to explore, the battle inside the game may bring you to new parts of the world. It is up to the player to explore and find new and exciting areas, where potentially new and exciting weapons or armoury can be used. The key from a design perspective is to make the world available from the start and to let people enter from any angle.

In some way this is very much our every day reality only when you put it in a game it all of a sudden becomes an exploration. Most of us born in a similar region have option to explore our world from a variety of angles, some of us will show up strong, some of us unsure, others again explore with a sense of adventure, etc. It isn’t as much about how you enter the world but rather about how you play when you encounter challenges.

Transfer this open game world to the world of business and again you have options to explore which lead to different outcomes from promotions to closed deals to quite the opposite also. Knowing your level of risk tolerance and sense of adventure and your ability to handle challenges as they arise will be the key to success. When was the last time you looked at the world you work in with this perspective? In gamification you can approach work with this mindset and you decide your game play, there are obviously rules some which are imposed by the nature of the work others by country specific legal systems. By and large you still have options.

If you transfer this to a learning environment where you set up an open world for people to explore and take learning battles as they explore. It may mean that some people take all the potential designed battles in their first exploration and other only take 1. As a gamification designer I see that as the beauty of it and for the learner it leaves it up to them to find and learn more. Some learners will find this extremely good fun and others may not because they want just in time bite sized snippets without having to explore. So what I would suggest to facilitate those learners to build an all-knowing oracle area that can be called on into your open world to allow for quick fixes. You may then decide whether the oracle is always on or whether it depends on having taken longer learning quests or not.

Effectively in an open world you can also allow space to self-create and co-create, if you think of Minecraft as an open ended infinite world, collaborative building projects do exist. In your learning world you can create a space for learner sharing and generation of new courses.

Where would you take your open world as a gamification mechanic?

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