Gamification Mechanic Monday: Flow
One of the most frequently used models relating to gamification and keeping engagement is the concept of flow. Flow can be described as creating enough challenge for the level of skill of a player in order to keep them evolving without falling into boredom or anxiety. Most games will attempt to do this and achieve it to some extent, equally most games also have an element of repetition or even luck before you can reach some further levels. The real deal breaker usually is the individual player and their motivation.
Most of us pick up and let down games and later may come back to them. The firs movers and players of a game may not be the ones who persist in the long run, but only play because it is cool and new. If you look at Pokemon Go you have a clear indication that early adopters are starting to drop off, yet some people have truly found their kind of game and will continue until they collect all items.
In gamification in business you often have scenario’s where creating flow will require opportunities to learn and grow, environments where levelling up is possible. Not every role or organisation has this readily available, what you can still do however is keep the game fresh and allow for new experiences. In this scenario boredom and anxiety may not be the true indicators, all roles will have elements which we don’t like too much and others we love doing. Gamification in business for the reason of flow may need to be multi-faceted and multi-experience focused to create the feeling of flow.
So far flow in my projects has sometimes happened really spontaneously and other times it took a bit more effort to reach the objectives we wanted. Flow as a gamification mechanic is a creative pursuit in my view between the intrinsic motivators of most people to want to deliver a great days work and environmental factors that can enhance or limit the experience or achievement opportunity.
What are your parameters for flow in gamification?