Gamification Mechanic Monday: Meaningful choices
A few days ago I was reviewing a gamification project in the learning and development field, the had opted to create a number of branched scenarios, where choice determined the path the learner goes on. With one of my favourite games being ’80 days’ where you explore the world with your companion, each choice made impacts what happens next in the game. So generally speaking I am all in favour and would encourage branched scenarios but with meaningful choices, that have an impact on the remainder of the journey. The key words here are meaningful and impact.
In a lot of gamified systems I see the player having a choice of avatar, which can be meaningful in some scenario’s but it is rarely going to impact how you interact in a business related system. Offering a colour choice to start a course, where the colour chosen sends you down a learning track is not really a meaningful choice in my view.
I ran a course for a media company on handling difficult scenarios such as major environmental incidents, fraud, unexpected disaster, PR issues, etc. and how to prevent them. For each scenario there was no real best way out of it, but participants had to choose what was best for the company and how to handle it to minimise negative impact. Each scenario presented a minimum of 3 meaningful choices, all were potentially feasible and the impact varied on the perception of the organisation. The choices made then resulted in feedback on what impact this had.
When creating choices in your gamification, make them as meaningful and impactful as possible. If you are in doubt in how this works in practise, download the game 80 days and see if you and your companion can get around the world in 80 days or if like me, you end up in very unusual places and occasionally you even die in the arctic or the sahara or begging in an exotic backwater.
Where have you seen great examples of meaningful and impactful choices in gamification?