A Great Example Of Game Mechanics In Online Communities

May 25, 2009Comments Off on A Great Example Of Game Mechanics In Online Communities

This is Michael Radford’s profile on the SK-Gaming community.


Michael is ranked 38 out of 10,000 members. Notice he is “Super Old School”, having been a member for more than 6 years. He’s made 15,007 visits and spent 178 days, 23 hours and 5 minutes on the website.

In that time he’s received 2918 thumbs up, 2558 thumbs down and given 733 up, 1309 down (!) himself. He’s won 84 bets and lost 38 bets.

Michael’s not going to leave this community any time soon.

Some key points of using game mechanics:

  • Use passive data. Most communities, with a little tweaking, can take passive data (no. logins, time spent online, years in the community) and turn it into a collectible item.
  • Implement rankings and leader boards. We need to show our status and rank ourselves against each other. Competition is healthy.
  • Ensure everyone can competitively collect something. You will never match Michael’s online time, but you might win more bets than him, or gain more thumbs up. You can certainly give more.
  • Introductions game mechanics slowly. SK-Gaming didn’t introduce all these features at once. They introduced them slowly, giving each a chance to gain attention and achieve prominence.
  • Let members show which features they like. The only stumbling block is all these features are permanently on show. Let members decide which features they would like to show on their page.

Here is a fantastic presentation on game mechanics from Amy Jo Kim.

(Thanks Michael).

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