Points and Rewards in Gameful Design


This week’s article brings a detailed review of some of the research about points and rewards in gamification. I started by thinking about points, but then I found it hard to separate then totally from rewards as they are often presented as a form of reward. So, the article talks about them both.

Points were used in about 50% of the gamification research studies mapped so far, while rewards were mentioned in about 11% of the studies.

In the article, you will find:

  • A table describing eight different types of rewards;
  • A table describing five ways to use points effectively and one way to avoid;
  • A review of what three psychological theories say about rewards: operant conditioning, goal-setting theory, and self-determination theory;
  • Which types of users say that they prefer points and rewards;
  • A list of six guidelines for the effective use of points and rewards in gameful design.

The complete, 7-page PDF article is available for instant download today for patrons pledging at least $5/month and next weekend for those contributing at least $3/month.

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About Gustavo Tondello

Gustavo is a Gamification Consultant and Scientist at MotiviUX and an Instructional Support Coordinator at the Cheriton School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo, Canada. His main interests include gamification and games for health and learning. His research focuses on the design of gameful applications. He has recently completed a Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction in which he developed new methods for personalized gameful design. Gustavo is also a research lead of the International Gamification Federation and a researcher of Logosophy.

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