In the first half of the book, Author Brian Burke distinguishes between gamification and traditional loyalty programs and how gamification can be used to change behaviors, develop skills, and drive innovation. He breaks down a variety of current gamified solutions for internal and external audiences from organizations including Khan Academy, Barclaycard, DIRECTV, and Quirky. The key, he argues, is to design a gamified solution that will encourage "players" to achieve their own goals. In other words, the sweet spot for gamification objectives is the space where the business objectives and player objectives are aligned. Like two sides of the same coin, player and business goals may outwardly appear different, but they are often the same thing, expressed in different ways.
In part two, Burke walks readers through the Player Experience Design Process which details the seven steps necessary for successful gamification design:
- First, organizations must identify their Business Outcomes and Success Metrics and Define the Audience. Then, by understanding what will motivate the audience and developing player personas, they define the Player Goals for the gamified experience.
- In steps four and five, organizations determine the player Engagement Model – such as will it be competitive/cooperative, solitary/multiplayer, a campaign or endless? Next, it's time to create the Play Space and Journey by creating the world the players will interact in and the steps they will take to achieve their goals.
- In step six, organizations define the Game Economy – will players accumulate fun, things, social capital or self-esteem? And finally in step seven, it's time to Play, Test, and Iterate the solution.