Yu-kai Chou and how to do gamification with Octalysis | Episode 001

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Yu-kai Chou is an Author and International Keynote Speaker and Lecturer on Gamification. He is the original creator of the gamification framework Octalysis, founder of The Octalysis Group and the author of Actionable Gamification. In 2003 he became one of the earliest pioneers in Gamification. In 2015, Yu-kai was rated #1 among the “Gamification Gurus Power 100” by RISE, and also awarded “Gamification Guru of the Year Award” for both 2014 and 2015 by the Gamification World Congress. He has helped a variety of companies, from seed stage startups to Fortune 500 companies. His work has been featured in Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, The World Journal, Business Insider, PBS, and much more.

There are no two days alike in Yu-kai’s schedule! He can be consulting, traveling, designing, giving speeches, and much more.

The biggest problem that gamification designers tend to run into is implementation. It was the case for a design of Yu-kai, which after months and months he ended up with a system that only slightly resembled what he had designed with hard work.

One of Yu-kai’s best applications of gamification was the design of Trade Samurai for Foreign Exchange trading. Here users battle the forces of fear and greed, the evil forces, of course, using the five books. The character unlocks different gears as they play and even, using financial chart data, drive a dragon. The results seem to be amazing; they have an engagement of 50% of download users!

Yu-kai uses his framework Octalysis to apply gamification, to get more information on Octalysis you can read Yu-kai’s blog, take his course on Udemy or read his book Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards.

Best practice: Use Octalysis!

Favorite game (well games in this case): Chess, World of Warcraft and currently Heroes of the Storm

Yu-kai would like to listen to Jane McGonigal and Michael Wu.


Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards” by Yu-Kai Chou

Influence” by Robert B. Cialdini Ph.D

Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman

Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World” by Jane McGonigal

“Want to get started in gamification? Read as much as possible and write about it. Even better, find someone you look up to and show them you can add value, show your good work ethic, go and become a trainee and prove yourself.

Now I find there are more business opportunities going around for gamification, even though there is a lot less hype around the term.”

How can we use gamification to help business students learn how to do a marketing plan and be engaged?

Right now the motivation has a lot of fear of losing grades, etc. So we could add epic meaning and calling by doing a competition to create a marketing plan for a non-profit and the winning one would be implemented. It also integrates some social competition, also includes creativity as you might include a lot of feedback and is bounced back to the classroom.

Games can be World of Warcraft, but they can also be hide-and-seek, which requires no investment!

Gamification is not about technology, it is about how these core drives play into our psychology.

Contact Yu-kai through yukai [at] yukaichou [dot] com or on Twitter @yukaichou

“I believed in how games were powerful and are a tool for change.”

The phrase: “Success is: do the best work and be known for it!”

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