Published on June 27, 2009
Virtual Goods, Real Pleasure Game Mechanics and Virtual Economies
What are Virtual Goods?
Digital items w/Contextual Meaning
Decorative Goods Don’t affect stats or gameplay
Functional Goods Makes a difference in stats or gameplay
What activities are enabled by Virtual Goods?
Socializing Enhanced Visual Identity
Shopping / Decorating the pleasure of getting new stuff
Enhanced Gameplay (Time-Vs-Money)
What is a Game?
Formal Definition a system in which players engage in an artificial conflict , defined by rules , that results in a quantifiable outcome * *from Rules of Play by Eric Zimmerman and Katie Salen
Informal Definition a structured experience with rules and goals that’s fun
Games tap into our primal response patterns
Games engage us in flow
What are Game Mechanics? the systems and features that make games fun , compelling and addictive
5 Game Mechanics Collecting
Show me your stuff!
5 Game Mechanics Collecting Points
Earn Points, Level Up
Social Points are given by other players
5 Game Mechanics Collecting Points Feedback
Feedback accelerates mastery and adds fun
5 Game Mechanics Collecting Points Feedback Exchanges
Exchanges are structured social interactions basic, primal form of social engagement
Implicit vs Explicit Exchanges Wall posts are implicit “ Add Friend” is explicit (facebook, myspace)
5 Game Mechanics Collecting Points Feedback Exchanges Customization
How are game mechanics driving virtual economies?
Collect Stuff, Show Off
Buy Stuff / Boost Stats / Level Up
Feedback on Progress & Mastery
Feedback on Progress & Mastery
Use Stuff for Social Exchanges
Gifting to Show you Care
Gifting for Recruiting New Players
Virtual Goods 101 Create a Meaningful Context “ Prime the pump” with free goods and/or currency Create demand for premium content Offer ongoing fresh content at a range of price points Make it EZ to purchase currency
Virtual Goods evoke real emotions…
… in a well-understood social context
Virtual Economies drive ongoing use…
… and turn a game into a service
Game mechanics provide goals & rewards…
… and careful balancing to work properly
Thank You! [email_address] @amyjokim (Twitter) Amy Jo Kim (FB, Skype, SlideShare)
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