Virtual Goods, Real Pleasure

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Information about Virtual Goods, Real Pleasure

Published on June 27, 2009

Author: amyjokim


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






Character Customization

Interface 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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