I have just added a new element to the gamification periodic table, investment.
Now, you may instantly think of investment as a financial affair, in fact, the icon I have chosen deliberately induces that though. However, investment comes in several flavours;
- Financial: Money, virtual currency, possessions
- Emotional: When you get into a good book or film, you are emotionally invested. The same is true of any relationship.
- Time: When you spend time doing something, you are investing in it. So time spent getting your stats as high as possible in-game, that’s a significant investment.
- Effort: Whether it is mental or physical, expending effort is an investment in an activity.
A great example of all of these being in play is higher education. Students have to spend money on tuition fees (or at least be aware they will be paying them back for some time). They have to invest emotionally, not just in the subject and the process of learning for higher education, but also in the relationships they form whilst in higher education. They have to invest a significant amount of their time, years in fact. Finally, there is a huge amount of mental effort required to succeed.
When someone invests anything into a task, they are more likely to assign an intrinsic value to it. As I have said repeatedly, rewards are only meaningful if they require some level of effort or investment to achieve.
Here is the latest version of the Periodic Table (Available as a poster from here)