Gamification Octagon – Aribo: summary of the Octalysis

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🤓 Aribo: The Octalysis of the Gamification – Summary 🤓

On our blog you can already find a full set of descriptions of the individual corners of the Game Oktalysis, created by Yu-kai Chou, the pioneer of gamification. He noticed that games entertain and make people happy for different but repeated reasons. 👀 He placed these basic drives in the Framework of Gamification called the Octalysis. It has the shape of an octagon with different 8 drives – some push for inspiring actions and others manipulate players. So what are these corners, which are described in the previous entries? Well, Octalysis consists of: 

  1. Ownership
  2. Achievements
  3. Exceptional meaning & talent
  4. Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback
  5. Social Influence & Relatedness
  6. Unpredictability and Curiosity
  7. Loss & Avoidance
  8. Scarcity & Impatience


As you can see, each of them is different, which motivates us to act in different ways. Octalysis is classified into different parts. The first division is a symbolic division reminiscent of the human brain: into the Right-Brain Core and Left-Brain. 🧠 What is it? Well, on the right side of the octagon there are motivators more related to the process of creative thinking, self-expression and social aspects. These are qualities such as: Unique meaning and talent, Creative Support and Feedback, Social influence and relationships. The driving core of gamification on the left is referred to as the Left-Brain. It focuses more on logic, calculation and possession. They belong to it: Possession, Achievement, Deficiency and impatience. This part is also characterized by the fact that the motivators are external – that is, the player is motivated because he wants to achieve a goal, to get something that is difficult to achieve. The right core, on the other hand, can be described as internal motivators: the desire to show creativity, to meet loved ones and to feel emotions (such as unpredictability). Such a form of motivation does not need a goal or reward, as internal human needs are more important. 

But Octalysis is a powerful tool and more complicated. You can also see in it the division of motivational mechanisms into an upper and a lower core. The top is considered to be the most positive core, while the bottom one has a rather negative association with the factors that attract players. The elements in the upper part of this octagon are called “White Hat Gamification” and the lower part, the less optimistic ones, is called “Black Hat Gamification”. It is worth noting that these black features are not something bad or less effective in motivation. However, the real key to success in the use of this Octalysis of the Gamification is a skilful combination of different corners. 🔥 This way, you can make the most of the potential from gamification. Using the example of the corners at the top, it can be said that if something is addictive, it also allows you to show creativity. It makes the player feel more meaningful, self-confident and satisfied when he or she has mastered a given skill. But this is not the only motivation! Imagine that we put a lot of effort into a project. But we don’t know its future, we don’t know what will happen next. We are afraid that our efforts will be in vain, that we will lose something. This also motivates us to do more! And here we are of course talking about the corners of the Black Hat Game… which, although they motivate effectively, sometimes leave an unpleasant mark, feelings. However, although these corners sound quite negative, they do not mean bad motivators. They can also be used to create something healthy and productive. It is only up to people to use them in this way or for unhealthy manipulation. 😉

First of all, it should be noted that a good expert will consider all 8 corners of the Octalysis in his marketing or activities! Their effective combination can motivate on a larger scale to productivity, commitment, so that everyone is happier. Probably now is the time to ask the question: so what to combine to achieve success? Well, there is no clear recipe. 💁 Generally speaking, a good product engages the audience because it has a minimum of 1 corner of the Octalysis of 8 described on our blog. In order to embody the technique of this Gamification Octagon, it is necessary to define which mechanisms, the main corners are used (e.g. is it Deficiency and Impatience, Achievement or Unique Importance?).  The next step is to list the techniques used next to the Octagon.  The next task is to determine their importance, the strength with which they act on the recipients. It is precisely how strong this mechanics of the game is, how much this corner is exploited, with such power it will stretch or shrink the octagon. If an element is so strong that it stretches or shrinks the octagon so much that some side crosses the interior of the main octagon, it will mean that this side is very underdeveloped and the gamification expert must work on its field.  The diagram is shown in the figure below – a given concentration and intensity of features from the corners of the Octalysis extend the figure which is in the background of the main Octalysis. Avoid a situation where one of the edges shrinks so that it cuts through the interior of the main octagon. ❌

Focusing on the Octalysis of Gamification and its corners, which really drives the fun, you can achieve a lot. In order to create valuable emotions involving people, it is not enough just to implement well-known and repetitive mechanics. While gamification makes it possible to create something unique and extremely effective, it is a kind of art and craft. It requires a lot of analysis, combination, testing and adaptation of the techniques from Octalysis to the given needs. 🎯