Gamification, Social Networks & Engagements

Course Description:

The main idea is for firms to use the techniques of game designers to serve objectives as varied as marketing, human resources management, productivity enhancement, training, innovation, and customer engagement. To name a few examples, SAP uses points-based system to encourage carpooling that helps the company save on large gas expenses; at, the Whitehouse encourages innovative solutions through crowdsourcing; and at companies like Google, and Best-Buy, employees participate in information assimilation games called prediction markets providing information to senior managers about ongoing projects.

In this course, you will examine the mechanisms behind designing for human instincts and thereby develop an understanding of their effective use in the modern firm. Gamification is one form of design for human instincts. In order for any design to be effective, it should involve clearly defined strategies and well-managed execution. To identify effective strategies, and metrics for the application of techniques to business, this course will draw upon interdisciplinary source material as well as real-world case studies. It will also identify a number of significant pitfalls to Gamification techniques, as well as notable legal and ethical issues, and the problems with implementing radical change in established firms. As a part of this class, you will be designing, playing, and evaluating various games..

Students will Learn:

  • The knowledge necessary to design and evaluate various projects in a business environment.
  • To analyze why engagements are successful/unsuccessful, how to implement successful engagements, how to take design engagements via social networks, and about designing for instincts in the context of products, processes, and policies.

Course Modules:

Module 1 – Games

Birthday Game

  • Learning Objective: Analyze the concept of gamification and how it relates to human behavior.

Games and Engagement

  • Learning Objective: Identify and analyze what makes games fun.

Module 2 – Psychology and Design

Psychological & Physiological Underpinnings

  • Learning Objective: Evaluate how humans make decisions and explore different models of human behavior.

Design for Instincts – Mechanics and Dynamics

  • Learning Objective: Utilize behavior models to identify the mechanics and steps involved in game design.

Module 3 – Mechanics

Auctions for Mechanics

  • Learning Objective: Define the mechanics for creating fun elements and how one can map mechanics from one domain to another.


  • Learning Objective: Analyze an implementation of mechanics at Threadless, an online clothing retailer.

Module 4 – Exercise and Analytics

Analysis of an Implementation

  • Learning Objective: Analyze an exercise where students are engaged in a design task.


  • Learning Objective: Analyze an implementation of mechanics at Threadless, an online clothing retailer.

Module 5 – Engagements and Pitfalls

Societal Engagements, Pitfalls, and Conclusions

  • Learning Objective: Learning Objective: Identify how we might use analytics to evaluate gamification projects.

Instincts of the Consumers

  • Learning Objective: Evaluate Lego’s organizational change in order to benefit from crowd-sourced innovations.

Recommended Background:

  • Independent learners and students that wish to gain an understanding of the various concepts and theories behind Gamification, how those theories affect the end user, and what techniques can be utilized to bring games into their organization.
Badge Awarded: 

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