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Press Start - Another Book for Lifelong Learners



Would anybody be really surprised to learn that I am an avid reader?  I have a tendency to overindulge on different topics to not only learn, but to see other people's points of view on the same topic.  I'll skip the obvious tie to society's ills over not listening to each other's points of view.

I just completed reading a book dealing with Gamification and how it relates to marketing.  The book is "Press Start - Using Gamification to Power-Up Your Marketing" by Daniel Griffin & Albert van der Meer.

I have a couple of books on this subject and this one flows much easier than the other and it has a more accessible approach to implementation of its concepts.  Why am I reading about gamification and marketing?  Well, one reason is to be aware of the manipulation that is always going on around us.  Professional marketing runs the western world.  Though I suspect a long overdue crash is coming on that after so many people experienced the cognitive dissonance associated that occurs when they put lipstick on a pig and tell you it is the centerfold out of Play Girl.

On a topic like Gamification, it is extraordinarily easy to dive deep down into a rabbit hole, as this is a topic that stands on a foundation of human behavior, psychology, game theory, marketing, and motivation.  It's all wrapped up together. 

Humans, after meeting their basic needs of food, shelter and safety, are motivated by rewards.  Games we make are designed to make use of our motivations and provide rewards.  Marketing uses these to get you to buy what they want you to buy.  Marketing is like a magic trick... they do big flashy campaigns showing you a product to make you aware of it.  But that's not really the main driver.  "Product Placement" is.  Seeing others performing the desired behavior.  Making it a game, adds another layer on top by rewarding specific behavior (and depending on game, punishing bad behavior). 

Gamification Elements are things like Badges, Trophies, Achievements, Leaderboards...  Plenty of people are motivated by getting recognition. Others by competition.  Others are on a journey to better themselves.  Some people are into it all.

This book focuses on harnessing this and channeling it where you want to go and not abusing it.  Because it is REALLY easy to abuse.  Those loot boxes in mobile games?  Those little gateways where you have to pay $1.99 to continue or wait... the fear of missing out.  The fear of missing out is a HUGE HUGE HUGE way to manipulate people.  The sale will only last another 3 hours, buy now or miss the discount!  There are only 4 left, Order now!  (Does that look familiar?)  That's the fear of missing out.

I've been using this book and others from a white hat side of things.  How can we motivate more people to do what we want?  What does Gay Authors want?

We're still refining this, but this is what we're looking for:

  • We want to encourage authors to post new content (stories/chapters)
  • We want to encourage readers to post feedback (reviews, story comments, chapter comments)
  • We want to encourage readers to react to content (reactions (like's,etc)
  • We want to grow the community and retain members. (Keep people coming back every day or at least every week to see what's new)
  • We want to grow Premium Content Membership to keep the site Viable.  (The more people that subscribe, the more stable we are as when people come and go, it doesn't cause wild swings. )

Thankfully, what we desire feeds into each other and is not in conflict.  Adding some game elements on top of what we have, just adds a new layer of motivation for some people that helps the cycle keep going. 

Anyway, this turned into a bit diversion, but know that I'm always doing research to improve the site.  Not all aspects will appeal to all people, but it doesn't need to. Different strokes for different folks and all that.

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