Is gamification the answer to Steem problems? Initial thoughts after watching hours of talks about gamification.

in #steem2 years ago

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I need to admit that in recent days I haven't been very active on Steem. Partially, because it is simply a holiday season and I've traveled a lot to meet with my family from other parts of my country and partially because recently I have been fascinated by another topic - the topic of gamification.

Don't worry, I am not going to give up Steem, because I've become more fascinated by another topic ;) The truth is... that this topic is so interesting to me, mostly because while learning about all the details of gamification, I am constantly thinking how Steem could apply all this knowledge.

Does Steem leverage the power of a Gamification?

Well, actually every public blockchain needs to be based on Game Theory. It is necessary because every network based on a blockchain needs to figure out a way to incentivize people to host network data and share computing power.

But Steem decided to be more than an average blockchain project. Steemit.com by many people is described as Social Network build on top of a blockchain. I think we all can agree that Steem is a really impressive blockchain project. From a technical point of view, Steem is one of the best performing blockchains in the world.

But Steem to become a successful Social Network Blockchain... needs to first become a successful social network in the first place. Forget about blockchain and tokens. Steem should be a network which everyone would like to join even if blockchain and tokens would not exist. If we will transform Steem to something like that, then and only then Steem will be able to fully utilize the power of a blockchain.

Something is wrong

The first indication that something is really, really wrong... is the correlation between those two graphs:


source: Steem Statistics – 2018.12.29

Selection_999(746).png

To summarize the similarities, new users join the network when rewards are high... and (what is more important) leave the network when rewards are low.

I could totally accept the fact that new Steem users join only when rewards are high. People need to be incentivized somehow to perform certain actions and monetary reward for sure can be really effective. The problem is... that whenever rewards become to low, Steem for many people is not an attractive place anymore, therefore currently this slogan is not effective:

stay for a community.png

Why did we fail to succeed so far?

Currently, I am reading a book "Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges and Leaderboards" which explains very well, that everything we do in life we do because of one of those 8 core drives:

  • Epic meaning and Calling
  • Development and Accomplishment
  • Empowerment of Creativity and Feedback
  • Ownership and Possession
  • Social Influence and Relatedness
  • Scarcity and Impatience
  • Curiosity and Unpredictability
  • Loss and Avoidance



Good games or gamified services utilize all those core drives to some extent. If I would need to summarize why I think Steem didn't succeed till now is... because Steem so far utilized very well only core drive #4: Ownership & Possession.

Is there hope?

The core drive #4: Ownership & Possession can be really powerful. We already agreed that giving tokens to people to stay is not a very effective way. Fortunately here we not only write posts and receive tokens for that.

Steem, by design, is ruled by a community. We all spend the time to improve Steem because we know that it truly belongs to us. This is the reason why I am also writing this post. This is the reason why so many people are trying to improve the current situation. Because we all know that we can really make a difference here.

For exactly this reason I decided to dedicate myself even more to explore the topic of Gamification in relation to Steem, to analyze all problems and potential solutions in this area.

My quest

In the next posts, I will continue to share my finding and thoughts about what specifically we could improve. Till then, I would be very happy to find other Steemians interested in this topic.

I am very dedicated to research this topic, but I am aware of my limitations, namely for example lack of experience (I am not even a game-player).

I do not want to promise too much, so I am far from announcing a Steem Gamification Squad or something ;)

Nevertheless, I can really easily imagine a scenario when a few Steemians spend time together on some chat or something, to research this topic and to share own findings with a world later.

Can you imagine yourself spending hours reading books on this topic, fighting monsters of boredom, inventing magical ways of finding time for figuring out how all this knowledge can be applied for Steem? If yes, you should find a way to contact me, so we could do that together :)

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i built businesses over the years that developed massive user adoption and loyalty from this exact same model.

people will love the ability to not only search for ways to earn badges but also develop a loyalty to the people offering them.

been using this model for years and it works :)

would love to see this develop more.

Posted using Partiko iOS

I don't know if gamification is the answer to Steemit's problems but there is a lot of work needed in simplify the user's experience, is a trouble for all newbies to fully understand the way this network works, if the gamification goes in that direction, I mean that if manages to do the learning process more comfortable for the new user then it might be a solution, if we complicate too much the things in that gamification we could manage to do the network still harder to understand.

Good article, you have here some interesting points.

i said to @partiko to implement the peepeth style badges as a test to see how it goes and pipe some of those funds back into the eco system. i hope they do it.

IMO, badges is not enough. Basically, the value proposition of Steem needs to change. Steem should be able to get new users even if STEEM price would be $0.01.

Facebook Coin cost exactly 0 and they are able to get millions of new users.


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The answer is to reward long term engagement with the Steem platform. Of course participants come to earn and leave when they can't earn. Long term engagement isn't rewarded at all.

It's one of the topics of the moment! Very inteteresting.

Where did the author get his 8 core drives from?

Does it cover a sense of fairness? I'm sure one of the main reasons people leave is seeing drivel getting rewards when their better posts get less!

Posted using Partiko Android

Where did the author get his 8 core drives from?

According to what he said in his book, this is from his 10-years research.

On the run now but interested. Wrote a post a couple of weeks ago looking at part of this

https://steemit.com/steem/@tarazkp/gamify-steem-stat

You can find me on discord under the same name.

We should definitely discuss! I am currently thinking about introducing some gamification within steemstem.io as I am sure this would offer a good way to attract new users and make them staying on the platform. I will reach you out directly at some point next week.

One thing that has always done well for me is keep the faith (whatever that is to you) and help others! Keep doing those things and you will never go wrong.
Love the idea of making more games on the steem platform we can probably look back at other social network platforms to avoid the pitfalls of things not to do.

Love the idea of making more games on the steem platform

I am not saying that we need more games. IMO we should just introduce more gamification technics to Steem ecosystem.

For example, I really like the idea of having mentor-mentee. We could design the system which makes sure that newbies are mentored by more advanced users of Steem. We could design quests for mentors and their teams. A lot of things can be done to make onboarding of Steem more interesting and more fun!

But designing such a thing is not an easy thing to do. Requires a lot of time and effort...

The most valuable currency is a user attention nowadays. Clean design, dangerously simple flow, one-click-to-pay solutions, catchy slogans etc. The concept of mentor-mentee can't even compete with today's standards. It requires too much people's effort.

I believe the gamification is a topic worth exploring, but I see it as a second step.
We have not even solve first step limitations. Simple account registration issues, lack of content discovery engine, we do not have even fully-working UI.

Why do we expect people drop their services for the sake of worse solution, like STEEM? Privacy? Latest Facebook case shows it is not a problem. Freedom of speech? Vast majority does not care. Decentralisation? Yep, cool.

We have this mentor-mentee concept in #steemSTEM. Even then we see that when the price declined we saw the phenomenon of people not contributing. Most people come to this platform for free money. That is a truth. I guess we need some nice and unique strategies to overcome this.

This post has been included in today's SOS Daily News - a digest of all you need to know about the State of Steem.



I could see a potential in gamifying steem apps to direct users into the world of quality open source software with excelling user experience. I plan to make something similar at work.

I experience #1, #2, #3, #4 and #5 by authoring posts.

I also experience #7 when a thumbnail catches my eye, and I am investing in Steem to offset any losses I'd incur if the Global Financial System and USD collapsed #8.

The decrease in authors was partly caused by Hardfork 20 and the need for Resource Credits. The low price of Steem played a greater role, but don't forget the RC requirement after Hardfork 20. @noisy @andararchy


I am personally very happy with @steemit @musing and the Steem blockchain!

@spectrumecons has written a lot about game theory. He can certainly be of help in developing ideas for Steem's future.

Posted using Partiko Android

Twitch and StackExchange are two good examples of gamification at work on a site.

Steem is already a game on some level since everybody is competing or collaborating to earn points i.e. tokens. And it's also a game to try and get to the top of the list where your post can get the most attention and tokens.

game theory is about mathematical games, its about knowing the action rational decision makers in order to minimise risks of attacs. But gamification is all about non-rational decision makers (everyday life humans). non-rational =/= irational, its about emotional, perception and motiv based decision making.

psychology, behavioral biology, neuro economics they all have great theorys to work with when you design a game. In business there is something called serious games.

One of the most obvious mistakes was to show the dollar price under the article. Every one knows about the anchoring bias of the human mind. Once u get payed realy high in dollar terms, then every other payment will be too low.

Yes, gamification is a great way to go. I have some experience with this in the 'mental health' sector where we wanted to motivate people to do their mental health tracking and homework and stuff, and if done right it can really help. Badges are not enough, it's more about leveling up and feeling like you had to work to be able to 'do more'... We could also gamify Powering Up of course ;-) I need to think about this and today is not the day for that, but add me to a working group if one is formed :-) Cheers!