One more note: I’m pre-empting some church social media designers rolling their eyes about the killer-player type. While killer-types may be similar to achiever-types in their desire to win, unlike achievers, for killer-types, winning isn’t enough. They must win and someone else must lose. Killer-types really want as many people as possible to see the kill, and for their victims to express admiration and respect. They even compete when there is no monetary reward. (Similar in concept to gaming griefers – you’ll likely find them in any large enough system, but Our Lord desires that the Good News be shared with them too!) So you have a choice here: you can consider the killer-player types as disruptors to the nice order you’ve built, or reason like a game designer and think of these folks as the most engaged players, customers, and audience. One way is to help killer-types express their enthusiasm (alright, “energies”) in constructive ways. Killer-player types need acknowledgement and recognition, so create an incentive system for them to make positive and constructive comments. For instance, you might reward them with a free conference waiver or the chance to meet with some notable person or …be creative. While it may not win over all, it sets up an environment that at least has the potential to win some over to positive behavior and action. In other words, put them on rails not reins, and guide their behavior and actions with more carrot and less stick.
I’ve run out of space again, but there are more gamification principles that can guide and help you create engaging experiences for your audience-players. Stay tuned for the concluding article in this how-to series on gamification. Meanwhile, post a comment below and let us know the ways you’ve taken to engage your audience-players, or which ideas you plan to use and why.
Dr. Eugene Gan is faculty associate of the Veritas Center and Professor of Interactive Media, Communications, and Fine Art at Franciscan University of Steubenville in the United States. His book, Infinite Bandwidth: Encountering Christ in the Media, is grounded in Scripture and magisterial documents, and is a handbook and practical guide for understanding and engaging media in meaningful and healthy ways in daily life.