Tracy Petrucci: Game Mechanics: Rewards or Punishment?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Game Mechanics: Rewards or Punishment?

There's a new app in town, and it's taking game mechanics to a whole new level.

Gympact just launched its iOS app, rewarding users for keeping their goals to work out each week. Well, that is if you keep those goals to begin with. If not, you're looking to pay a price.

Users set a goal for the week, plus a price in dollars they are willing to pay if they don't follow through. If they miss the goal, they pay. If they make it, they get a portion of the cash that everyone payed out when they missed. Participants have to check in for at least 30 minutes at the gym for it to even count. No drive by check ins!

Can we say brilliant? Seriously. At first I thought, "How ridiculous, I'm not going to PAY money if I miss the gym." But they added the reward of getting paid when you do keep your goals. The idea behind it came from a Harvard economics class when founders realized people are more motivated by the idea of loss than gain.

That is the fundamental difference in this type of reward app and the rest out there. And it's one that makes a lot of sense to me. I'm going to keep an eye on it and see how it develops before I decide if it is for me or not. Here's more of the article you can read for more info.

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