A portion of the introduction to Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards has been included below for your convenience in order to make it easier for you to read. It is possible to purchase a copy of the book here, and an audio version of the book is available for free on Audible.
Despite the fact that it appeared to be a routine morning, I awoke one morning in 2003 with an unexplained sense of unease in my stomach. In the mornings, I find myself completely unmotivated to face the challenges that lie ahead of me throughout the day. In the absence of any of these things, there was nothing to look forward to, and in the absence of any of these things, there was nothing to look forward to. Among other things, there were demons to slay, gears to refine, drops to loot, and Excel spreadsheets to use for planning purposes, among other things. My decision to give up on Diablo II, a video game developed by Blizzard Entertainment that I had been playing on my computer for years but had decided to give up on, woke me up the following morning.
I had the most significant epiphany of my life that morning, which propelled me from being a slightly above-average student to starting my first business during my freshman year of college at UCLA; to becoming a guest lecturer at Stanford University by the age of twenty-three; to raising more than $1 million in a year later; and, finally, to becoming an international keynote speaker and recognized consultant in the field of gamification.
More importantly, this profound realization ensured that, as a result of my experiences, I would continue to be passionate and enthusiastic about my work on a daily basis for the rest of my life.
Because you are already reading my book, it is not my intention to appear conceited, but rather to point out that if anyone applied the lessons I learned during this epiphany, they would most likely do even better than I did in less time and without all of the fumbling and stumble that I experienced.
Throughout my undergraduate studies in 2003, I was an avid gamer, as were many other students of my generation at the time. It was always a fierce competition for me in each and every game in which I took part, and I was always striving to achieve the highest possible score in order to win the game. One of the most frustrating aspects of my gaming experience was that I was almost completely unable to enjoy a game on a casual basis on a consistent basis. When it came to this situation, it was either everything or nothing for the participants.
My preoccupation with cards led me to create elaborate spreadsheets to assist me in determining the precise combinations of cards that I would require in order to play optimally in various situations. Make sure to keep an eye out for Chapter 7, in which we will discuss the extent to which gamers participate in this practice. In the years before I became involved in the gaming community, I used to read strategy guides in the restroom and post to forums on a regular basis, eventually becoming a well-known figure in a number of different gaming communities. The incident occurred during my freshman year of college, when I broke into my friend Jun Loayza's apartment while he was in class, entering through a window that had been previously been screen-free. At the time, I was doing it solely for the purpose of getting some extra practice in with Super Smash Bros Melee, a video game he was currently playing. Following that, the two of us went on to co-found a number of exciting projects that we were both passionate about over the next few years. When I was younger, it's clear that I was a little obsessed with video games, as you can see in the photos.
The vast majority of my available time was spent playing buy D2R ladder items PS during that time period. A large portion of every day was spent leveling up our characters, which took countless hours. Almost every one of my characters was higher level than 90, and a couple of them were higher level than 96, and they were all in the same party as me. For context, this means that, in the world of video games, I've probably spent more than a thousand hours playing just this one game, to put it in a more generalized context. If I had played for two hours every single day for two years straight, the amount of playing time I would have accrued would have been slightly more than fourteen hundred hours over the course of that time period. This is a lot to take in at once, and I understand that. Please accept my apologies for this.
The majority of my friends, on the other hand, eventually grew bored with buy D2R ladder items PC and moved on to other new games, which is a common occurrence in the gaming community at large. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that I didn't want to play by myself any longer and decided to leave the game as a result of that realization. Ennui (or fatigue) struck me for the first time during this period of transition, and the sudden feeling of drowsiness (or fatigue) took me completely by surprise.
As a result of this sense of emptiness, the system was subjected to an unexpected, but necessary shock. What I couldn't figure out was how I could participate in a game that everyone else was already playing, but whose outcomes, if they were successful, would have real-world consequences.
Because it is the real-life equivalent of staying in town, being idle, and doing nothing, I would never do something like this in real life if I were my own role-playing game character. It is the real-life equivalent of watching television, hanging out, and failing to achieve one's objectives. This is definitely not the case! There isn't any doubt in my mind. The monsters I encountered and defeated while out in the wilderness provided me with valuable experience and the opportunity to pick up some new skills in the process. Along with gathering resources, I made strategic alliances with those who possessed complementary abilities, gained knowledge from those who were of a higher level than I was, and attempted to complete the exciting quests that were presented to me during my time in the wilderness.
One of the few differences between life and most computer-based games is that, in contrast to the vast majority of them, life does not have clearly defined objectives, no visible prompts to direct my actions, and no feedback mechanisms to indicate how far I have progressed in my journey. It was necessary for me to build my own game from the ground up, complete with clear objectives, meaningful quests, and innovative feedback systems, which I was able to do with great success. "The transformation of life into a full-fledged adventure in which I, the player, could take part became necessary for me to progress and grow in my thinking. Every single person made a significant contribution to a massive undertaking.
This realization propelled me on a journey of personal development and entrepreneurial endeavors that has continued to this day. My life had been transformed into a video game, and I was determined to achieve the greatest amount of success possible. Though I was still quite young, I had the impression that my years of competitive gaming experience had prepared me to navigate the challenges of this new game of life.