Study Investigates Game Loyalty in MMO Market

Researchers at the University of Buffalo have concluded that the way to get ahead in the MMO business–give players more control over their online personas while providing opportunities for collaboration, citing things like more elaborate chat and guild systems to allow greater levels of collaboration.  The study also states the games should provide players equal opportunity to win a battle, which actually goes against mainstream gamer thought and the special snowflake mentality.

There’s a bit more in the article, but it’s mostly … kind of common sense to me.  The games that have the greatest followings allow players to collaborate extensively and customize their avatar to the Nth degree.  The most I can make the experience my own, the more loyal and devoted to the space I will be.  I know a large part of the reason I stopped playing WoW was because I lost both these things – A strong, fun guild and the feeling that I could control how I played.  Off topic a bit, but I also believe the the ability to fail and screw something up is integral to a good game experience.  Playing God is rarely engaging.

Anyway, hit the link bellow to read a bit more about it.

Via: Level Up: Study Reveals Keys to Gamer Loyalty

My Gameful challenge

In my grand thoughts of making myself more Gameful, and tuning myself more into the Gameful frame of mind, I had a thought.  Not a particularly profound or original, but I think it’s at least marginally exciting.  To try to increase my abilities as a designer, and learn to step-outside the box I’ve been actively looking for “necessary” obstacles that might be solved by designing a game around them.
Then, in a flash of insight I thought about how can I be more creative in my quest to be more creative and change my outlook on how I frame problems?  For me, as a project manager for a software company, problems to be overcome is a daily facet of my job – every day brings new challenges and new issues to be (re)solved.  So I thought – why not be gameful in my quest to be more … gameful.  So I thought – why not try to identify a problem a day and spend 10-minutes designing a game to go with the problem or obstacle?  And if I did that every day for a month, I would then not only have a battery of potential solutions for obstacles I encounter every day, I’m being more gameful by thinking of fun ways to overcome challenges, and building a nice library of potential design ideas and mechanics that can be applied to a wide variety of (potential) games.
Then, I thought — why not see if anyone else wants to join me?  I think it could be a fun community activity to have a group of people all identifying every day issues to be gameful with, and then posting those for everyone else to read.  Then, I take my 30 games and multiply that by 10 people, and suddenly we have 300 game ideas.  Even with only a few others joining in, I think it’s pretty gameful.  So for this initial post – I’m curious as to whether anyone is interested in joining me in my gameful challenge?  Some initial thoughts on ‘rules’ for the game
  1. The gameful challenge (note: lower case -not ‘the’ challenge) would start March 1 and end March 31
  2. One game idea per day for 30 days (but if you miss a day or two, it’s not the end of the world )
  3. No plagarising (we won’t know – but the idea is to be creative and think outside the box)
  4. No more than 30minutes max of designing per game (taking less time is perfectly ok)
  5. Post your game idea online every day on the The Gameful Month group on gameful.org
  6. Respond to 1 other person per day (recommended – not required  )
  7. At the end of the month, post a recap as how your experience went and if you got anything out of it.
So how about it, is anyone interested in venturing on this little experiment with me?  Reply with your interest.  Like I said, I plan on doing this regardless, I was just curious if anyone else was interested to.