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WoW Management

Social principles from online role playing games to increase workplace motivation

Alex Rammlmair

on 15 March 2012

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Transcript of WoW Management

advice: feedback must happen more quickly and without interference (automatic) Teamwork & Leadership 5 Why are people more motivated to play online role playing games than going to work? because it is fun! What is fun?
And what makes fun different from work? dictionary: fun is something that gives you pleasure So - work is not supposed to give plaesure? so the question is: What exactly makes online games fun - while work is not? and more important:
How can we make work more fun then? a word about scientific research research so far deadalus project US sponsored research Nick Yee not very helpful (for our cause) statistic data & categories surveys individual stories the problem: essential motives are still unclear developing hypothesis from my own experience
performing tests and experiments
confirmation via qualitative interviews Autonomy & Freedom Appreciation & Recognition Status & Role Skill & Mastery Belonging & Participation Identity & Purpose Influence & Control the main findings: 2 drivers for motivation were found: 1 2 3 4 6 7 Satify my needs! Please. Thank You! what makes teamwork teamwork? Mechanics create an environment that works = Feedback Rewards & Punishments Rules & Values If the group changes its mission
people who feel unfitting will leave. Being in a group is not enough. There must be some value I create. Strategy a way to achieve an end When people complain that there is not strategy, they usually mean: We can't see how things are supposed to fit together to make something happen that actually makes sense (for us). making sure people know what they are expected to do
explaining what the big, intermediate and small goals are
and how they are connected
and how everyone is contributing to it. Smart borders few really restricted areas most areas are confined by monsters you cant kill at low level In Online Games there is appreciation in abundance. clear rules! especially official appreciation must be perceived as fair and objective How do groups become teams? social difficulties persist also in virtual groups:
feeling guilty when expelling members
not expelling and waiting until others leave (those with the best alternaties)
unable to resolve conflicts
difficulties to make group decisions
avoiding groupthink and dealing with 'minority cultures' teamwork is more then:
working together who is defining teamwork? The strategy is here to allow every single person to make decisions leading towards the overall goal. Games spend a lot of effort Status counts in social systems.
You might not like it.
Still true. status: a persons position in the social structure Two type of people want to get rid of the status issue: Those with no risk of losing it and those with no chance to improve theirs. achieved vs. ascribed status indicators are made subtle or commonplace.
If the status symbol is always in display, there is no need to 'brag' about it.
Status has rarely attached real value to it - but quite some symbolic value. Mythos Sysiphos Companies don't want people to be unique, important, irreplacable. meaningless = terrible economics vs. social science:
many things that make sense in economics
have negative social effects - which in turn decrease economic value. = the primary way of learning RPG's excel at giving feedback skill effects are shown (visually & in numbers)
lots of strategies can be tested (and checked)
social feedback is quick (and brutal)
error-tolerant environment (almost nothing is irreversible)
lots of statistics and data available without feedback: did it really happen? frustrating situation:
it was so important - then we never heard about it anymore rewards: exp points
social rewards punishment: temporary debuffs
repair costs
time delay
exp loss
social punishment the real effects are small -
but the symbolic value can be high more rules - more contradiction, more value conflicts
fewer rules - more unclarity, more value uncertainty values are always in competition and many times in conflict with themselves. Symbols, rituals & stories are powerful.Because they both influence and display values and rules. Who defines values?
Everybody? Game balance is continuous struggle: Who watches the ? Is (top) management the best place to discuss values? unfitting values and rules can break the game.
game theory effects: prisoners dilemma, hitchhiking, brinkmanship, lock-in you need both:
rewards & punishment
(cooperation increases when you can punish) how do emerge? 1 2 3 4 Who chooses the other?
the team - or the leader? hypotesis: as long as we disregard social effects
by acting economically 'sound' we limit our success. different approach: :-( 8 introduction Questions: What is a strategy? What is NOT a strategy? Why do you need a strategy? Who should formulate the strategy? multiple strategies a plan a goal improvisation the most capable person(s) How does LOTRO do it? satisfying human needs: installing motivating mechanisms: Humanics Mechanics strategy there is a clear goal there is a clear strategy to achieve it there is always someone to turn to if you don't know what to do next (if you need it). (in case you're a bard). and it does match your skills the internet, guild mates and people on the road might even give you a storyboard and a plan - if you really are looking for the details. of course, there might be different strategies this leads to coordinated action without anyone managing
a sense of 'sense'
no frustration caused by confusion
clear guidance for conflicting options rules & values rules are supposed to enforce what is desirable, fair, right, necessary. All these concepts are based on values.
If you believe you manage by rules, your effectively try to manage by enforcing values. rules and values define culture.
They set the default action. the challenge: the problem: the impact: some rules cause dramatic emotions.
because they violate values for some people. food for thought: Who is right when everyone is right? Rewards lead to behavior change, but also to exploits
Punishments lead to behavior change but also to complaints about unfairness
Difficulty adjustment leads to frustration for some and boredom for others
Rule enforcements increase discipline but limit player freedom
Strict game design provide consistent experience but constrain player creativity
Many options increase complexity but might be overwhelming rewards & punishment You wont change the players.
You need to change the game. Game designers lesson: most rewards are just helping to play better
and to give more social interaction Reward design: direct reward cumulative reward statistical reward teamwork & leadership every (!) single interviewed person agreed that for effective teamwork one person must be in charge. "You have to experience real teamwork to understand what it means. It's a timeless flow of action and understanding between the team members that somehow produces outstanding results." specialization coordination matching a stupid idea: common goals support sacrifice dependency synergy social science? supervisors? the company? success? the team? outsiders? you always need teamwork you don't! most of the time
groupwork is all you need the best teams don't accept members below their standard Excellent teamwork is a wonderful thing but beware! and they expel members falling behind There is rarely a rush for being the leader. because it sucks. no extra money.
no benefits.
no way to enforce obedience.
an additional job on top.
poor recognition.
default person to blame. it's not a privilege -
but a service to render. with no hierarchy in place? leader how to select a leader? the expert the strategist the socially adept Answer: It depends on what he is needed for Teams are remarkably able to select a leader depending on the need. Clear task: Expert

Unknown task: Strategist

Long-life group: Social adept Belonging & Participation LOTRO's music system sophisticated functionality
extensive work necessary for transposition
expensive skills all with no obvious benefits for 'gaming' GW 's dance system participation in such events creates an intense experience it creates bonds with complete strangers
and establishes trust you feel as you are part in something special while in reality you just synchronize data which in reality is completely unfounded "excitement, arousal, some'deep' pleasure" How come we trust complete strangers - living on the other side of the world and whom we have never met and we most likely never will - more than the poeple working within the same company on the next floor? And why is a company - which is uncomparably better equipped - unable to create something equal? People can form their own groups Groups are not only based on results People can travel Everyone can create value What's different in gaming groups? Everyone can form a group - if he can find members People choose their own group.
By joining or by founding. Groups can expel members.
Members are free to leave. 1 person can ruin the group.
Can the group deal with it?
Or does everybody have to leave and reform? A group defines itself by defining who is in - and who is not. games provide several means to form groups:
structures for Teams, Guilds, Raids, Alliances
Open chats groups are not only means to achieve ends out of reach for individuals who is the all-important entity?
the indivuduals - or the group itself? as long as the group or the individual sees the other just as a means to achieve an end - the group cannot evolve. Doing something for the group can be important.
It is therefore necessary that it is not important for the overall goal, neither for myself. as long as the common goal provides the only basis for the group, people must choose between goal and team. If you reach your goal, the team looses its single purpose. alternative goals:
social exchange
sharing values
creating common experiences (stories)
having fun
doing stupid things groups dont need a purpose - they are one This raises difficult questions: games are designed so everyone can easily create value (role, profession, crafting, specialization, guild officer) groups can create soft and hard boundaries - influencing the selection of their members Appreciation &
Recognition The need for appreciation and recognition is one of the fundamental needs. Our whole social system, education and culture depends on it. Rewards for achievements Special effects for achievements Support for and encouragement of social recognition Lessons from game design: recognition based on competition must be voluntary (e.g. employee of the month) appreciation and recognition are best given automatically by 'the system'.
It's not the duty of someone to give recognition. What management
can learn and other MMORPG's (massively multiplayer online role playing games) from The question is: The online realm is a brutal place. The good news: There is always something you can do against it. Someone is always out to kill you, trick you, rob you. You are not powerless! People don't quit just because it's hard.
People quit if it's unfair. Game design lessons Things are not supposed to 'just happen' -
unless declared so (and considered fair) People don't necessarily want it their way. Game designers implement only a tiny fraction of the gamers requests. People prefer to learn many rules -
than to accept bad things 'just happening'. things to customize and configure are great Most people dont want to bend the rules -
as long as no one does to take advantage. Most people want control to protect themselves from cheaters or 'stupid things'.
If the system does control cheating, people don't need it any longer. influence and control <> power and might Game designers don't avoid the status issue.
They try to make it less annoying. Important status difference: Most status awarded by the game is therefore based on achievement.
Ascribed status on the other side is awarded by the players themselves. achieved status is more accepted in our culture. Roles help people to find a meaningful position in the social system. profession specialization crafting guild Games provide an endless selection of useful roles.
This creates diversity, assigns special value and opens a path for everyone to contribute meaningfully. Duplicate roles create competition.
And reduce the 'special value' of their owners. armor customization the importance of style Where is the 'I'? And who is it? Dilemma: but people want to make a difference What's the meaning of it? creating profits for some stockholder? What's the big thing behind it?
And what is your part in it? game design lessons you are a hero not necessarily THE hero your deeds matter -
your actions trigger events there is a story behind of it -
a beautiful story you are facing difficult choices your decisions alter the story Influence &
Control Status &
Role Identity &
Purpose Progress & Development are often more important then reaching goals. Watzlavick: The purpose of travelling is not necessarily that of arriving. Progressing towards mastery gives us a feeling of improvment and we feel adept. Games excel in making progress visible while constantly delaying the next goal. Game design lessons: make progress visible provide clear paths towards mastery provide several stages combine achievements with symbolic and tangible rewards the most important rewards are those encouraging further development We need something giving us
clear evidence of progress other people when the path is clear - the distance is secondary kung fu master principle the game tangible feelings Autonomy &
Freedom Skill & Mastery The problem with Freedom: We are confused about the concept. It is helpful to distinguish between I can do whatever I want. There are no borders. I can make meaningful choices. Freedom Liberty Freedom in this sense is inflationary, because it's cheap. Liberty or Autonomy require to pay an according price for every option. It requires to balance value and investment.
It requires us to assess value in the first place. Don't overdo it: The paradox of choice Games seem to give players a lot of freedom.
The opposite is true.
Gamer freedom is very limited by the game.
However, Games give a very well balanced amount of liberty to players. Lessons from the Game People always have the necessary ressources to complete their job.
This creates autonomy. Games spend a lot of time to educate players about the advantages and downsides There is a continuing act of balancing to avoid obvious choices and keep options attractive. All options must be resourceful enough to allow for a sufficient amount of autonomy. Good games provide the right amount of options
while keeping the right balance of pro's and con's (price for value).
The best games are those with the best balance. Creativity &
Beauty Creativity & Beauty Style is an expression of something beautiful in ourselves.
Creatitivity is the action to make it happen.
Beauty is an expression of harmony and is able to transfer it.
We recognize style in people when we recognize 'resonance'. design and style matter Games allow for many creative applications skill combos game extension special builds alternative gameplay In GW colours and prestige armor components are the most expensive items you can buy not limited to appearance Humanics! Thanks you have to give up control over who's in and out.
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