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Everyone loves being the best at something or trying to find out as much as possible about a certain topic. This all has to do with our need to be recognized.
The question now is, how can Gamification step into that realm?

Gamification at its earliest form was all about badges and stamps. Of course it has developed tremendously since, but badges still serve a great purpose. On websites badges show to other people what you achieved. This distinguishes you from others and therefore the player will feel special. How do you implement these properly?

However just throwing badges around will of course not work. There needs to be a clear system behind it and players need to feel like they actually have to achieve something to be able to be rewarded this badge.  Thus if a company is thinking of implementing a badge system they need to think about the standards they set for each badge.

Generally you want basic badges to be quite accessible. Some examples could be:

– A badge for your first post.
– A badge for triggering a discussion on a post you made
– A badge for getting 10 posts.

The examples above are all very basic, but the player needs to feel like they are achieving something quite quickly, because otherwise your rewards look like they are out of reach and of course the player will get bored/frustrated and this will push them away from your website.

To summarize:
If you are considering making a forum where badges are going to be used to keep people engaged, keep the following in mind:
– Make the first few badges easily achievable
– Consider what the goal of your forum is and think of badges appropriately.
– Make badges harder to get by and branch the badges off into different directions to keep different types of players interested.

What are examples of forums that you have visited that reward badges?

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