Game Rewards : Social Games

 Games  As Psychology Lessons 3.2  The 5 Types of Game Rewards Type Number 3: Social Rewards

[wpcol_1half id=”” class=”” style=””]    What is it?    Social Rewards are items, achievements and more that you can show to your gaming friends as proof of your greatness. The most obvious form of this is the points systems of competitive online games, such as Street Fighter 4. Essentially, you’re being rewarded with bragging rights.

How is it Achieved: Again, simple. The game simply gives you an item, title, score, achievement, picture of any other displayable trophy that makes you look like a god.

Types of Social Rewards
Rankings : The most effective type of this reward. You kick ass, you get your name at the top. Awesome.

Rare Items / Weapons : Unlockable items are provided at various levels. A great example of this is the unlockable weapons for the multiplayer of Red Dead Redemption.

Achievements: Not much need be said about this one. Go get a reward and let everyone know you’ve got it. Simple, yet satisfying

It’s Function As A Reward : The key ingredient to creating a successful social reward is in making the reward rare enough so that whoever is able to unlock it truly does feel special. Of course, this is not easy. If only 1% of gamers can get the item then 99% of gamers are left unsatisfied. Yet by the same token, if 99% of gamers get the item, it’s clearly not that rare or special, and its importance as a reward is greatly reduced.
Thankfully, the importance of this kind of reward goes beyond simply acquiring the gun or item. The real power of this reward is in its ability to make a gamer dream.
Take the number 1 spot in the Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition rankings. Obviously, this is a very sought after reward, yet next to no one will ever get it. Thankfully, that doesn’t matter too much. What matter is that player’s have a valuable reward to aim for. Thousands of Street Fighter players will battle it out day and night in the hope of becoming number one. The fact that they almost certainly never will achieve that aim doesn’t stop them from tryng to.


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Three Great Socially Rewarding Games





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Paul Harrison

Paul M Harrison is an entertainment journalist, novelist, and blogger, and a specialist in the theory of storytelling. Paul Harrison can be contacted via his personal website or on Twitter or Facebook.

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