Mechanics are those actions created for users to get engaged and move within the gamified system. On the other hand, Dynamics are the world we create for users. And game elements are the different components used to create both these Dynamics and Mechanics. That is, they are specific applications added to the activity.
Some authors say that game elements must fulfil some kind of need in order to make people interested in them.
What are the game elements?
Many authors claim that there are 15 to 20 game elements. We have made a selection of the most common ones:
- Avatars. They are virtual representations of the user that are depicted within the world created by the dynamics of the game.
- Points accumulated. It is the numerical value equivalent to the users’ progression.
- Teams. Users work together to achieve a common goal.
- Battle. The user competes against the computer or against other users with either their intelligence or different skills. They are usually short-lived.
- Unlocking content. As users reach different achievements, they have new possibilities within the gamified system.
- Missions. They are milestones and specific goals that the user must try to achieve at any given time.
- Virtual goods. The users progressively get goods that can be used at other levels or that will reward them, either within the gamified system itself or out of it.
- Leaderboards. They show the user’s state with respect to others and their progress.
These game elements, along with many others, shape both the Mechanics and Dynamics that make up the gamification. Possibilities for application are numerous and varied but in all fields, they play a part in increasing the motivation of individuals and teams.
Translation by Susana Castro.