Balancing Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation
Jamie started us off with a daily read (during a meeting probably) and got us thinking about rewards in games, sports, and life.
Games thrive on reward systems, they are the food that keeps the game going and help players gain status, identity, and a sense of accomplishment from the game. Is motivation to play games intrinsic or extrinsic? Are they advancing in the game for the purpose of an external party? No – typically no one is driving that player to the game, they are there on their own volition and interest (and often against the will of others). But are players driving by rewards and external recognition of their accomplishments, absolutely!
It looks like this has been a question raised at GDC, and doesn’t seem to have an answer anytime soon. Maybe it doesn’t need to be answered. The important thing is to tap into whatever is driving players’ passions and steer it towards learning that will be useful in their lives, however they pan out.