The Value and Use of Game-Based Intrinsic Rewards

The Value and Use of Game-Based Intrinsic Rewards

Kevin Miklasz, Senior Director, Learning Analytics, Noggin "Room TBD

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Intrinsic rewards are rewards that have the form “do this, to do this more,” or rewards in which the ultimate reward for doing the action is to do more of the action. This is in contrast to an extrinsic reward, which has the form “do this to get that” where the reward is extrinsic or separate from the action. Intrinsic rewards form a cyclical loop, with some reason being a pull for why to continue engaging with the loop.

Many different genres of video games can be explained by having a genre-specific version of the intrinsic reward loop: for instance puzzle games are built on the repeated loops of increasing levels that add extra challenge, whereas adventure games are built on the loop of gaining discrete powerup to allow further exploration.

This talk will explore what the intrinsic reward loop is, how it is expressed in different game genres and non-game systems, and what are the different causal reasons that explain why we like to loop through intrinsic reward structures. This will give a framework and guidance for attendees to use in designing their own intrinsic reward structures, whether in game or educational systems.

This talk builds upon the ideas in my book “Intrinsic Rewards in Games and Education” (freely available as a digital download or for purchase in print), helping bring the ideas to life while also going beyond the ideas solely offered in the book. Participants will walk away with a good understanding of how to think about reward design, and a plan for how to redesign their existing system of rewards.

Sun 12:00 am - 12:00 am