Inflection Point With Lauren Schiller: Peace In Our Lifetime?

inflect_avatar_greendress_square“Talking with Margarita Quihuis was 1 part brain-bending, 1 part hopeful, 1 part grateful that there are brilliant minds working on the equation for positive peace. I highly recommend a listen to get a peek into the work she is doing–and think about how we can apply it our daily lives right here in the grass roots.” Lauren Schiller

I was grateful for the opportunity to share our lab’s work with Lauren Schiller and the Inflection Point audience. The podcast went up yesterday!  Talk highlights include the work that NextDoor, Uber and AirBnB are doing  to reduce racial bias, citizen diplomacy efforts through social technologies and where the future of peace tech could go.

My wish and call to action was to have a million people listen in! Please listen and share.

You can listen to the podcast here

Why You’re Addicted to Pokémon GO

Lauren Hall-Stigerts interviews Chris Bennett and Margarita Quihuis on how core loops, BJ Fogg’s Behavior Model and neurochemistry all combine to make Pokémon GO a compelling experience.

Pokémon GO statistics don’t lie: the hit mobile game is addictive. It’s estimated to make $1.6 million in revenue every day, more money in-game than the rest of the mobile gaming market in one day altogether. It’s played by all ages, not just childhood Pokémon fans: half of the players are 18-34 years old while just under 50 percent of players are 35 and older. It has more Android downloads than the most popular dating app, more daily users than Twitter, and more engagement than Facebook.

When a mobile game has more traffic than the busiest social networks within days of launch, there’s something afoot. How does Pokémon GO keep us coming back for more?

Read more at BigFishGames

The Perfect Mix: Fogg Behavior Model + Core Loop

Within BJ Fogg’s Behavior Design Lab, we focus on developing behavior design frameworks and methods that designers can use to help people do what they already want to do.  As product developers and innovators we use these tools to create compelling experiences, products and services that people will repeat again and again.

The Fogg Behavior Model (FBM) defines a behavior thus:


Behavior = Motivation + Ability + Trigger

All three elements need to be present in order for the behavior to occur.

Small, simple behaviors can be elicited with low motivation as long as the ability is present and a clear trigger or call to action exists.

Complex behaviors may require more motivation and more ability.  However, in the absence of a trigger, the desired behavior may not occur.  

Finally high motivation and a good trigger coupled with low ability may result in no action.  

Why Ability Matters

Ability dictates whether or not the action or behavior at hand is easy to do or hard to do.  Does it require too much time?  Does it require too much money?  Does it require the person to think too much?  Is it part of an existing routine?  Is it socially deviant?

FBM and Game Design

Good game designers manipulate ability to create an engaging game experience.  They generally don’t worry about motivation.  People like to play games for a variety of reasons and if they’ve downloaded or purchased the game they’ve passed the motivation filter.

Good game triggers make clear what is necessary in the moment of game play – the card in a board game may outline a player’s 3 options or a social game like FarmVille prompts you to do one of three things – plant, harvest or buy seed.

Game designers can manipulate ability to establish and deepen engagement.  Some games may be intentionally easy to invoke confidence in the player.  When a player experiences early quick wins, he experiences a neurochemical response of increased testosterone and dopamine, inspiring confidence and a desire to take more risks.  This neurochemical boost can compel players to play again, play longer and be willing to play at a higher difficulty.

As game designers manipulate the ability dials (Is it easier or harder?  Do they need to think more?  Does it become suddenly physically challenging?), the designers create a dramatic tension in the game, eliciting player emotion.  

The designer is anchored in behavior design principles – what do I want the player to do now?  What do I want the player to do after this? – while at the same time keeping an eye on the core loop of the game -Assess, Decide, Act and Reward.  The Core loop defines the dramatic arc of the game; FBM helps the designer tune the easiness of difficulty of each action in the game.  The neuro chemical hit coming from victory reaffirms the reward.