Gamification: Risk and Reward
Gamification people love the notion of incentives: a leaderboard, badges, ranks, points etc. Incentives are a positive form of reward that many games use to engage users. What’s missing out in this approach however, is that rewards are not something you inevitably obtain simply by participating in play. Rewards in games are the result of taking part in risky behaviour, of trying to achieve things that might involve your character ‘dying’, repeating a level, losing your accumulated points, or simply losing your invested time.
Rewards become rewarding because there is a chance that you won’t be rewarded at all.