by Carole Dean
What is Game Mechanics?
Author Jonah Berger explains in his book “Contagious” that they are the elements of a game, application or program including rules and feedback loops that make them fun.
Good game mechanics keep people engaged, motivated and wanting more. They understand where they are compared to others in the same game.
You can use this to create a larger audience and increase donations to your film.
Game Mechanics Motivate on an Interpersonal Level by Encouraging Social Comparison.
People care about their performance in relation to others.
You probably belong to an airline loyalty program. Each time you fly on the airline you’ve selected, you accumulate points related to the miles you’ve traveled. There are levels to reach where the reward gets greater.
People care about hierarchy. You try and reach the top level of your airline program to get that first class ticket to Katmandu. This is game mechanics.
Using Game Mechanics to Fund Your Film
Game mechanics helps us generate social currency. Social Currency is the info we share that others find cool and want to share as well. You brag about that first class ticket to your friends. Post it on social media. It makes us and those that share it look and feel good. That is social currency.
Here’s some great ways to use Game Mechanics to increase donations to your film:
- If you are crowdfunding, you can give an award at the half way point to the person who referred the most people to your campaign. This keeps everyone working for you to win that prize.
- Or, you might have something on your web site like an Icon for how much donors have contributed to your film. You could have platinum, gold and silver classifications on your site and list donor names.
- On your Facebook page, create a message board with names of whoever donates $100.00 and over. Make up different colored name tags for different amounts. If you donate $100.00, you get a yellow tag, $300 is orange, and $500 is red tag.
Create a Simple System That People Understand and Create Social Currency
Example: Burberry let people send in photos of themselves in their coats and put them online. Everyone who posted shared it with their friends who shared it with people they knew. It drove their sales up 50%.
Word of mouth is generated through the voting process. Putting films, actors, or locations up for people to vote for works to build interest. For documentaries, try putting up questions about how people fell about your subject and letting them vote. Contestants spread the word about the site to get votes.
This is social currency and game mechanics at work.
Think of ways you can you gamify your film funding watch your donations increase.
Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-profit that offers fiscal sponsorship for independent filmmakers. She hosts the weekly podcast, The Art of Film Funding, interviewing those involved in all aspects of indie film production. She is also the author of The Art of Film Funding, 2nd Edition: Alternative Financing Concepts.