QuizUp – Analysis


Have you ever wondered-Why people play games?, what is it that make people spend hours and hours of their time in an environment which has little or nothing to do with their actual lives? Before you dig deep into complex psychological theories to find the answers, let me just tell you that the answer to it is pure and simple Chemistry. Yes, as it turns out our brains are wired to crave puzzle solving, feedback and reinforcement, and the many other experiences that games provide. Study after study has shown that games activate the brain’s dopamine system, which is associated with pleasure. Simply put, you enter a game and face a challenge and the chemicals in your brain will force you to continue for a certain period of time, till their course of action is complete.

QuizUp - a trivia based application developed by Plain Vanilla Games available on Android and iOS is one such game which acts as the perfect catalyst for the complex chemical reaction in our brain. Quiz or Quizzing are terms that trigger a kind of fear/apathy in the minds of most people (unless of course you are a quiz enthusiast like me, which is a very insignificant part of the world population), to take such a domain and convert it into an application you can’t get off your hands is definitely an amazing accomplishment. Let’s just take a look at how they did that:

Motivation is a combination of internal and external factors that stimulate desire and energy in people to be continually interested in doing something, since playing QuizUp will not help you earn money or a get a promotion at work (directly) it’s safe to say that the motivation to play it is Internal i.e., Intrinsic Motivation, research has shown that the intrinsic motivation of the human mind has five main pillars, let’s look at them one by one vis-à-vis QuizUp:

1.    Autonomy:
Autonomy is the inherent desire to be in control of a situation, the choice to take up something simply because you like to and not to worry the pros and cons. QuizUp incorporates this particular feature beautifully by giving its user (the players) a wide array of topics to choose from. Not only do they have a huge range of topics but also sets of captivating sub topics under each, which is ever growing in sync with the popular demand. You may be a mathematic genius, have a photographic memory of the world map or have just watched Hollywood movies all your life, you can choose anything and everything and excel at it independently.. This triggers a feeling of happiness and a sense of satisfaction in the minds of the players. Simply put a “FTW” sort of feeling.


2.    Mastery :
You have now chosen what you want to do; next up is being the best you can at it. Being able to view and gauge your gradual progression up the ladder of your chosen topic is addictive to say the least, by smartly using a dial graph and showing you how much more you need to complete the level you are in and cross to the next one makes you hooked on to it for hours and hours at a stretch. Also convenient repetition of questions across the various levels ensures the players a definite reward for their persistence.


3.    Purpose:
Steve Jobs said: ” We are here to make a dent in the universe, otherwise why else even be here?” For anyone to be motivated to do something there needs to be a purpose which he/she needs to fulfill. QuizUp attends to this particular pillar of motivation through a “Country vs Country” feature.
Whenever you select a quiz you can see a “playing from country” with a flag of the country you have chosen:


4.    Progress:
Taking small and meaningful steps towards achieving a particular goal is essential for any activity, this journey or path has to be carefully planned in order so that It does not look too easy nor too difficult. When you are playing QuizUp the small steps you need to take to finish a particular level in a given topic makes you glued on to it for a long time and just as when you want to give up, the possibility of winning an “Achievement” makes you play a few more games and the process continues cyclically, as climbing the mountain gets steeper and takes longer there is always the excellently designed leader boards which categorize your achievements globally and within your country. Just the perfect mix for addiction.


5.    Social Interaction:
This crucial ingredient of motivation is the most important reason behind the overwhelming success of this App, the sheer excitement of being able to add, challenge and continuously interact with your fellow social sapiens is contagious. The content when you are in a friendly challenge is also custom coded to ensure maximum engagement.

social These are some of the reasons that most people are hooked to QuizUp and at Playday, we consider this the basis of any gamified learning.

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