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2012 September

Kicked Up Crowdfunding: Gamifying Kickstarter — Game Design Conference 2012 Presentation

At the Game Design Conference yesterday my colleague Justin Gibbs and I spoke on the potential process of gamifying Kickstarter. After our success with the Evil Baby Orphanage Campaign, we’ve been brainstorming concepts for how to orchestrate even more effective kickstarter campaigns, with a specific interest in retaining trendsetters post-campaign and making more attractive experiences to incentivize higher funding per funder.

The result of these talks resulted in several methods of gamifying Kickstarter. We now consider Kickstarter the gateway to our game world, not simply an ends to its creation. Our talk at the Game Design Conference suggested methods to run funding as a Faction-based Competition, writing a community narrative through a Choose-Your-Own Kickstarter Adventure, and orchestrating a campaign as the entry point to an alternate reality game. The benefits of gamifying Kickstarter campaigns are many, but the short list includes getting your audiences to contextualize themselves as part of your game universe early, increase funder engagement through involving them in a fun, democratic process, and driving funder discussion well past the completion of your campaign.

Regardless of how you gamify Kickstarter, we believe the next evolution of Kickstarter will focus not just on giving funders a sense of investment in the creation of the product, but giving funders a personal sense of emotional investment in the product’s universe.