Octalysis: The Dark and Light sides of What Motivates Us

Yu-kai Chou

Session 2A, 1:40pm, Room 114


Have you ever wondered why it is so hard to motivate people (including yourself) to do things that are meaningful? Even when you figure out quick-burst ways to change behavior, motivation starts to dwindle again after a short period of time. It becomes discouraging, demoralizing, and eventually leads to burnout. Gamification Pioneer Yu-kai Chou combines years of research and experience in game design, game dynamics, motivational psychology, behavioral economics, and UX/UI to explain the mysterious dynamics between White Hat and Black Hat Motivation in his Octalysis Framework, and how we can design for better long-run motivation.


Yu-kai Chou is an Author and International Keynote Speaker on Gamification. He is the Original Creator of the gamification framework Octalysis, and the author of Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards. He is the Founder of The Octalysis Group and the Behavioral Scientist for the Israel-based engagement platform Captain Up. He has been a regular speaker/lecturer on gamification worldwide, including at organizations like Stanford University, Accenture, TEDx, SxSW, Gamified India, the Innovation Center in Denmark, Kingdom of Bahrain, and many more.

Yu-kai was one of the earliest pioneers in Gamification, starting his work in the industry in 2003. In 2014, Yu-kai received the award of “#1 Gamification Guru” by the World Gamification Congress based in Spain, as well as the UK-Based organization Rise. He has helped a variety of companies, from seed stage startups to Fortune 500 companies such as eBay, Huawei, Fidelity, HP, Cisco, Wells Fargo, and more.

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