Chapter 3. Game Mechanics, Dynamics, and Aesthetics

Bohyun Kim


Chapter 3 of Library Technology Reports (vol. 51, no. 2), “Understanding Gamification,” takes a close look at game design elements in order to understand better how gamification works. While common elements in gamification such as points, badges, feedback, levels, and achievement are often recognized and included as part of the account of gamification, not all of those elements function at the same level of abstraction. This chapter discusses the MDA framework, which breaks down a game designer’s design process into three parts: (1) mechanics, (2) dynamics, and (3) aesthetics. The MDA framework enables us to understand how game mechanics, dynamics, and aesthetics differ from one another and how they work together to create the overall gameful experience for users. This understanding can be of great help in designing one’s own gamification.

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