Explorers & Gamification: “To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before!”


Explorers are, by far, the hardest group to please. They thrill in the hunt of the unknown and new, and love to face difficult challenges. On the one hand, an explorer doesn’t need a clear goal to engage with a ‘construct’ – they’re quite happy jumping in with both feet and seeing what the world has to offer. On the other hand, anything less than mind-blowing, jaw dropping discovery is ‘meh’ to an explorer, after a time at least.

Explorers are navigators and detectives – solving the hardest problems and climbing the highest mountains. They revel in the new and exciting, but the familiar and mundane will quickly wear on them. Explorers will, however, delight in changes, especially if it brings new problems to solve or things to do!

Things that Appeal to Explorers

  • Discovery: The idea of ‘new’ excites explorers. They will do whatever they can to discover any new tasks, goals, or knowledge in your construct. This is great for campaigns or constructs that iterate often, but stagnate or stale ones will cause them to tune out and look elsewhere.
  • Problem Solving: Explorers are on the far right of the bell curve when it comes to solving problems. A proper explorer can crack a puzzle in their sleep, but you have to balance that with non-explorers too (some of which are turned away by difficult challenges). If you can discriminate the groups – offering different paths or problems for different skill levels – you may be able to hit that holy grail of making everyone happy.
  • Easter Eggs: Nothing makes an explorer happier than finding that ‘special nugget’ as they are moving along. Whether it’s a hidden code to be deciphered or a mystery that unravels over time, you can bet that the explorers will be at the forefront of cracking the clues.

Part of a Series on Gamification: