Killers & Gamification: "Win… at any cost"


A note, before we begin: a lot of people, when they hear the name of the ‘killers’ player group, don’t like to actually be called ‘Killers’. There is a negative connotation the name brings. Take it from someone who plays video games – the name is very apt. There are groups of people who, whether it’s for achievement or their own enjoyment, love the power that comes with being able to go against other players and win. If you prefer, you can refer to them as “fighters”, but know that being grouped into the ‘killers’ group doesn’t mean that you are a criminal or murderer. It just means that, in the construct or game, you are willing to do whatever it takes to win, especially if that means you’re winning against other players.

Killers find their fulfillment in the construct by going head-to-head against other players. Motivators that work for other groups serve different meanings for Killers. Where an achiever sees a leaderboard as a personal measurement, a Killer sees it as their measurement against their peers. Tokens and achievements mean nothing to Killers, unless they show the player’s dominance over everyone.

Things that Appeal to Killers:

  • Head-to-head: A Killer’s main motivation is, “how can I complete?” By introducing ways that players can combat each other, you will give Killers a reason to keep coming back – to win at any cost.
  • Leaderboards: Again, this isn’t to check their personal progress, but serves as a broadcast. They want to let people know  they are indeed the number one player (or at least working toward it)
  • Tiered Levels: Killers get discouraged if they aren’t winning, but deep down we all know that people play at different skill levels. Consider a ‘tiered’ approach such as a ladder system – group players together that are in similar skill levels and allow people to compete at a more even playing field.

Part of a Series on Gamification:

Character vector created by vectorpocket –