The Engagement Economy

The Institute For The Future published a report in September 2008 about the Engagement Economy. Here are some excerpts:

what will most likely emerge as the most powerful currency in the economy of engagement? Emotion. The economy of engagement is also an economy of feelings, in which positive emotions—pride, curiosity, love, and feeling smart—are the ultimate reward for participation.

Emotional Goals of Players
Emotional Goals of Players

Economist Edward Castranova, who studies massively multiplayer online games […] argues that most players turn to games specifically to produce the emotional high associated with accomplishing something concrete, feeling capable, and being recognized for their successes.


Shirky, too, confirms that the pleasures of accomplishment and the feeling of competence are basic drivers of participation in online communities.

PARC researcher and MMO expert Nick Yee discovered three primary motivations for MMO participation:

  • achievement, the desire to advance in the game’s hierarchy, master its mechanics, and compete against other participants;
  • social, the desire to have positive interactions with other people and work toward a common goal together;
  • and immersion, the desire to exercise imagination, consume compelling content, and think about something other than ordinary, everyday wor

Here are two books that I’ve read that relate to this: