Elearning Providers Utilize the Compulsion Loop for Effective Games

Designing Digitally


Compulsion Loop for Learning Games

To stay relevant in the marketplace, elearning providers have to design games that work. They must constantly be abreast of the most effective methods and the results of the most recent research studies in order to put out the best product possible.

There are different methods for game design. Some are only moderately successful, while others are quite effective. Good game developers will take the time to essentially weed out the less competent measures and focus on the ones that work.

Many elearning providers use the “compulsion loop” as the basis for their game design.

What is the compulsion loop?

In simple terms, it’s a way to get players addicted to the game. In more scientific terms, it’s “a habitual, designed chain of activities that will be repeated to gain a neurochemical reward: a feeling of pleasure and/or a relief from pain,” per designer Joseph Kim.   

It’s a virtual cycle that keeps users engaged and motivated while they’re playing a game. This is key for users who are going through corporate training programs because a learner who is engaged and motivated will comprehend and retain information much better than one who is bored or an inactive participant.

Components of the loop

A classic example of the compulsion loop goes like this: A player performs an action, in this case, finding a monster. They receive a reward (for example, gold). The reward allows them to purchase helpful items to continue performing the initial action, finding additional larger monsters. The cycle continues, around and around. 

To delve more deeply into the loop, it’s necessary to look at each component separately.

  • Expectation. This part of the loop is the anticipation of what will happen. For example, the portion of the game in which the player is purchasing tools is the expectation of the action they will perform. 

  • Action. The player is actively involved in some sort of undertaking, like finding monsters. This is the portion of the compulsion loop that reinforces what the player is supposed to learn.

  • Reward. This portion of the game is when the player receives the reward for performing the learning activity. In terms of the example, the learner’s reward for finding monsters is earning gold.

Multiple compulsion loops

A truly great learning game will have numerous compulsion loops happening simultaneously. Each different role in the game would follow a different loop.

Elearning providers design games with various compulsion loops because it adds depth to the game and allows for a richer experience. When the learner is immersed in the game, they are more likely to retain the information they are learning.


Corporate training with the loop

A compulsion loop that is specific to the workplace functions in the same way, only with different components. In a corporate setting, the action may be resolving a customer complaint. The reward for successfully handling the situation may result in positive recognition which can ultimately lead to a promotion. 

Another example may be closing a sale.  A compulsion loop can be developed with various closing techniques and the reward for choosing the best technique can result in sales points. 

Businesses trust elearning providers to supply the most beneficial and effective products for training their employees. The components of the compulsion loop do just that by driving the content deeper and enhancing comprehension.

Contact Designing Digitally, Inc. to learn how they incorporate compulsion loops into their customized elearning training to assist companies with developing highly performing employees which leads to greater productivity and increased profitability.