D4 - Human Drives - those that remain constant regardless of evolution.

A simplified and more generalized derivative

Today, I had a day that was quite unusual compared to the regular ones.

I spent a significant amount of time explaining some of the perspectives to my colleagues, which was the first time in a while that I had amassed such a substantial amount of content to convey ideas I had been developing for an extended period.

I have closely examined Yu-Kai Chou's gamification theory, as well as several related theories, to comprehend the human motivations behind games, as defined by these concepts. Additionally, I have explored how these gamification principles can be applied to products, various aspects of life, and careers.

During my studies, I happened to simplify some of the most famous Yu-Kai Chou's Eight Core Drives from his Octalysis framework into four general drives. These drives are not specifically related to gamification only but serve as a simplified summary of how humans tend to consume or be motivated to use some particular products, among other things. They also somewhat indicate how people become involved in various cults and similar phenomena.

The Four Simplified Human Drives (D4 Drives)

A human being is highly motivated in their actions and commitments when intrinsically or extrinsically driven by one of these four major drives. It seems that there can be different stages of these drives for a person to remain engaged.

  • NEED

  • DEED



"I need to do this because this is what solves my immediate problem""I've already committed to something, and now I'm somewhat stuck here.""This is a better deal, although there are still some good options available elsewhere.""This is the best thing that has ever happened to me."

In the table above, I provide a highly generalized description of the scenarios to illustrate what each drive truly represents.

This simplified version can help assess the general perspective of human psychological drives in decision-making, even when we don't necessarily adhere to a higher framework.

A concise, multi-dimensional matrix as shown above can serve as a framework for those who wish to incorporate these psychological drives into their decision-making process or reflective considerations.

Back to Yu-Kai

Yu-Kai Chou's Eight Drives and the D4 Drives typically correlate with a broader similarity.

S.NoYu-KaiD4 Drives
7Social InfluenceGreed

Disclaimer: Some of these may overlap when attempting to simplify the 8 drives into just 4. However, similar to Yu-Kai's classification as Black Hat vs. White Hat or Left Brain vs. Right Brain, I tried to present a more common and generalized combination where we can define most people's involvements.

Additionally, in the aforementioned comparison, the NEED is missing. This is because the necessity to play a game is not initially justified.

"I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it**. I was really alive**" - Walter White (Breaking Bad)

Breaking Bad - Walter White

In the movie Breaking Bad, if we assess the stages of actions that Walter White took, these four drives can be highly correlated. Later, when he made a statement to Skyler - "I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it**. I was really alive**" - this is when a need eventually transforms into a creed, progressing through his greed and deeds.

As Walter was battling cancer and had no substantial savings after his retirement, he felt the need to cook meth for immediate financial needs.Since Walter was already entangled in a complicated situation, a swift exit wasn't immediately possible. His prior deeds led him to face even more severe consequences.He was earning a substantial amount. He even established himself as the formidable "Heisenberg." How could one simply let that greed (pride) go, having earned so much for a dying man?"I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it. I felt truly alive." He was a chemist, and the accomplishment he sought as a chemist could only be achieved after being ousted from his own company. He lived by his creed - Chemistry.

Black Hat and White Hat

Need and GreedDeed and Creed
Black HatWhite Hat
Extrinsic MotivationIntrinsic Motivation

In conclusion, The D4 Drives does not necessarily aim to refine Yu-Kai's theory or any other similar theories. Instead, it makes them more communication-friendly for use in everyday conversations and provides a quick assessment tool for validating cases that primarily involve human drives.

PS: This is the very first write-up in a longer series :) More will follow in the future.

Next article :
(LR3 - Yu-Kai's Game Phases Analogy from a Broader Product Perspective)