What does the levels represent?

I haven’t found this anywhere, but I kind of assume it’s been brought up already, so feel free to just direct me to the answer.

What does the Kitsune levels represent? Is it known words? Completed reviews? Something else?

Or is it just an arbitrary number for motivation? If this is the case I kind of would like the option to hide it. I use Kitsun to learn words and seeing how many words I’ve learned is all the motivation I need.

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I think it’s the level you have on Kitsun.
Every time you do anything (lesson, review, etc) you get some XP. With enough XP, you level up.
It’s a different type of gamification, compared to WK.

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Thanks for answering <3
I still don’t really see the point though? On WK it makes sense to organize things by level with unlocks to keep the user from being overwhelmed, but here it just feels like a tacked on thing that doesn’t fill any real purpose.

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Some people like seeing numbers go up? :woman_shrugging:

I don’t know either.

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In my opinion it’s more of a side feature than something that’s actually important. I like the level up feature because I like seeing numbers go up :joy: Not a big deal, but I think it helps emphasize in my brain the progress that I’m making, beyond the progress bars on the home page.

To my knowledge in the future there will be “deck levels,” AKA a deck-based leveling system like WK but optional.

Every lesson and review you do gives 10 exp, so it kinda represents how much effort/time someone has put into learning. Serves no real purpose, but seeing a level up or seeing the exp increase can give some satisfaction for people :slight_smile: It’s part of a greater plan to gamify Kitsun. Coming up soon-ish are achievements, which are also just visual things that might motivate users to build up study routines and such :slight_smile:


I’m quite sceptical of extrinsic rewards in learning due to studies like https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1977-09554-001

(This is a more easily digested explanation: https://youtu.be/1ypOUn6rThM )

There is an actual danger that users intrinsic motivation will go down since their focus shifts from “I want to learn Japanese” to “I want a high level”. It should only, in my opinion as an educator (school librarian for 15 years), be added with the utmost care, if at all.

That is why, if it’s not integral to the site, I would like the option to hide it. There is already an exceptional motivator in just “Words learned”.


Can achievements be on a public profile so we can gain smug satisfaction from looking down on others being better than others? :eyes::eyes:

P. S. You need more levels so @jprspereira can keep progressing. @Neicudi

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Since there is no extrinsic value as a ‘arbitrary number’, there is no extrinsic reward. Our study plans are personalized so levels are not even comparable here (not that is should matter even if it did) It’s just a tool for fun which can help the grind. I think it’s easier to ignore than have feature request though, particularly if it is not even threatening. At L50 it stops adding up, perhaps a motivator in itself to stop the leveling system.

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Wouldn’t keeping the amount of words learned in that case go from being “I want a high level” to “I want to learn a bunch of words”? You wouldn’t be concerned about the words you’re learning as much as seeing the “words learned” count going up, how I understand what you’re saying. The only difference between the two is that the first eventually caps, which you could just solve by uncapping. Unless we also got rid of the words learned count I don’t see how the extrinsic reward problem would be solved.

That is also a good point, and I’d like to add to it. Assuming the level is not just an “arbitrary number” and people care about it, it could easily be seen as a written form of “positive verbal reinforcement” when you level up. According to the abstract of the study, that positive reinforcement “resulted in increased intrinsic motivation.” I mean there’s a reason WK sends you emails every time you level up.

I also don’t want to think that people are only using Kitsun for the leveling system.


I worded that incorrectly, I only meant that since it caps it’s less of an issue for OP…eventually. But I can’t believe there is gamification when we are all playing a different game. I like the fun motivations and community involvement, I feel they are all positives…so badges & cookies bring them on.


Thank you everyone for offering your input and perspectives. I feel like my initial question has been answered.

Keep learning Japanese in the way that is best for you :heart:


I think I’m supposedly on my 5th round of reaching level 50 :rofl:

Just wanted to say that I understand OP’s concern. Right now, the whole plan to gamify Kitsun is still being developed, that’s why the leveling system might look like a forceful way to motivate learners.

As the study said:

Positive verbal reinforcement, predicted to be insufficient to justify performance, resulted in increased intrinsic motivation.

I think gamification can be both used correctly and incorrectly. If you incentivize learners to think short-term and fast results, it won’t allow them to build a healthy routine around learning. On the other hand, with small achievements here and there, and by focusing on gamifying the actual sides of Kitsun that allow learners to get more immersed into learning (long-term), I think it can work very well. Things like achievements are a way for Kitsun to verbalize positive reinforcement to its users, for example.


Agreed, but once you’re on the “leveling up” path, reaching the end of it can be demotivating.

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Also, I’m exceptionally smart, so I avoid this problem entirely.

Since I never level up, I can never be disappointed about reaching the end :sunglasses:.
As the saying goes: “The party never ends if it never starts.” - Lao-Tze. :eyes:

To be fair, I think all your points are definitely legitimate concerns on WK’s platform where all the content is the same to compare with peers and there is an actual ‘ending’ to the game, either maxing out lessons or burns. Some users compete and speed run beyond their pace, there are many stories where this has backfired. On the flip side for WK levels, there is a utility to it when creating a level up pace for a study plan, how many lessons and apprentice count w/ community recommendations…etc. Much more of a free for all here, I’ve had to learn each deck on what I can handle pace-wise which is more/less trial and error (definitely made mistakes).


I think what’s important is that the achievements don’t funnel people into a certain way of studying/using Kitsun. Like for example, “study 100 lessons in a day” would probably be a terrible achievement since it’s giving people incentive to do something that they might not actually be able to handle.

Yeah that’s true. I guess what I’m trying to say is that if it’s demotivating enough to make you to stop studying (especially considering how much it takes to get to that final level), it just makes me wonder what the person’s motivation was in the first place.
Though I don’t want to walk too far down that path because I feel like it’s a bit of a “blame the learner” instead of “blame the system” kind of thinking.

I can definitely second that. There’s certain times where I’ve studied too much / not enough and then it gives me trouble. Though I think it’s more a matter of caring less about getting all your numbers to 0 and just doing what you can when you can.

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You mean kinda like KameSame? :eyes: