The Undisputed Power of Gamification: Why Games Are Necessary
The concept of gamification entails using gaming concepts and techniques to enliven otherwise non-gaming activities. Unsurprisingly, many businesses are fast turning to gamification as a way of changing employee or customer behaviour toward a specific service or product.
A study by Gallup showed that up to 70% employees in the U.S. do not fully engage themselves in their office work. However, with the introduction of well-designed gamification concepts, employees demonstrate greater productivity and meeting key performance indicators (KPIs).
The term ‘gamification’ can actually be traced back to 2002 when it was first used to describe the process of designing a game-like interface for electronics to make it both convenient and enjoyable to use a particular device. The motivation behind integrating gaming concepts into non-gaming activities is to encourage user engagement, loyalty and retention. Perhaps the earliest forms of gaming for business was Foursquare’s ‘mayor’’ concept, which crowned people who frequented a place the most.
Within the business context, the idea of gamification is derived from diverse fields including psychology, social media, as well as video game trends. Brands are maximizing the power of games to improve return on investment, encourage customer engagement and improve productivity in the workplace.
The type of business or niche you are in will determine your gamification strategy. Different businesses have different needs/situations when it comes to designing and implementing game concepts. Obviously, you cannot turn each activity into a gaming concept.
Importantly, developers must take the best practices in the gaming arena and align these with the users’ needs and the unique way they interact with an application. By taking into consideration the so called ‘gaming mechanics’ when designing and developing a certain idea, developers are able to satisfy the precise objectives of their publishers.
As mentioned earlier, gamification just for the sake of gamification hardly ever works. However, well-designed games that take into considerations the natural environment of the user can promote the desired objectives.
The Future of Games is No Child’s Play
Admittedly, there is a lot of hype surrounding the idea of gamification. Being a new concept, it has often created unrealistic expectations, which has seen unsuccessful implementation. Although the use of games is a creative and potentially lucrative concept, it is easy for many brands to become disillusioned if key considerations are not taken into account.
According to predictions by Gartner Inc., by 2015, 40 percent of Global 1000 companies will implement gamification as a core element of business operations. However, although the long-term effects of gamification are expected to be positive, the short-term effects look bleak. It is predicted that more than 70 percent of the applications that are currently gamified may fail to achieve business objectives because of poor design and implementation.
To make the most of gamification within the business context, it is important to differentiate between actual success and related activities. Although many companies have gamified their applications, few are able to document the success of gamification in terms of meeting business objectives.
Another important factor to consider is the design aspect. Unfortunately, many businesses have made their gamified applications all about meeting business objectives, leaving out the player. However, the most successful gaming projects are those that have a player-centric approach that allows the player to achieve their goals as well. In this case, the player could be a customer or an employee.
The bottom line: Think about how your business objectives can merge with the players’ objectives to attain that sweet spot of gamification success.