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Several sectors are currently embracing gamification. ‘Gamification’ refers to the incorporation of game mechanics and other aspects of game design into non-game contexts, most commonly in the realm of business.
The principles that make playing video games so engaging are also used in gamification. It originated when its principles were applied to problems outside the sphere of interactive entertainment. This is the beginning of the gamification of business.
The gamification market is now worth billions of dollars. The market was estimated to be valued at $7.17 billion in 2019. More and more sectors are making use of it, and both large and small firms are welcoming it with open arms as a means to advance their operations.
The concept of gamification has become a popular trend in recent years, and there are many advantages to using gamification apps in business and marketing.
The increasing digitization of human life has piqued the curiosity of both academics and professionals. These days, video games are an integral part of everyone’s routine, whether they’re played on a home console, a mobile device, or even in the real world.
Many working individuals value gaming as a form of relaxation. The industry for video games around the world reportedly expanded to an astounding USD$120 billion in 2019. This is a fantastic example of how the world is beginning to recognize the value of play.
In addition, the ‘Gamification 2020 report’ from Gartner, a leading IT research and advisory firm, predicted that gamification apps combined with other trends and technologies would have a significant impact on i) innovation, ii) the globalization of higher education, iii) the emergence of customer engagement platforms, and iv) the design of employee performance.
“Gamification is near the peak of Gartner Hype Cycles,” the research firm said formally in 2011. “Like most new trends and technologies, the initial hype surrounding the trend creates unrealistic expectations for success, and many poor implementations follow.”
What is Gamification?
Let’s get into the basics of gamification now. To motivate the desired action or attention outside of a gaming context, “gamification” employs game design concepts and mechanics outside of games. Companies in a business setting aren’t the only ones that can benefit from gamification. Any company or group can utilize it to see improvements in customer or member behavior.
The word gamification is widely misunderstood because the “game” in its definition is deceptive. The word “gamification” is often used interchangeably with “gaming.” However, gamification is not like gaming at all; it is much more methodical and scientific.
The idea of “gamification” stemmed mostly from the video games we’ve been playing ever since we were kids. It’s the method of increasing user involvement by the use of concepts from gaming, computer science, and behavioral economics. Modern gamification apps still rely on these underlying principles to maximize player engagement and incentive.
Putting people in the center of a gamified system can drastically improve their overall experience. Organizational performance, societal change, brand relationships, and talent development are just a few of the areas where gamification is replacing traditional marketing procedures and educational methodologies.
The potential of games to influence players’ actions began to gain widespread attention among businesses. As a result, the incorporation of gaming features on websites and in services by corporations like Amazon and LinkedIn should come as no surprise.
Gamification has been around for a while, but its adaptability makes it useful in any industry. The versatility of gamification is one of its greatest strengths; it can be used for anything from recruitment and project management to brand awareness and internal company culture.
How Gamification Works?
To encourage desirable actions, gamification draws on recent findings from the field of behavioral psychology. It uses a few cutting-edge approaches to influence a far more primitive region of the brain that has a substantial impact on our decision-making, relieving the strain on the more resource-intensive logical section of our thinking.
Here are some of the most widely used gamification strategies in organizations today:
Rewards points are a form of reinforcement for regular users. When the user completes a task successfully, whether in a game or a gamified app, the user earns points. Getting rewarded with points for doing something encourages the gamer to do it again.
A user’s badges serve as evidence of their accomplishments. When a player accomplishes a goal or earns a certain number of points, they are rewarded with a badge. A person who has earned a badge can flaunt their accomplishment to others. This serves as inspiration on individual and collective levels.
As its name implies, Progress Graphs is used to track development. Users can see how much progress they’ve made since they first began using the tool. Seeing that they are making headway is a powerful motivator.
Users’ standings on the leaderboard of a game or app are compared to those of other players. All of the users’ accomplishments are compared and ranked based on the measures used. Developers of gamified applications can encourage their users to push themselves to greater heights by implementing leaderboards.
Group play adds a social, non-competitive dimension to games. It encourages people to work together in a collaborative manner, rather than compete. Team members can back each other up while still working toward individual objectives.
Examples of These Principles of Gamification at Work
Several real-world applications can be found that follow these gamification guidelines. Here are just a few examples:
1. US Army – America’s Army
The US Army has created a program to enlist more Americans into the military. Initiated in 1999, the project was finally made public in 2002. Six years in the making, the United States Army has developed four mobile “Virtual Army Experience” units that are an effective recruitment tool.
Prospective students can see if they have what it takes to join by downloading the game for free and competing against others in a multiplayer strategic shooter setting. The U.S. military has expanded its use of gamification apps to increase public understanding of its mission.
Nike’s own patented fitness measurement system is called “NikeFuel.” Users may monitor their fitness progress with the help of Nike’s other apps and hardware.
Depending on how often they use the app, users will unlock different badges and other rewards within it. For example, if a user accumulates 5,000 NikeFuel points, they will be awarded the 5K badge. The 10K badge is also awarded if the user reaches the milestone of 10,000 NikeFuel points.
It’s a great way to keep tabs on your fitness progress and see how you stack up against your pals. In the NikeFuel community, users can also see where they stand in relation to the scoreboard.
The mobile and desktop versions of Mint, a financial management program, are both available to users. It’s a useful tool for keeping track of money and making progress toward financial objectives.
Mint is a gamified app that makes managing your money more fun. Users are able to establish and work toward a variety of savings and other monetary objectives.
The software also provides users with a number of self-imposed monetary objectives. When a goal is completed in the app, the user is rewarded digitally. This makes the user feel good and encourages them to set even loftier objectives in the future.
4. Starbucks – My Starbucks Rewards
The gamification software created by Starbucks has proven very successful. It’s allowed Starbucks to stand apart from the competition with its advertising.
Customers can gain one point for every dollar they spend using their Starbucks card in the app. More points means more opportunities to redeem goodies.
Users can also go to higher levels by earning points. There are currently three of them, and they all have different names. Users begin their experience at the Welcome level and progress through the other tiers as they accumulate more points. The higher they go, the more they will gain.
5. Kaplan University
Khan Academy is a resource for learning. Many individuals around the world utilize it to study scientific and mathematical topics. Khan Academy employs a tried-and-true suite of gamification strategies to pique its users’ interest.
The primary one is the developing chart. A tree-like diagram displays the user’s progress through the lessons associated with a given topic. The visual representation of completed and uncompleted lessons pushes users to learn even more by simultaneously presenting their progress and the road ahead.
In addition, they employ the utilization of points and awards. Users can progress through the levels by viewing video lessons and completing activities. In addition, users can receive badges for accomplishing various tasks.
Using the Keas wellness app, businesses can lower their group insurance premiums and the number of sick days their employees take. According to the app’s creators, users check in with the app an average of 10 times per month because of the app’s gamification features.
Keas provides its staff with a variety of assignments. And once they’ve finished, they get a prize. The notion of cooperation can be put to fantastic use when workers assist one another in reaching their objectives.
7. Puma Gunners
Puma Gunners, developed by Juego Studios, is an augmented reality video game for the Puma and Arsenal brands.
During the Puma Gunners event in Dubai, users were able to fire a cannon at a new Arsenal shirt for the chance to win prizes and trophies, and the app’s introduction coincided with that event.
In their video game release, Juego Studios essentially recreated this idea in virtual form. Users were tasked with aiming a digital cannon at a digital jersey and scoring a goal.
Over 14,000 people downloaded the app in just a few days, proving its usefulness in promoting the actual event that took place in Dubai.
The aforementioned use cases for gamification apps demonstrate their versatility and the potential it has to improve business outcomes, public perception, and brand awareness in a variety of contexts.
According to Gabe Zichermann, “Gamification in the work environment is really about how to make people’s jobs better and how to make people’s work life better.”
By incentivizing employees or adding fun features to products, gamification may boost any company’s bottom line.
According to Brian Burke, vice president of research at Gartner, “most attempts at gamification currently miss the mark,” yet effective and long-lasting gamification may turn customers into fans, make work enjoyable, and make learning a joy. There is a lot of room for growth.