I am a gamer. It helps me relax, zone out, and it’s even social. There’s nothing better than going out on an adventure while catching up with friends on Skype. I took a break from playing computer games in high school and have only come back to it this year, and my how things have changed. Individual games have their own economies, where people are spending real American dollars on digital items that they will never hold with their own two hands! Items in the game Counterstrike ( a favourite of mine) can sell for as high as $400 and up on the Steam market place. Cases can also be opened in game, with the chance to receive one of these coveted items, with the key costing around $2,49. Games themselves have become gamified!
Gamification is the application of typical elements of game playing (such as point scoring, competition with others, rules of play, achievements) to other “non gaming” activities.
Gamification can be used in marketing to make the purchase process pleasurable for the customer, providing a sense of fun. One current campaign that is doing extremely well at this is the Pick n Pay Stickeez promotion. There is even an app where you can fling your favourite Stickee through a maze. This definitely adds the fun element, as well as the achievement element, with the goal being to collect all 24.
Processes can also be gamified. One idea I have is to gamify the web design process with my clients. Treating each project as a ‘quest’ so to speak. It makes perfect sense really, as there are a lot of parallels between a quest and a project. Both have an end goal, and both have multiple ways to get there. Different phases in the project can be seen as game levels, and progress reports to be delivered to the client can feature game design elements, such as a progress bar reflecting the project progress. Achievement badges are also an awesome way of visually showing progress.
Gamification, in addition to being a powerful marketing tool, has the potential to make repetitive tasks interesting and fun both for you and your customers. If you have any interesting ideas for implementing gamification I’d love to hear them!