« What Gamification Really Means, » – Guest Post from @GeorgeCohta

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Research firm Gartner projects that by 2014, 70% of 2,000 global organizations will depend on gamified applications for employee performance, health care, marketing, and training, and that 50% of corporate innovation will be gamified, with American corporations spending several billion dollars on it. Gamification is not just a game and it requires an understanding of psychology and motivation along with understanding the principals of excellent game design. Let me briefly introduce you to the concept.

Gamification is the process of using game mechanics and game thinking in non-game contexts

Have you ever heard the term « Gamification »? It is poised to hit the mainstream in a big way. Gamification is increasingly being used by business to influence customer behavior in order to solve their own problems, and its use is expected to grow tremendously over the next several years. Gamification is the process of using game mechanics and game thinking in non-game contexts to engage audiences and solve problems. Gamification leverages game design, loyalty program design and behavioral economics to create the optimal context for behavior change and successful outcomes.

The use of gamification is expected to grow tremendously over the next several years

One general argument to justify the rise of games in previously unrelated fields is that game designers have come up with a bunch of reliable magics and tools that keep players coming back to their products again and again. This can raise the level of engagement of consumers but also employees or other stakeholders by making traditionally boring tasks more fun and engaging.

As I already said in the introduction, Gartner projects that by 2014, 70% percent of 2,000 global organizations will depend on gamified applications, and that 50% of corporate innovation will be gamified. However, Gamification is not just a game and it requires an understanding of psychology and motivation along with understanding the principals of excellent game design. If you are interested in Gamification please see gamification guru Gabe Zichermann‘s clip on YouTube.

nike-plus-devicesA major example of gamification is Nike+ as you may know. Nike created the Nike Fuelband, which gamifies running. Users of the app receive a score depending on their specified goals. They can also measure their performance against other runners in the Nike+ community. All of these are expanding the experience of running and makes it feel more like a game.

Another one is Xerox, which is using game mechanics in a variety of ways, including management training. Within the company’s Stepping Up application, the user must apply learned skills in on-the-job activities called Quests. Quests often can be conducted with other gamers, driving social interaction. Through integration with Yammer, users’ progress is noted on the Yammer site, adding another level of social interaction.

Click to access connectedtoothbrush.com

Click to access connectedtoothbrush.com

P&G is also using game mechanics in their product. One of their brands, Oral-B has recently rolled out an innovative App, a breakthrough digital tool for brushing routines, as well as a Bluetooth-connected toothbrush that connects to this App. It keeps track of user’s brushing technique and progress through comprehensive stats, notifies users when it’s time to change their brush head, offers oral care tips as well as news and entertainment to make brushing time more enjoyable, smarter, not harder, all dental professional standards.

Just to tell you, eYeka creators were very involved with the Oral-B’s project, as the idea of the app originated in this contest on the crowdsourcing platform. I’m sure that their efforts make a contribution to keep P&G’s business growing.

Click on the image to access Oral-B case study

About George Cohta

George Cohta, President and CEO of iglobe Inc. is a Communication Designer, Social Media Concierge, Digital Curator, Gamification Evangelist, Generalist, and Associate of the incorporated association of data scientist in Japan. You can find his LinkedIn profile on http://www.linkedin.com/in/georgecohta
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