Gamification

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1 Introduction

Gabe Zichermann and Christopher Cunningham (2011) define gamification as “The use of game thinking and game mechanics to engage users and solve problems.”

The Gamification encyclopedia defines gamification as “the concept that you can apply the basic elements that make games fun and engaging to things that typically aren't considered a game. In theory you can apply Game Design to almost anything including Education, Health, Work and more. [...] Gamification at it's core is about fun, rewards and social connections. It has the opportunity to connect people in ways never seen before.”(retrieved 11:27, 15 June 2011 (CEST))

Gamification is a recent trend in marketing and user experience design. It raises interesting questions and brings together principles that already have been used in the past under labels such as fun, serious play and user engagement. As all trends it may promise more than it can deliver - Daniel K. Schneider 11:27, 15 June 2011 (CEST).

2 Gamification techniques

Wikipedia lists the following popular gamification techniques:

  1. achievement "badges"
  2. achievement levels
  3. "leader boards"
  4. a progress bar or other visual meter to indicate how close people are to completing a task a company is trying to encourage, such as completing a social networking profile or earning a frequent shopper loyalty award.
  5. virtual currency
  6. systems for awarding, redeeming, trading, gifting, and otherwise exchanging points
  7. challenges between users
  8. embedding small casual games within other activities.[


This list probably reflects what some marketing and user experience would want to do with their online website. We wonder, how well most users will accept that kind of gamification. Anything that is a waste of time, a distraction and competition (when there is inherently none) may not well received by some people. We expect people to become gamification hostile once it can be found everywhere.

However, gamification may be beneficial, including in the context of education, but it must be implemented with care. The core idea, i.e. that many activities should be more fun, remains valid in our opinion. What kind of fun would be both beneficial to the user experience and the "transformation goals" is a more difficult problem to solve

Although gamification does relate to serious gaming, we believe that serious gaming is different since it rather goes the other way round, i.e. design games for serious purposes.

3 Gamification in Marketing

Gamification has several applications in the domain of marketing. Certain companies are applying gamification techniques to engage customers and reward them in return. Brands find this a very useful platform as many people like playing games. Noise Street is one of the company who is adopting Gamification to provide a platform for brands to connect with customers. They use interactive games to allow brands to engage with their customers and reward them in returns. This form of gamification in marketing is seen very beneficial as every consumer has their phone on themselves which they use to play games.

4 Links

software
  • Gamify a gamification platform. From a quick look at it it seems that it will allow to hand out points, achievements, levels, coupons and other virtual artifacts to users that participate.
Manuals, introductions and similar
Presentations (slides and videos)
other

5 Bibliography

  • Cronk, M. (2012). Using Gamification to Increase Student Engagement and Participation in Class Discussion. In T. Amiel & B. Wilson (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2012 (pp. 311-315). Chesapeake, VA: AACE. http://www.editlib.org/p/40762
  • Zichermann, Gabe and Christopher Cunningham (2011). Gamification by Design, O'Reilly. Early release version. ISBN 1303155502