“That’s not a gamification. This is a gamification!” – Crocodile Dundee probably
I have beef. There is a misconception about gamification. The go-to mechanics always seem to be badges, points and a leaderboard which is fine but that’s not what gamification is. Don’t get me wrong, in some cases badges work. In some cases points work. But if I’m not mistaken working towards points and badges seems to be like working for extrinsic rewards. This can defeat the whole purpose of what gamification is about.
Create an immersive experience
Game mechanics should be put into place to create an immersive experience. The old saying “time flies when you’re having fun”, is the heart and soul of what gamification tries to do. When playing a video game your eyes are glued to the screen as you navigate worlds, solve puzzles and defeat monstrous creatures. That is the magic of games. That is the superpower that gamification possess. That whole eyes glued to the screen for what you think is an hour and it turns out to be five hours and you emerge from your basement hungry, pale and dishevelled… Ok maybe that’s just me once in a while but you get the point.
Utilise game mechanics to create immersive experiences. Utilize that immersive experience to create intrinsic motivation. Utilize intrinsic motivation to bring about job satisfaction, productivity, organizational citizenship behaviour or whatever other behaviour you would like to see from your employees or even people in your household.
Delivery of content over rewards
Gamification has become a hot topic in education. People talk about it as the future of the education industry. But again I see a lot of talk about badges, points and a leaderboard. When it comes to education there is already a point system in place. It’s called grades. You literally get points for the work you do. The reason gamification is creeping into the education industry like an invasive species is because points are clearly not enough. This is because people don’t understanding that the real issue is how content is delivered rather than rewards.
I passed Grade 11 history because I played Assassin’s Creed 2. I passed elementary school math class because I played Math Circus. I failed my basic accounting class because there was a huge disconnect between what I as a student thought was “important” and what the teacher wanted us to know. The next semester I passed calculus which was much more difficult than accounting. Even now in my information systems class we play “jeopardy” where we pick categories and answer questions and one side of the room competes against the other side of the room. It is all about how content is delivered.
Bingo was gamification’s name-o
In one case I was having trouble managing some employees at work. They viewed customers as work and obstacles. I needed to change this behaviour and I needed to change their perception of what customers were to the business. The fact is we wouldn’t have job if we didn’t have customers. So I created a BINGO game.
I chose BINGO because the mechanics and rules were simple enough that it was second nature to the employees. They wouldn’t be spending more than a minute figuring out how to play. Employees were given blank cards and were allowed to write down customer-centric objectives. This created autonomy for the employees who were in control of their own game and could strategize. What they filled the cards out with included “make a customer smile”, or “go out of my way to help a customer”. Some employees would put down other objectives such as sweep the floor or wash all cashes. This was fine but we tried to keep is customer related. Once the card was completed they could submit the card for a draw. Each month we selected two winners of a $10 gift card.
Yes we included an extrinsic reward. But what happened wasn’t about competition or money. Employees were now excited to help out customers and were excited to see who they could serve next and what they could mark off of their sheet. The conversations in the break room went from dislike of the business to about the game, what was on each other’s cards and funny stories about the game.
That is what gamification is really about.
Utilizing game mechanics to create immersive experience which leads to intrinsic motivation.
Check back soon as we’re working on a post about how marketing and gamification go together better than peanut butter and jelly or Batman and Robin. Check our Facebook page as we host daily discussions about gamification. We’re also on Instagram and Twitter @GameSavvy where you can chat with us all day about whatever you’d like.