Photo Credit: Jackie Tran
Having had the liberty of attending a lecture by Jane McGonigal, I had already been introduced to certain attributes of Gamification. She touched on why games make us better people, and how they can in fact change the world. Needless to say, I quickly developed an understanding of why we need to make time to play in our busy lives.
Gamification itself is a fairly new concept that is growing at an exponential rate. It’s not all Goombas and Projectiles like some of you may think. In fact, it’s a sophisticated psychological take on how we interact with the world around us.
It’s a well-thought-out combination of Game Elements, Techniques and Designs that are strategically placed in non-game applications and processes. The end result is a more engaging and effective learning experience. You also get points. People like points.
There are, in fact 3 categories to Gamification: External (marketing, sales, customer engagement), Internal (Productivity, Crowdsourcing), and my personal favourite, Behavioural Change (health and wellness, sustainability, and personal finance).
Back in 2010, Volkswagen held a Competition (note the External Game Element in a Marketing setting) called The Fun Theory. The purpose was to come up with something “fun” that would make a positive change. The winner, Kevin Richardson, developed the Speed Camera Lottery to make a positive change in traffic safety. His idea was so good, that Volkswagen, together with The Swedish National Society for Road Safety, actually made this innovative idea a reality in Stockholm, Sweden. During a 3-day period, the overall driving speed dropped by 22%.
Both Volkswagen and Kevin used various Game-like Elements to engage people, getting them to make a positive change in their behaviour, which in turn mades the roads safer for everyone.
Whether you call it Gamification or Fun Theory, in the end its all about positive change. And of course, the points.
Have any of you seen traces of Gamification within your community? Leave a comment for 50 bonus points!