We often play games as a form of escapism from our everyday lives, however, what if our life was made up of several little games? For some, aspects of life such as work and education offer little entertainment value leading to a lack of motivation. Buzzwords are everywhere within business and marketing: infographics, long-form and short- form content, clickbait but not many have captured the imagination and attention of marketers and developers like gamification.
Gamification refers to the implementation of gaming elements within non-gaming environments through a set of activities and processes to solve problems. Simplified: Gamification is designed to be engaging. It is not necessarily about creating games but inserting fun components into existing materials and assets. This can be achieved through elements such as points systems, leaderboards and rewards.
I was first introduced to the concept of gamification through my masters degree. When tasked with listing the ways in which my life is gamified, I released how even the most mundane of tasks are made easier by game elements that provide a sense of a achievement. It shouldn't come as a surprise though. We, as humans, are driven by powerful emotions such as joy and curiosity; which gamification triggers.
To put gamification into perspective, meet Jamie!
Jamie is 32 and works in sales. This is Jamie’s Thursday:
8:02 am: On his commute to work, Jamie pops into his local Starbucks. He has earnt enough points in the coffee shop’s loyalty-system app to redeem a free a drink; the morning kick he needs for a long day at work
8:06 am: Whilst waiting for his coffee, Jamie receives a notification from Instagram. He has received 7 new likes on his post from the night before of his new trainers he has bought. They seem to be going down well!
10:22 am: Jamie receives a notification from Tinder. He is encouraged to swipe more and discover other single people in his area. The profiles are displayed like a deck of cards.
1:04 pm: During his lunch break, Jamie decides to take a quick Duolingo lesson to brush up on his Spanish for his upcoming holiday to Madrid at the weekend with his friends. He answers multiple choice questions and earns another badge within the 'phrases' category.
4:49 pm: Before leaving work, Jamie checks the leaderboard tracking sales among the team. He is currently in 3rd place for the monthly bonus. He becomes motivated to earn more sales tomorrow.
5:36 pm: On his way home from work, Jamie heads to Tesco to pick up some groceries. By using his Tesco Clubcard, Jamie is able to get cheaper prices on essentials and gain points for vouchers in the future.
6:16 pm: After Jamie has walked his dog around the local park, he receives a notification from his Fitbit: he has achieved his daily 10,000 step goal. He checks his app, he is beating his siblings in the step count leaderboard.