Predictions for 2011 – 2. Gamification of Everything

Yesterday I posted my first prediction for big technology trends for 2o11 – home entertainment embracing the 2nd screen. Today’s trend is …

2. Gamification of everything

I was first introduced to the concept of Gamification back in Nov by Alicia Dudek at one of the Girl Geek Dinners. In brief, gamification is the use of gaming priniciples for everyday life. 4square is often mentioned as an example, as well as Farmville/FrontierVille/CityVille. While the ‘theory’ behind gamification is drawn from the recent invention of video games, it can be applied to a number of seemingly unrelated fields such as marketing and web app design. Not convinced? Just look at loyalty schemes where consumers are rewarded points by purchasing from the same vendor. It is one of the most prevalent and widely accepted mechanisms which uses gaming priniciples.

I’m just starting to learn more about gamification and the design principles the movement advocates. At the core of it, is a points system that drives everything. People get points for doing things or sharing things. But because it isn’t that isn’t for people to share with other people the points they have, they have badges as proxies to show others how many points they have. Just like cash in real life, you probably wouldn’t tell people what your bank balance is (read:points), but people can infer it from the car that you drive, the area that you live in, the clothes that you wear (read:badges).

The first Gamification summit is being held in San Fran on 21st Jan and there are interesting startups such as bunchball which provide the backend to the gaming side of thing. I’m completely intrigued by the ideas: I listened to my first Gamification seminar tonight and am in the process of writing a ‘fitness’ game. Gamification will get big. Real big.

Tune in tomorrow for the next instalment: The Rise of Multi-user, Multi-device Applications

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One thought on “Predictions for 2011 – 2. Gamification of Everything

  1. My favourite part of Gamification is that it can encourage behaviours people otherwise wouldn’t adopt. In a computer game this could mean giving your health kit away to a team mate. In the workplace it could be creating an internal training course, or mentoring a new start.

    I tried to pitch Gamification to two CTOs in my company this year. Unfortunately I couldn’t make the case that it would improve revenue in any large way. They were also worried about morale and if it would mean people don’t stick to their core job if they’d accumulated enough points for another endeavour.

    There was a generational issue with the responses we received while pitching the idea to others. Overcoming this I believe is the key to properly selling the idea of Gamification .

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