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Gamification in Video Games and Business
Using strategic thinking and incentives to win the game of life.
Explained on the most basic level, Gamification is the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game environments. The term non-game environment is often used to describe any human to human, or human to computer interactions that would not befit the definition of a recreational puzzle, a board or video game, or sports.
The term “Gamification” is said to have been coined in 2003 by Nick Pelling, a British computer programmer, and inventor who used the term when speaking of incentives offered in non-game environments including education, business, shopping in a supermarket, and dating.
Gamification is much more expansive than a way of thinking in a narrative context in which a gamified application can be embedded and contextualizes activities and characters in the game, and gives them meaning beyond the mere quest for points and achievements. A story can be communicated by a game’s complex storylines typical of contemporary role-playing video games (e.g., The Elder Scrolls Series), or simply by title (e.g., WarCraft). Narrative contexts can be oriented towards real, non-game contexts, or act as analogies of real-world settings. The latter can enrich boring, barely stimulating contexts, and consequently, inspire and motivate players particularly if the story is in line with their personal interests. As such, stories are also an important part in gamification applications; as they can alter the meaning of real-world activities by adding a narrative ‘overlay’, e.g., being hunted by zombies while jogging, or being protected by an angel-magician.
If you saw the movie or read the book– The Big Short, you could see the importance of gamification in finance, in this case, in real estate investing. In the affiliate marketing world, gamification in marketing and the application of algorithms has been key to success. Of course, there are philosophical musings about game theory and gamification, and then there is actionable gamification. They are clearly not the same. Of course, it is easier to teach these ideas to children than to adults. That is why, today we have gamification in learning, gamification apps, gamification in the classroom, and gamification tools like Kahoot. With these tools, the gamification of learning can make it easier for children to understand a concept and retain information related to what they have just learned.
Another approach to gamification is to make existing tasks feel more like games. Some techniques used in this approach include adding meaningful choices, onboarding with a tutorial, increasing challenge, and adding narrative. Game design elements are the basic building blocks of gamification applications and are often embedded in activities such as sports betting, fantasy sports, and other group-based social and competitive activities. Among these typical game design elements, are points, badges, leader-boards, performance graphs, meaningful stories, avatars, and teammates.
Gamification has been widely applied in marketing, especially in affiliate marketing; (please see the offers at the end of this page), something I am deeply involved in. Over 70% of Forbes Global 2000 companies surveyed back in 2013, said they planned to use gamification for the purposes of marketing and customer retention. For example, in November 2011, Australian broadcast and online media partnership Yahoo!, launched its Fango mobile app/SAP, which TV viewers use to interact with shows via techniques like check-ins and badges. Gamification has also been used in customer loyalty programs. In 2010, Starbucks gave custom Foursquare badges to people who checked in at multiple locations and offered discounts to people who checked in most frequently at an individual store. Gamification also has been used as a tool for customer engagement, and for encouraging desirable website usage behavior, which has been invaluable for affiliate marketers. Additionally, gamification is applicable to increasing engagement on sites built on social network services. On the programming question-and-answer site Stack Overflow, users receive points and/or badges for performing a variety of actions, including spreading links to questions and answers via Facebook and Twitter. A large number of different badges are available, and when a user’s reputation points exceed various thresholds, the user gains additional privileges, eventually including moderator privileges.
Gamification can be used for ideation (structured brainstorming to produce new ideas). A study at MIT Sloan found that ideation games helped participants generate more and better ideas, and compared it to gauging the influence of academic papers by the numbers of citations received in subsequent research.
Gamification commonly employs game design elements to improve user engagement, organizational productivity, flow, learning, crowdsourcing, employee recruitment and evaluation, ease of use, the usefulness of systems, physical exercise, bodystorming, traffic violations, voter apathy, and more. A collection of research on gamification shows that a majority of studies on gamification find it has positive effects on individuals. However, individual and contextual differences exist.
It is increasingly more difficult to attain business success without applying gamification incentives. What seems reasonable now will likely be useless to you in rapidly changing markets. A more profound way of thinking is required to succeed here. Gamification can meet the needs of many employees, that need more than a paycheck and a two-week vacation.
Author: Lewis Harrison is a practical philosopher, best-selling author, and successful businessman.
“I am the former host of a talk radio show on an NPR affiliated station in NY. I have a bottomless passion for the application of game theory in decision-making, problem-solving, and personal development. My game theory/business website is AskLewisGameTheory.com.
“I am always exploring trends, areas of interest, and solutions to build new stories upon. Again, if you have any ideas you would like me to write about just email me at LewisCoaches@gmail.com”.
Ask Lewis About Game Theory
What is this Q & A series about? There are some things within strategic thinking and gamer psychology you really do…
Here is a 15-minute video interview I did explaining the very basics of HAGT (Harrison’s Applied Game Theory). Learn more about game theory at AskLewisGameTheory.com
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