Many people are intensely competitive in games, trying to outpace and outsmart their way to the top. Face it, we've been playing games since the days of the cavemen, and it's human nature to compare ourselves to others to see how we measure up.
Add technology to the mix, and today gaming has become a hugely popular and tremendously profitable industry, to the order of over $100 billion dollars globally this year.
The reality is:
- People enjoy playing games.
- Popular games inspire extreme loyalty.
- People are motivated by gaming reward and achievement systems.
- Therefore, if non-games are made more game-like, we’ll be more likely to "play" them.
The success of social networks and social gaming has demonstrated how behavioral psychology plays a factor in a successful user experience. Games have proven that people crave personal progress in building social connections and completing goals, especially in light of the fact that millions of people engage with these services without getting a dime in return.
Given this broad acceptance of gaming and the wide use of the internet, people have become more open to game mechanics in other parts of their lives. As a result, gamification is becoming a powerful tool through which organizations teach, persuade, and motivate people.
At its core, gamification is about finding the fun in the things that we have to do, in three major areas: internal (employee-facing), external (customer-facing), and social or community behavior change.
Internal gamification means that companies can use gamification to improve productivity within the organization in order to encourage innovation, enhance teamwork, or otherwise obtain positive business results through their own employees. The motivational dynamics of gamification must interact with the firm’s existing management and reward structures.
External gamification involves your customers or prospective clients, members, or donors. These applications are generally driven by marketing objectives. gamification here is a way to improve the relationships between businesses and customers, producing increased engagement, identification with the product, stronger loyalty, and ultimately higher revenues.
Social or community behavior-change gamification seeks to form beneficial new habits among a population. It can involve anything from encouraging people to make better health choices (such as eating healthier or exercising more), to redesigning the classroom to make kids learn more while actually enjoying school. Generally, these new habits produce desirable community outcomes: less obesity, lower medical costs, or a more effective educational system
The challenge of gamification, therefore, is to take the elements that normally operate within a game space and apply them effectively in the real world. And that is my driving mission and passion: to make business processes more compelling by making them more fun!
A gamification speaker and designer, Monica Cornetti is the world’s number-one Gamification Guru according to UK-based Leaderboarded. She’s the author of the book Totally Awesome Training: Put Gamification to Work for You, writes The Gamification Report blog, and hosts the weekly Gamification Talk Radio Program. Monica received her MA in economic development and entrepreneurship from the University of Houston – Victoria and her BA in psychology from Seton Hill University. Follow her on Twitter @MonicaCornetti.