Gamification: a bold frontier

Gamification is the use of game mechanics or game-like features to enhance the way a user interacts with a product, service, action or event. However ladies and gentleman (drum roll please)….. gamification is not a new concept.

Remember when you were a kid, how your parents would ask you to do some boring household chore and the only way to get through it was to make it into a game? You competed against a sibling to see who could get through it the fastest or pitted yourself against the clock.

The corporate world often employs the spirit of competition to boost employee productivity. Sales boards are just like leader boards: who has achieved the most sales in the area, state, or country? As customers we are enticed to exercise brand loyalty through membership cards and rewards programs which work on a points-based system. Frequent airline miles encourage you to keep up those status points and rewards you with free upgrades, discounted miles or more points. Even my local supermarket provides promotional stamps when you spend a minimum amount. The promotion even has an in-built difficulty curve!

These methods have been employed and been successful not just because they offer a way to increase sales or productivity but because they introduce an element of fun (albeit a very basic version of it). User interaction becomes more meaningful and the quality of engagement is enhanced.

Once you start looking at the world through new lenses – gamification lenses – it’s possible to see the whole world as an opportunity to have more fun, taking the boredom and difficulty out of certain tasks and making them more appealing. Gamification: a happy consulting approach.

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