The Power of Gamification

“Gamification is the concept of applying game-design thinking to non-game applications to make them more fun and engaging.”

Gamification is becoming one of the most important trends in technology, according to some experts. The implementation of game mechanics converts users into players in which they become more engaged in doing their tasks.

According to a 2011 Gartner Research Report, it is estimated that by 2015, more than 50 percent of organizations that manage innovation processes will gamify those processes.

The trend and rapid growth, productivity boost and money making, and all other benefits and advantages attributed to gamification might be true, but I personally believe that all these attributes are not essentially the most important point of gamification.

Al Gore said that “Games are the new normal” at the 2011 Games for Change Festival.

Now,  I would like to take another point of view on this matter by saying “Games are always normal. In fact, we are all playing this magnificently designed, complex game, called Life.”

We are all players since the day we were born. Since our early childhood, we learnt certain ways in which we can fulfill our wishes and reach goals. Crying baby craving for food is one of the earliest example about how we learn the way the world works. As we grow older, we gain more and more knowledge about all these rules, add some extra abilities as players, gaining scores, working through penalties, and someday, maybe, finally get to the end game.

Each and everything around us work on some rules directing us toward an end/goal (or so do we believe); but sometimes these rules are too subtle and abstract that we see nothing and just play along unconsciously. What gamification do, is clarifying these rules and goals in a simple way that the users/players are attracted instantly. By using real rewards, badges, points, achievements and all the other elements of game, we create an engagement that is so strong, people start playing with full awareness, and in the end achieve better results.

This is the beauty of gamification. Some people are in need to be engaged, those who do their activity based on habits and routines should achieve better results when they realize all the real useful benefits (and profits) of their activities, and so they level up in a real way. Gamification is a tool, a facilitator,it should be perceived as a trigger to awareness. Instead of just using it as a bait to gain more income, creating competitiveness, or even worse, as a string to control people; gamification is so powerful that we must use it carefully to direct people into achieving full awareness and higher values.

Who knows, maybe someday, when all the values have been fulfilled, we will play the game of life expecting no reward whatsoever but happiness.

Rio Fredericco | @riocino


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