Alright bloggers, let’s discuss a topic that has been growing increasingly in the past year. The topic is called Gamification. Some of you may already know of it, but are more than likely a little blurry on the exact meaning, and then there are some who have never heard of it before (such as myself). It’s actually, however, a pretty interesting concept taken with actual reality and not in the sense of a game.
To begin, a brief definition of Gamification that many perceive it to be is: “The Use of game mechanics and dynamics to drive game like engagement in a non-game context.” Buzzer beep. Errr. Wrong. The idea of Gamification goes a little deeper than that. In a clearer definition by Dr. Michael Wu explains Gamification as, “the use of game attributes to drive game like player behavior in a non – game context.” He then breaks it down a little further by stating the 3 components in order for something that one engages in to be considered Gamified, they are: the use of game attributes, to drive game like player behavior and it has to be in a non game context . Non game meaning it would have to be something dealing with education, working and jobs, or better yet, health and fitness.
Gamification has become very popular within different companies, as well as online communities. One can almost think of gamification as a game (in a non-game context) that keeps people engaged continually, possibly by some form of reward. When Myspace used to be popular, people would continue to log on because of new friend requests, the “possible” comments on one’s pictures and on their Myspace. It was exciting to see what someone may have said. Now, Facebook has taken the lead as one of the most used online communities, and some of the ways they keep their users coming back is by being able to have someone “like” a post, or seeing how many shares one of the images posted can get.
When something is called gamified, essentially players don’t even know they are actually playing a game, hence “non game context.”
I think a good example of Gamification that I can apply to my life is to when I was enlisted in the US Navy. I had to go to work everyday (unless I requested a day off). If I was sick, I couldn’t just call out, I had to go on base and go to the bases medical center, than go to my job and give them a slip, and then go home (if they deemed it necessary). There were repercussions for not following rules or regulations. Had I not followed the rules of being in the Navy, I could have potentially damaged the rest of my career outside of the Navy in the long run. Had I not followed the rules of my job as a PR (Aircrew Survival Equipmentman), someone could have possibly been injured or lost their life, and I, and the people above me, would have been under investigation. Still, where there were negative aspects, there were also in a sense “rewards”. Doing my job correctly, packing a parachute well, maintaining a clean appearance – would get me noticed, get me days off, and get me letters of appreciation!
Do you kind of see where I’m going here? I just applied being enlisted in the Navy to the concept of Gamification.
Think about it.
There are some posts that I read that disagree with the idea, and some that completely bash on it, or think it’s just a fad. If you have time, check them out.