Gamification, What is it?
Gamification: essential concepts
Gamification is a business strategy that consists in applying design and game development techniques, in contexts of daily or work life, with the aim of improving the performance of those involved in this process.
Gamification uses the philosophy and mechanics of games in different scenarios, to promote alternative ways of solving problems. The fields of application of the gamification are several, among them, we have learning, data quality, return on investment, physical exercise, commitment, and punctuality. If we are guided by what we found from various studies about gamification, we can assert with a certain degree of precision that gamification is an effective procedure and that it fulfills its purposes.
Gamification has been used quite frequently in the business world, so we have that almost 70% of the companies surveyed in 2013, by Forbes Global 2000, claim to have planned the use of gamification for improvements in their areas of marketing and retention Of customers.
The gamification techniques are aimed at magnifying the natural desire of people and their tendency to compete, obtain achievements, status, identification, purpose, and altruism. A fundamental procedure within the gamification consists of rewarding the participants who complete a certain type of tasks, the prizes include accumulation of points, obtaining some type of credential, increase of a progress bar or granting the user some type of virtual currency.
Another key element of the gamification is the competition, this operates by making the prizes received for fulfilling certain tasks, are visible to other players and appear mentioned in a leaderboard, in such a way, that the players are encouraged to compete. Gamification can also take the approach of converting existing tasks, tasks that offer a resemblance of games, for this use some techniques such as: increase the challenge, add a narrative, start with a tutorial, etc.
The corporate giants are no strangers to the concept and benefits of gamification. Samsung, the Korean Goliath, when entering the social field, implemented a system of content generated by the user, which was rewarded for sharing with the community, participating in discussions of questions and answers with other users, watching videos, doing product reviews and similar activities. What did the users get? For these were awarded distinctions and levels of achievement. It is important to mention that Samsung already had hundreds of thousands of visits, so its main purpose was not to attract more people to its website, but to demonstrate the benefits of participating in a community of users, in which the review is encouraged of products and the creation of quality content.
Even, governmental entities and institutions are widely employing gamification, to achieve their objectives, for example the United States Army, which uses gamification to get new recruits and promote awareness about the American armed forces for this use, four portable units of “virtual military experience”, which they place in shopping malls and public events. Needless to mention, his success has been resounding.
The techniques employed by gamification are based on three pillars: mechanics, dynamics and game components.
The mechanics of the game
It is constituted by the set of rules and guidelines that ensure that an activity maintains a parallel with a given game, getting users involved by using a series of challenges that must be overcome. Among the most used game mechanics are the collection, points system, levels, comparisons and classifications, and feedback.
The dynamics of the game
It is referred to everything that exerts its influence on the perception of a person about the activity, the dynamics are chosen according to the goals outlined in advance, goals that can be; Progress, companionship, etc. they are basically the elements that make an activity seen as a playful experience by the user, and use the internal motivations that drive to continue playing.
Dentro de las dinámicas de juego más empleadas tenemos: el reconocimiento, la recompensa, la expresión-autoexpresión, el juego cooperativo, la competencia y el altruismo.
The components of the game
It is understood by this, to the concrete applications that indicate to the activity, according to the theory, these applications must satisfy some intrinsic necessity so that they wake up interest.
Gamification and the new business paradigm
Gamification is the process of taking something that already exists, for example, a business application, a corporate process, a website or an online community, and incorporating game mechanisms in such a way that motivates commitment, participation, and loyalty. Gamification uses the same techniques that game designers use to get players engaged, and they extrapolate these techniques to different experiences of the game, in real life, to motivate reactions that add value to the company.
The success of gamification today is such that it is transforming the current business paradigm by creating new ways of building relationships, generating long-term commitment, and encouraging the loyalty of both employees and customers. The secret of gamification, is that appeals to the desires and motivations that exist in all of us, to obtain achievements, rewards, feedback and acceptance, when these are used together with what is currently known about motivation and the extensive data generated by the interaction between users, the gamification becomes a tool of incredible power to create a strong loyalty.
When people hear about gamification, the first thing they imagine are games designed for business purposes, in reality, gamification has nothing to do with creating something new, which simply magnifies the effect of some basic experience, by applying techniques motivational, which are used by games to generate hobby. When we increase high-value relationships with our customers, partners or employees, we achieve more sales, better collaboration, greater loyalty, greater customer satisfaction and a better rate of return on investment.
The gamification takes as reference ten basic elements of the games, elements that have repeatedly proven to be motivational and generate hobby, using combinations of these elements to obtain the achievement of the objectives set. Let’s see some of these essential elements:
Transparency.-Consists of showing users, precisely where they are located in the relevant measurement scales, it is to show the progress in real time of both individuals and the team, for this purpose serve the leader tables.
Immediate feedback. – It is about encouraging users to persist or modify their activities, through immediate notifications, on the screen, text messages or email, as well as congratulate those who achieve a goal, encouraging them to move forward.
Goals. – It is necessary to show clearly which are the goals, the missions and the challenges which offer the user a motivation and purpose to interact, duly informing them all the possibilities and benefits of the experience.
Levels-The levels are indicators of sustainable and long-term achievements, are used to identify the status within a group or community and to unlock new additional challenges, activities, distinctive and finally awards.
Distinctive.-They are indicators of the fulfillment of a goal or the mastery of some skill, they are especially significant within a group that knows how to value them.
Competence.- It is necessary to encourage users to reach a goal, by comparing them with others, either individually or by teams, the competition is encouraged through leaderboards with time indicators, individual scores and scores per team.
Onboarding.- It represents an attractive and fun way to learn, video games train us on how to play, simply by playing. Users learn things by doing them, simple and basic missions are helpful for new users to feel encouraged, to master simple tasks, instead of being discouraged in front of a complex manual or a complicated interface.
Collaboration-Versa basically about achieving the objectives working as a team, the collaboration turns a group of users into a team that must specify complex tasks, this to encourage competition and promote the habit of sharing knowledge, the purpose is to make clear to the members, the importance that each of them has for the success of the team.
Points.-Its function is to show tangible and measurable evidence of achievements, are used to quantify achievements and establish status, points when accumulated, can be used to make virtual purchases or even obtain tangible benefits. The points are obviously earned through achievements in activities, sharing, contributing or generating something useful for the team.
Community.-The community, and the concept that it encompasses, is of the utmost importance since it gives meaning to the goals, distinctions, competences, and other elements, moreover, the fact of sharing the achievements of the participants, generates a positive atmosphere, optimistic and energetic within the community, by informing people, what others are doing and how they are doing, in this way they learn about the aforementioned goals, distinctions and competencies, to which they should aspire, and take as challenges.