GAME… GAMI.. GAMIFICATION… WHAT??

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“Xyz Company used Gamification to enhance their online retail”

Although this sentence is in simple English but still it may have caught most of us off foot, reason being use of the word – “Gamification” here.

What is Gamification? Is it adding games to your website? Or is it to sponsor some gaming event?

I too thought of such questions when I heard of the word “Gamification” for the first time.

This mysterious term caught my attention few years back when I was exploring Nike plus (an initiative by Nike which aimed at the fitness of its user). While exploring the website I got so engaged in it that it didn’t seem like any mundane exercise of analyzing web pages randomly. It was altogether a difference experience, thanks to the tasks, points and performance measurement elements. I got so much fascinated with this engagement experience that I started looking at other websites which engaged me in a similar way. I started reading out articles, books and blogs in order to identify what this thing is and how exactly it works. As a food to my curiosity I joined the course related to Gamification, recently.

So the intention of writing this article is to share my knowledge on Gamification with all of you and in return I would hope to gain some knowledge from your perspective about this concept also.

Most of us have heard of the term “Gamification” as one can often find it in articles, blogs, news etc but generally we do not understand what it exactly means. In fact almost all of us have experienced it either in form of some rewards or discounts or games or titles etc but still none of us is sure about how it works. Therefore I thought to explain this concept of Gamification by showcasing its examples from real world and highlighting their ways of working.

What exactly” is” Gamification?

There are numerous definitions given by varied scholars but it does not matter that which one you follows as they all have same basic meaning to Gamification. And the definition which works for me is –

Gamification is the use of game attributes to drive a game-like player behavior in a non-game context.

This definition has three components:

“The use of game attributes,” which includes game mechanics/dynamics, game design principles, gaming psychology, player journey, game play scripts and storytelling, and/or any other aspects of games

“To drive a game-like player behavior,” such as engagement, interaction, addiction, competition, collaboration, awareness, learning, and/or any other observed player behavior during game play

“In a non-game context,” this can be anything other than a game (e.g. education, work, health and fitness, community participation, civic engagement, volunteerism, etc)

So Basically Gamification is about influencing the behavior. At its roots are simple psychological constructs of ability, motivation and triggering.

Ability” reflects the individual’s skill, time, attention and mental capacity to perform a task.

Motivation” describes the desire to engage – personal interests, perceived value of potential outcomes and their willingness to participate.

 A “trigger” is something to prompt the targeted behavior

Therefore organizations are making big bets to take advantages of this transformation which has been leveraged by Gamification.

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