What is Gamification?
Everyone is talking about it. What does it mean? Who is it for? And why do it?
Simply put, it’s the concept of applying game mechanics in learning, to engage and motivate ‘players’ to achieve their goals – and the value for the organisation and employee is very compelling indeed.
Who is it for?
Gamification of learning is for everyone from all walks of life, no matter their age, and all businesses regardless of size or sector. We are not just talking about on-line gaming here!
By 2020, 50% of the workforce will be made up of millennials or Generation Y who have been brought up online in the digital world and we must cater for their learning styles.
Where did Gamification come from?
Gamification has gained in popularity since it’s term was first introduced in 2003 by Nick Pelling, a British born computer programmer and inventor and by 2013 over 70% of Forbes Global 2000 surveyed said they planned to use gamification for the purpose of marketing and customer retention.
Gamification is simply a means of tapping into the psychology of gaming, if you can apply gamification to learning and development then you encourage people to ‘own’ their development, move outside of their comfort zone, share best practice, learn new skills and reinforce what they know.
Gaming for Learning and Development
You can use gaming to encourage learning and increase knowledge quickly and easily. By creating an environment that is competitive, but non-threatening, you tap into people’s natural desire for learning, competition and status. I certainly believe it is ‘now’ and relevant as more leaders look to leverage gamification strategy to help differentiate their sales, service teams and organisation from their competitors.
The games you have played
You have all played games whether it be Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Chess, competitive sports and games via your mobile devices and they all have one thing in common which keeps drawing you back with the desire to better your score, improve your technique, beat your friends, and earn more points. Repetitive play encourages you to adapt your style and technique, learn from your past mistakes and try a different tactics to overall improve your performance.
Gaming is rewarding
Making the rewards for accomplishing tasks visible to other players or providing leader boards are great ways of encouraging players to compete and it is this healthy competition that drives learning, often the participant is not consciously aware they are learning because they are having too much fun!
Fear of gaming
The hardest part about “selling” a learning game or gamification idea inside your organisation is often just getting the initial buy-in because we can all be skeptical and fear what we don’t know or fully understand. Perhaps you need to see yourself in the company of others who have successfully used gamification.
Examples and testimonials
eBay are HUGE gamification advocates.
Nintendo’s Wii Fit – bringing fun to exercise!
KMFM says - ”The Sales Activator game is so versatile and it’s a great way to add some spontaneous development to the sales day! Within 10 minutes you can have a re-energised team of people just by picking up a game card!”
Recruitment Genius says - “The Sales Activator Game gave everyone the opportunity to reflect on ‘best practice’, along with the confidence and skills to continue developing. The net outcome is a better net profit because we have a more effective sales team”
Neuroscientists are discovering more and more about the ways in which humans react to interactive design elements. They say such elements can cause feel-good chemical reactions, alter human responses to stimulii by increasing reaction times, for instance, in certain situations it can improve learning, participation, and motivation.
By Sophie Steel, If you have gaming on your mind and you would like to talk it through in more depth, then get in touch! Sales Activator are a leading performance improvement company and their product is all about gamification. Built on research and steeped in theory the gaming tools Sales Activator offer are transforming performance at businesses such as Microsoft, AXA and Parseq who have enjoyed at least 15% increase in their performance and their revenues, whilst not losing productivity. Read the full blog.