Gamification. The word is working its way into everyday speech. From businesses helping new employees to corporations trying to build an audience, gamification is a rewarding and effective way to engage. Gamification is the use of game mechanics, such as points and badges, in software that itself isn’t actually a game. The appeal to gamify is spreading rapidly across all fields. Studies suggest that gamification increases user engagement and thus productivity. Studies have also shown that people are more likely to participate in an activity involving gaming elements.
A successful gamification project is Nike +. Nike provides a platform for people to upload all their workout information, like miles, times and major milestones. It’s not just a place to record all your own information, it’s also a hub for connecting with other users. Nike + is different than many gamification outlets. There is a two fold reward system. Firstly, there is the personal feeling of accomplishment after all, you have a personal record of all your accomplishments. There is another element as well, NikeFuel. It adds up all your work out activities together as a score. With this you can compete or collaborate with friends and other users. Other companies, like Zamzee, have incorporated gamification into physical health. Not only do their video games make exercise fun, they also add gaming elements of storytelling, competition and points. These have taken the “work” out of “work out” and added gaming.
The Citizen Sort project incorporates a type of gamification. In some cases, we have taken a step further and taken citizen science, that doesn’t usually involve gaming and designed a real engaging video game. Happy Match! and Hunt & Gather are more gamification tools. They incorporate gaming elements, although by themselves the two are more tool-like than game-like. For example, in Happy Match! you will receive a score at the end of each round. Your score and time will be recorded on your own personal dashboard. You can easily see how you’ve improved your citizen science skills over time. Forgotten Island is less of a gamification tool and more of a real video game. A deep story line and rewards for classifying images are vital gamification elements. However, Forgotten Island isn’t just about points or money. You will have other missions like defeating an evil robot and exploring the highs and lows of this mysterious isle. You can also take a breather while gardening on your own floating gardens.