When I first heard the term gamification, I thought it was some sort of a catchy way to describe the dull practice of adding a game on your website or facebook fan page to increase engagement. I guess I was not alone on that thinking as I have indeed see many brands trying to add some sort of engaging and entertaining features on their digital assets by simply putting a game on it.
On its very best form this was a game that (at least) was quite relevant to the brand, so for example if you were a restaurant you may had a restaurant simulation game there. Sometimes it was an irrelevant one, however still fun and engaging. The worst case scenario was when brands were trying to be abnoxiously creative coming up with ideals like; a Battle Star Gallactica game where the fighting spaceship were throwing that brand’s soups to each other (!)
I have before written about the fun theory and how being fun even in business can be really impactful, however I feel really lucky I was recently immersed properly on this concept of gamification by one of its best thought-leaders, Gabe Zichermann. Gabe talked about how games and game mechanics can help changing people’s behaviour in an engaging and entertaining way, making clear that gamification is not about gamifying an activity or process for the shake of it but using some game thinking in order to educate the user to change a bevaviour towards an intended vision.
Ironically enough one of the great examples the Gabe used to bring this concept to life was indeed one of the fun theory competition nominees; the Speed Camera Lottery. Watch this video and you will immediately understand yourself what gamification is all about; the right way!