There’s gamification (Wikipedia) in more areas than just marketing and apps. The concept has been successfully introduced into health care, education and business. Many don’t even realise that the way they live their lives or build their careers is driven by the same attitude gamers have towards actual games. I’ve already touched on this subject in a previous post: All good gameplay is hard work.
We generally associate gaming with fun. But for it to be fun, certain triggers need to be present. For people to continue playing, there needs to be something that pulls them in. A lot of psychological, behavioral research goes into creating games. So we might need to ask ourselves if there’s really such a thing as gamification. What drives a person to play a game, isn’t exclusive to games.
There are examples of “gamification” where goals or obstacles are being approached with concerted efforts, everyone bound by the same rules and recognising the same feedback system, that are quite impressive and easy to explain. They can show the broader aspects of what gamification can be. The biggest example: Wikipedia. (The second biggest wiki in the world: WoWwiki.com.)
Gamification = hype? Yes. In marketing and ads. But there’s much more we can do with the knowledge built up by continually creating more exciting, more compelling and more challenging games. Alternate reality games (ARG) have the potential to address obstacles in our everyday lives. From doing chores to helping some kid in a developing country.
It’s serious work put into entertainment put into life.
(I tried to keep it short for now. Might cover the subject more in the future.)