Gamification in a nutshell
Gamification, as the definition, “the process of applying game mechanics and game thinking to the real world to solve problem and engage users” (Kyle Felker 2014, p.20) has increasingly grown into technology mainstream that influence and affect multi-million users around the globe. Essentially, gamification serves as an agent in the midst of various industries that allows organizations to gain valuable insights into customers, consumer behaviors and activities (Jitendra Maan 2013, p.9). Organizations are therefore utilizing the collected data to determine the correlations between user interactions and business strategy that will be able to help them to further identify the business challenges or needs for improvements.
Gamification as an emerging trend that can be applied in a wide range of domains, this essay will support the positive statement by Gabe Zichermann 2012 “Gamification presents the best tools humanity has ever invented to create and sustain engagement in people” to demonstrate that gamification can be used as an engaging tool in different settings to communicate with people effectively.
Gamification in Education and Libraries
Libraries and educational institutions generally provide a positive platform for gamification with the purpose of improving students’ competencies and interests than conventional classroom settings. (Bohyun Kim 2015, p.22) For instance, Purdue University in the USA created its own digital engagement platform called” Studio by Purdue” to boost students’ online engagement by providing a series of products such as Passport, Maxible, Pattern, etc. Taking the most likable “Passport” as an example, learners can obtain digital badges to demonstrate their competencies and achievements and share via other social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn. It also allows students to translate achievements into a numeric-based grading with their submitted essays, online assessments, quiz that accomplish through “Passport”. On the other hand, “gamification in libraries can play both an educational and a semi-business role” according to Understanding Gmification by Bohyun Kim, it states that libraries have semi-business functions and responsibilities such as marketing library services, promoting library programs and attracting physical traffic into library resources. Libraries have to justify how well they operate their public services by proving the numbers of attendees who participated in library programs or events, the usage of library resources, etc. Hence, Some serious games have been created to give attendees much stronger roles to perform in the themes, such as New York Public Library’s all time popular game “Find the Future”.
Gamification in Business and Marketing
In parallel with the improvement of digital marketing, gamification is the best digital tool for customers to stay tuned in digital space and earn and exchange “Digital Currency”. The largest online travel agency Expedia.com has launched a spectacular game called “ Around the World in 100 Days” aims to engage with more customers and build up the reputation for its loyalty program. Players can earn real world “Expedia Reward Points” by playing the game and redeeming the booking points as return. Plays are also able to establish their own online avatars in this game to provide further information around their travel preferences and options, in reality, players will receive tailored travel offers or recommendation package based on their online setting. Millennials in this technology era are heavy users of mobile applications; they will buy into the newest business concepts that gamification providers may offer and gradually become major consumers.
Gamification in Innovation
Gamification may result in greater engagement into human activities, and it is possible that an individual may gain additional knowledge in other domains to develop their capacity of creativity (Marius Kalinauskas 2014, p.73) Human engagement in gamification foster problem solving skills in a number of different ways, the innovative ways of thinking to provide solutions may lead to fresh and superior ideas to address the issues. The fast food giant McDonalds had applied gamification methodology long before the term has been derived, McDonalds has truly manifested that gamification did work well across-sectors by innovation. Dating back to 1980s, Mcdonalds based on classic Monoply to develope a virtual game to encourage customers collect stickers of Monopoly streets by buying a product and collect the same color to redeem price, as a result, this gamified restaurant experience increased its sales in 5.6%. To keep this momentum going, Mcdonalds recently roll out more digital games to attract more customers to get free food around certain areas and deliberately promote some restaurants with the help of mobile Apps and gamification.
Gamification has exhibited marvelous growth and advancement in human history, moving forward, gamification will play a central role to drive mobile-oriented environment, in the meanwhile to realize organizational strategy by heavily engaging with end-users. Gabe Zichermann precisely reinforced the crucial position that gamification being placed in this digital age, personally I don’t have sufficient experience in video games and mobile games but I truly witnessed the changes that gamification have transformed people’s daily life, by the use of E-voucher, token, points, badges, we are not entirely rely on physical objects to perform some activities, consequently, online intangible objects can partially take over the traditional means of activities and it all thanks to the development of technology. Gamification will ultimately go hand in hand with emerging technologies to provide more benefits and surprises to human beings.
Bohyun Kim (2015) Gamification in Education and Libraries. Understand Gamification, p.20-28
Charles F. Hofacker, Ko de Ruyter, Nicholas H. Lurie & Puneet Manchanda & Jeff Donaldson(2016) Gamification and Mobile Marketing Effectiveness. Journal of Interactive Marketing, p.25-36
Jitendra Mann (2013) Social Business Transformation through Gamification. LJMIT, Vol 5, p 9-16
Nika Mahnic (2014) Gamification of Politics: Start a new game. Teorija in Praksa, p.143-190
Felker Kyle (2014) Gamification in Libraries: The state of the art. Accidental Technologist, Vol.54, p.19-23
Marius, Kalinauskas (2014) Gamification in Fostering Creativity. Social Technologies, p.62-75
Gaming and Gamification in Tourism, Retrieved from https://thinkdigital.travel/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Gamification-in-Tourism-Best-Practice.pdf
Expedia Launches Travel Game to Push Rewards Program, Retrieved from https://www.clickz.com/expedia-launches-travel-game-to-push-rewards-program/40085/
Purdue University Passport, Retrieved from http://www.itap.purdue.edu/studio/passport/
NYPL Find the Future, Retrieved from http://exhibitions.nypl.org/100/digital_fun/play_the_game