Gamification: What, Where and How
Gamification has been the buzz word in technology for a while and is now steadily gaining popularity in India. It is the introduction of gaming elements and mechanics in real life, non-virtual situations ranging from sectors as varied as education to corporate to medicine. The reason for this increase is the numerous benefits it has on an audience, extending from motivation of an individual to perform a certain task in exchange of a prize that comes in the form of badges or points on a leaderboard; to increasing employee efficiency by tapping into intrinsic human need for challenges in a real-life situation.
Though gamification is still in the embryonic stages, there are some companies, specially start- ups that have recognised the benefit of using this cost-effective marketing strategy to increase productivity. Some of the first instances of gamification was the use of it during HR ice-breaking and induction programs in various companies like MakeMyTrip.com and ISB. Through this simple gaming strategy, the companies could help the target audience socialise with each other or get acquainted with the company’s culture.
Researchers have narrowed down on the reason that gamification should be utilized extensively in the coming years. This is because it works on the principle of human behaviour that deals with goal-setting, advancement and competition. Furthermore, entrepreneurs can use this in a subtle way as well. Let’s look at the example of social networking sites like Facebook or LinkedIn. They offer a progression taskbar that denotes the percentage of your profile that is complete, and further tasks to finish to achieve a 100% completed profile. Another good example of gamification is in the use of educational videos seen in many institutions like the Khan Academy. The learners are motivated by instant feedback in various quizzes that test their knowledge. This is a fun and non-judgemental way of learning something, giving the user a chance to simply ‘Replay’ a module that they failed at. Imagine if our present education system had this incentive!
All in all, gamification is an interesting technique that needs to be further explored by companies to achieve success in customer satisfaction and engagement. The mantra of the future truly is — ‘Game On’.