Game mechanics and social behaviour mapping

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Gamification is the use of psychology and game mechanics to drive a specific set of desired behaviours within a target audience.

The purpose of gamification usage within non-game environment are:


  • Attract and Engage users: Users actively participate the process and become part of the process.
  • Entertainment: Users experience playful environment and do not see process as an obligation but as a source of satisfaction.
  • Loyalty: Users are motivated to participate regularly in the process.

The use of gamification concept in social behaviour transformation is ideal because it facilitate the processes that did not achieve their goals in past. Use of game mechanics in social behaviour mapping is essential. Particularly in learning environment, education given through visual representation using game elements will have long lasting impact on the learner. The learner can recall the knowledge how to respond in the particular situation when he or she encounter the similar situation in future.

Forecast of usage of gamification in future

1. Although the term “gamification” was coined by Nick Pelling back in 2002, it didn’t gain popularity till 2010 (Marczewski)

2. More than 70% of the world’s largest 2,000 companies are expected to have deployed at least one gamified application by year-end 2014 (Gartner)

3. The overall market for gamification tools, services, and applications is projected to be $5.5 billion by 2018 (M2 Research)

4. Consumer-driven gamification commanded more than 90% market share in 2011 (M2 Research)

5. Vendors claim that gamification can lead to a 100% to 150% pickup in engagement metrics including unique views, page views, community activities, and time on site (M2 Research)

6. Over 2/3rds of employers consider gamification an effective strategy for encouraging their employees to improve their health (Buck Consultants)

7. More than 30% of employers intend to adopt a minimum of one health-focused gamified strategy in the next year (BI Worldwide)

8. 47% of vendors say their clients are looking to increase user engagement in their gamification applications (BI Worldwide)

9. 80% of current gamified enterprise applications will fail to meet their objectives, due largely to poor design (Gartner)

10. The enterprise industry vertical already accounts for 1/4th of all gamification vendor revenues (M2 Research)

11. 63% of American adults agree that making everyday activities more like a game would make them more fun and rewarding (JW Intelligence)

12. 51% of American adults agree that if a layer of competition were added to everyday activities, they’d be more likely to keep closer watch of their behavior in those areas (JW Intelligence)

APQC, a nonprofit that advances best practices and benchmarking for organizations in all industries, produced a report called Gamification in Knowledge Management: How It Works and What Your Organization Should Know. It focused on game initiatives launched by companies such as Intel and Accenture—such as creating an app where employees can win something by doing what you want them to do, like bring in new customers, increase sales or cut costs.

Best Practices

The best practices culled from APQC’s report are:

1. Choose the behaviours you want to encourage. Accenture found that game-based motivation inspired more microblogging, collaboration and document sharing.

2. Start slowly so that you can figure out what works and what doesn’t. Then you can expand efforts based upon proven practices.

3. Strategy comes first, and it should determine what technology you need. Don’t let tech drive the strategy.

4. Don’t overcomplicate the game; otherwise people will drop out. If you have to explain it in any kind of depth, it’s too complicated.

5. It’s a game so make it, you know…entertaining. Include game experience essentials such as a compelling narrative, strong aesthetics and fun. Be sure to incorporate different accomplishment levels, too.

6. Make sure that player can always view real-time results, such as total points, badges earned, and levels achieved. Keep these results on display to help maintain engagement.

7. Make winning worthwhile by offering great prizes. Cool gadgets are always nice, but your player might also appreciate something which is essential in day to day life.

8. Timing matters.  Don’t let the game drag on too long, otherwise the folks who trail behind will likely quit. Press reset periodically to recharge interest.

9. Does your strategy have any loopholes? If so, stamp them out. Make it possible for player to manipulate the game by doing an end-around of desired outcomes.

10. If you want people to play and you want the game to drive productivity, the game must relate to your players’ day-to-day work.

Vijaya Sawant

Vijaya Sawant is an exceptional project management professional with a unique blend of business, project management and technology skills. She has more than 25 years of latest technology implementation experience in both matrix and projectile environment. She has a first-rate track record of successfully spearheading and delivering a broad range of high impact, high profile projects, including leadership of multi-national, multi-vendor teams. She has demonstrated ability to bring about positive change through crafting relationships with multi stakeholder groups and service delivery groups, understanding business needs and proposing and delivering viable technology solutions.

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