Gamification – recognition on steroids

by Jo Ann Sweeney - 06:23 on 23 September 2014

Confused about introducing gamification into your team or organisation? You are not alone, many people are!

Gamification is still a moving feast as the word itself is only a couple of years old. It was coined by British programmer Nick Pelling in 2010.

In essence it moulds, for businesses, gaming – online multiplayer virtual worlds – and gamers – people who play games for pleasure.

Players assume roles, develop characters, complete quests, gain points, move up levels and interact with strangers who become online friends.

Thus gamification is much more than offering simple games for rewards! Here are the essentials for business.

Clear objectives This is the starting point! Choose mechanics and rewards that support your business purpose and appeal to your audiences.

Rich experiences Offer multi-layered, skill-based activities that are challenging and fun to play.

Wide appeal People of all ages, nationalities and sexes love playing games so ensure yours appeal to all your stakeholders.

Craft a meaningful experience Game mechanics are the building blocks of user experience. Choose a mix that gives people an evolving journey and a story they can share. For an overview of the many alternatives take a look at

Shape behaviour Assign rewards to actions and reactions that shape behaviour. Rewards can be all kinds of things – redeemable points, leaderboards, opportunities to brag, share, or influence.

Encourage interaction Remove barriers to relationship building so people can easily engage with each other; choose rewards people are eager to talk about and share; encourage word-of-mouth grapevine.

Try it yourself If you don’t play online games have a go at Facebook’s Farmville to experience for yourself how game mechanics work.

Professional developers Use an experienced game designer rather than trying to do it yourself; they understand the complexities of the mechanics and the way gamers play.

Remember Not everyone likes playing games. Give people other options and freedom of choice about how they interact with each other online.

Great explanation of gamification from Amy Jo Kim of Shufflebrain

Using gamification to improve communication

5 myths about gamification

Each week I share one small change I’ve found makes a big difference to communications through Transforming Tuesdays. Sign up for your copy here!

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