Guest post by Elizabeth McCaffrey (@eamcc) in support of the 11/21/11 #UsGuysChat on Twitter. (Thank you Elizabeth!) Please join Elizabeth, gamification pioneer Nick Kellet (@NickKellet) and the incisive, friendly attendees of UsGuysChat by following the Twitter hashtag #UsGuysChat at noon PT/ 3pm ET.
“It’s time to go deep on gamification,” remarked Ken Rosen at the October 31st #UsGuysChat. So on November 21st, #UsGuysChat on Twitter dives into Gamification II: Crossroads.
The Gamification Wiki makes it clear:
Nearly 175 million Americans have also used “games.” The new workforce will take childhood gaming experiences into their professional lives and decision making. That will mean different product development, marketing, and enterprise development.
Gamification is the practice of changing behaviors to achieve a new goal. Applied effectively, change occurs incrementally; new behaviors become unconscious habits. A reward acknowledges this new behavior as an achievement; a new door opens and so on.
Gamification’s thought leadership is diverse. Nick Kellet, #usguys pioneer, gaming expert and CEO at GiftTRAP, reviews it all in Gamification Resources: People, Books, Slides, Blogs, Events & Tool . Some bestow gamification with near-mythic potential to empower and effect massive, positive change. Others bemoan great risks if not adopted wisely.
Either way, gamification is a business practice and trend that can’t be ignored. Gartner research (June 2011) projects that $74 billion plus will be spend on gaming in 2011 alone. This includes hardware, software, as well as online gaming. Likewise Saatchi & Saatchi reports (May 2011 Ipsos) that the US online population (18 to 44) is pretty evenly divided by gender – 54% male, 46% female. Boredom ranks as the prime reason (57%) for playing. So interest exists: can you harness it for your own goals?
This puts #usguys at a crossroads. One road leads to a “Rosie the Riveter” do-good warm feeling. This can include influencing behavior of your colleagues at work or volunteers for a cause. The other risks a dark path of noble or opportunistic failures; the risk is associating one bad experience with the method itself, something akin to “lipstick on a pig.”
Questions for discussion during #UsGuysChat Twitter chat on 11/21/11 at noon PT/3pm ET:
- What is gamification; who are some of your favorite thought leaders?
- What makes the gaming experience unique (gameful)?
- What is good gaming > i.e., the art of getting better; enriching behaviors that enhance the experience
- What is bad gaming > i.e., lipstick on a pig; enforcing behaviors that devalue the expereince
- Is a gameful experience the same as loyalty/enagagement?
- What do you see as next for the future of Gamification? How will YOU use it?
- What are your takeaways from today discussion? What would you tell a colleague?
- Want to be a gamification expert? Get certified (gigaom.com)
- Avoiding the Faddish Side of Gamification (technologyreview.in)