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What Are the Benefits of Gamification?

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The benefits of gamification

Grabbing the attention of potential customers can supply a continuous flow of revenue for many businesses while improving productivity. Applying gamification techniques and methods is a great way to encourage customers to visit and to stay for new content, products, or services.

Customers and employees will generally find that these techniques stimulate their interaction while supporting an underlying strategy to bring in their friends and family in which also to participate. Providing a structure that reaffirms their participation can leave businesses with consistent visitors and customers that are likely to share these businesses with others while supporting a healthy attitude of employees.

 

Opening the Doors

Gamification techniques provide the mechanics to supply an environment of participation. VentureBeat.com reports:”[Gamification] boosts commenting 13 percent, social sharing to Facebook, Twitter, and networks 22 percent, and content discovery by a massive 68 percent.” This helps lead businesses to new customers through a network of sharing with social media, other networks, and even word of mouth. Gamification supplies a market where customers are encouraged to participate and are rewarded for their efforts.

 

Boosting Productivity

Gamification models may also be applied to support greater employee productivity.

KMWorld.com: “‘We found that the single biggest motivator wasn’t status—such as sitting atop a collaboration leaderboard—or even the accrual of cash prizes, but rather being able to understand and demonstrate the impact of collaborative behaviors on the organization, and being recognized and rewarded for that.’ says Steve Kaukonen, Accenture’s social collaboration change lead.”

Employees may work more diligently because of bonuses and other methods, but what is understood is that employees will continue to work harder because they understand their impact on the business. They find that their individual work combined with the overall result makes them an integral part in the business and helps give them feelings of accomplishment and necessity within their team.

 

It Takes A Balanced Approach

Supplying a consistent reward strategy is what drives continued participation. Having an unequal system may drive others to leave for other solutions. Andrzej Marczewski describes this system:”The most skilled players get reward upon reward, whilst the less skilled players get trodden on more and more. If this continued to happen unchecked, the less skilled players would never come back.” As this applies to a hypothetical game, it still applies to the general structure of a reward system.

More customers and employees that find it easier to accomplish their goals and tasks will overwhelm the newer ones. This process would obstruct others from being fulfilled and even participating. A reward system should balance these outcomes by implementing greater difficulty levels to insure equal participation.

Gamification techniques can give businesses an added boost to their overall productivity. Encouraging customers and employees through a system of tasks and rewards gives each a sense of accomplishment and necessity for the business. To learn about even more ways gamification can help your business, be sure to catch GSummit 2013 for all the latest and greatest in engagement science.

Flickr Image by joshc

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1067990748 Suso Martínez

    I find really interesting the “balance” issue. It always happens in multi-player games where designers have to balance the encounter between the new/less skilled players and the experts. In the article you talk about how the newbies should have a chance of winning or they will give up soon. But the other side of the problem is that you should also give the users who have invested more time in playing some kind of advantage. Otherwise, there is no point in trying to be good at the game, as any novice could beat you up.

    I believe that if a game is fun enough any player will be willing to play just for the fun no matter which chances of winning/losing they have. The problem in gamification contexts (specially when it comes to business enviornments) is that maybe the fun is not enough to play if you don’t have actual chances of winning.

    • http://www.marczewski.me.uk/ Andrzej Marczewski

      There are other challenges for high level players. Taking down a newbie 800 times in a game benefits no one in the long run. A lot of games get around this by having servers dedicated to new players – if they venture out then they do so informed of the risk!

      The point being made (in this article and mine with the feedback loops), as soon as a game gets totally unbalanced, especially in team based games, at least half the players will lose interest. If this happens and teams are left unbalanced etc, it is again of no benefit to users or the game.

      I am not saying skilled players should remain unrewarded for their battlefield prowess, but there needs to be a system in place that stops it being fun for just one player in a game. Everyone needs to enjoy it or else there is no point in them playing. When that happens you just have a group of really good players, playing each other to a stalemate and getting bored!

    • http://www.marczewski.me.uk/ Andrzej Marczewski

      There are other challenges for high level players. Taking down a newbie 800 times in a game benefits no one in the long run. A lot of games get around this by having servers dedicated to new players – if they venture out then they do so informed of the risk!

      The point being made (in this article and mine with the feedback loops), as soon as a game gets totally unbalanced, especially in team based games, at least half the players will lose interest. If this happens and teams are left unbalanced etc, it is again of no benefit to users or the game.

      I am not saying skilled players should remain unrewarded for their battlefield prowess, but there needs to be a system in place that stops it being fun for just one player in a game. Everyone needs to enjoy it or else there is no point in them playing. When that happens you just have a group of really good players, playing each other to a stalemate and getting bored! Keep some level of balance and keep more players!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1067990748 Suso Martínez

        Yes, different play areas (e.g. servers as you said) for different player levels is probably one of the most effective approaches, as it gives everyone a significant chance of winning while still encouraging them to continue mastering the game. The problem comes when you cannot do something like that. I am thinking about the classic example of fight games when an expert player wants to fight against his friend who has never played the game before… should the game let the new win despite of all the complex techniques and strategies the expert knows? Is the fun of sharing the play just enough? Mario kart is a good example of the latter, I think :)

        I didn’t mean you were forgetting the skilled players. I’ve read your article and I think the negative feedback loops are probably what I was thinking of. I found the whole article very interesting indeed. Thank you for pointing it out, as I had missed it the first time (also it was wrongly attributed to b2c before, wasn’t it?).

        • http://www.marczewski.me.uk/ Andrzej Marczewski

          A great point, that brings back horrible memories of Street Fighter II on the SNES!!
          My best friend was amazing at that game, wiped the flooor with me every time we played. I was motivated to practice more, but he was always better than me. Eventually I stopped playing him, it was just not fun – for either of us. The difference with that game to say, Call of Duty, it was pure skill that made him better. The game gave him no progressive advantage for each hit he landed on me.

          Now Mario Kart was a little different. The best player was normally at the front of the pack, but the game introduced clever little techniques to balance the game. Random events like being hit by a fluke green shell bouncing around, could change the game. It also had a more deliberate balancing mechanic. Lightening and Blue Shells. The guys at the back of the race always seemed to get them more often than other drivers. One of those used at the right time could change the entire race! Frustrating for the good players at time, but they always had the chance to do it back,

          WWE Games have a good skill leveller as well. If you are getting a pasting and the better player is getting special after special, there is a comeback moment. In that moment, you can pull of a move that can help you gain victory – or at least feel like it is possible. That feeling of potential victory is as adictive as a slot machine. You feel at that moment that you may be able to win and that if you played again you could definitly win!

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