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Why Gamification Is Important as a Young Professional

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Gen Y will Lead the Future of Work

When I first heard of gamification  I was working at a big data internship with Infosys in Bangalore, India. My mentor explained it to me as “bringing games to the world to drive creativity, production, and behavior change.” I remember calling my parents shortly after to tell them, “Remember all those hours I spent playing Donkey Kong Country, Super Mario, Metroid, and FIFA. Well, I don’t think it is fair for you to yell at me anymore for wasting my time. Have you heard of gamification? Well let me tell you about it…..”

The next day, I read Bunchball’s Gamification 101 and Gamification at Work white papers. Points, levels, and challenges mixed with rewards, status, competition, collaboration, and altruism? Umm, yes! In a 2011 study conducted by MTV on Gen Y behavior, it was reported that #winning was the slogan of our generation. If game design principles and motivational psychology can make life ‘winnable’, wouldn’t that help create and set goals that people can strive towards?

The following day, I contacted Gamification Co in hopes to do any sort of work. That was May 2012. It is now April 2013, and a year has passed since I have joined the team as an Editorial Contributor. All I can say is WOW! Gamification is here to stay and many more companies and projects are utilizing games for growth. It is the perfect intersection between subjective art and objective science. But most importantly, gamification speaks the digital language of the future generations. The same millennials and Gen Y people who are going through college are the ones companies will be looking to recruit to help advance innovation and productivity.

To all of the young professionals who are already working or who are about to graduate (as I am), this is why I am so enthusiastic about Gamification and its potential:

We are now seeing a lot of young talent going on to make a name for themselves because of the vast amount of resources and opportunities available. Companies recognize this and realize that smart solutions can come from anyone, regardless of job title or age. The above link shows how gamification can be used to create an effective B2E environment so that young professionals have a meaningful voice.

  • Gamification comes natural to us and we want meaningful work

As young professionals, we grew up around a lot of technology and games. Jane McGonigal reports statistics that claim that the entire world logs in 3 billions hours of gaming a week. These hours don’t go to waste. By understanding what makes games fun on a personal level, young professionals require a shorter learning curve for gamified programs and applications. As workforces adopt feedback, engagement, and motivation mechanisms to task-based games, work will become more meaningful.

  • Gamification creates fun jobs for the digital generations

This post gives a comprehensive profile of what Gen Y values, how they perceive themselves, and what their skills are. Tech-savvy, unique, and confident, Gen Y brings a creative force to any job. As gamification continues to grow and expand, companies will dedicate certain job roles to focusing how games can drive positive impact.

Gamification is the key tool for the Gen Y worker. We have collectively spent hours playing games for play, and now it is time for recent graduates and newly hires to play work. By understanding gamification concepts, Gen Y workers can make an impact from Day 1 on the job. That is why I am eager to be attending GSummit 2013 next week. I know that the cutting-edge concepts presented there will be the future of work as we know it and I’m more than excited to be a part of it.

 Flickr image by Leonard John Matthews

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