Can We Make Gamification Work for Blood Donations?
As people all over gamify different things from work to education, one may ask where else it can be applied? Andrew Tipp, a writer/blogger/editor in digital publishing, discusses the possibilities of a new philanthropic avenue of gamification to be applied for blood donations.
To sum things up, here are some of his key suggestions:
1. Milestones – Allowing donors to reach different milestones in their donor career. He also suggest progress bars which I believe tie into the concept of milestones.
2. Reward System – Awarding points/badges to donors. Then potentially creating a reward system to reward those who have racked up serious points
3. Referrals – Awarding badges/points for referring people to donate.
4. Community & Competition – Setting up potential leaderboards or just comparisons between donors for their point totals. This can cause a bit of a competitive motivation for donors as a fun way to engage them.
Tipp makes many great points, but he also makes an interesting one about how gamifying blood donation can lead to people donating simply for the “game” itself, as opposed to good will. I don’t agree with this because it’s never a game in it’s own right. No one would donate blood in attempt to have fun. Gamifying the experience simply makes the donating more enjoyable and engaging. The potential for self glorification through social media can be a potential motivator, since people do tend to brag about how many points or badges they’ve racked up. However, end of the day, as long as the results are there, why should we care? In my opinion, results are results whether or not people are doing it for the right cause. Would you rather a selfish man not donate to a good cause or a selfish man donating for self glorification? Either way, we’ve reached our end goal in a fun and harmless way.
And as it turns out, it seems that New York has already implemented a similar system that Tipp imagined.
This is a great start in an attempt to gamify blood donations. They have a point system in place, but it is a bit confusing to say the least. They offer a wide array of rewards in exchange for points, however parts of the rewards list are not accessible to the public because of a technical error. The whole idea in itself is great, but the execution could have been better. A more easy to read/understand website with clear guidelines would definitely help a lot more. Also providing links that were not dead is a necessary update for them.
What do you think about gamifying blood donations? Post your comments below.
Flickr CC Image by Byron Villegas & Arienne McCracken