Over the years, much has been spoken about Gamification. From being tipped as the “Next big thing” to “Everyone is gamifying” to “Gamification is overrated”. But what is Gamification and does it work? Amongst the many definitions of Gamification Gartner suggested “The insertion of game dynamics and mechanics into non-game activities to drive a desired behaviour. Gamification is a tool to design behaviours, develop skills and enable innovation.”.
Basically, Gamification is not about people playing games, instead Gamification involves the use of game elements in non-gaming scenarios to improve user experience (UX) & user engagement. It is about changing the old-school thinking in today’s digital-age. The Microsoft Ribbon Hero 2 is an excellent example of learning while having fun, retaining motivation and using gaming elements to what would otherwise have been a routine/mundane task of reading manuals or attending tutorials.
Innovation and Gamification
Gamification uses (although goes beyond) leader-boards, awarding badges, points or other rewards for achieving predefined targets. And innovation is about enabling these to collaborate and cooperate to complete/solve tasks. The advantage of enabling open innovation with gamification is the possibility of increasing, rather than decrease, the value we receive while performing a task. This is due to the nature of open innovation and gamification – decentralize and enable multiple partners participate together.
Innovation coupled with gamification motivates people to share their ideas, and encourage people to build upon the ideas of others through collaboration or mechanisms such as voting. It is a potentially powerful form of crowdsourcing to attract similar minds in the same direction to tackle complex and interesting problems. Innovation in this form, taps the collective intelligence of people to develop new products, improve existing processes and solve business problems.
Adding the concept of gamification to a typical idea management system to realize the badges/points/score can make the users feel they’ve accomplished something! This feeling of progress or winning, forms one of the foundations of gamification. Open innovation creates the platform and gamification helps with the cross-pollination and integration of silo’s in an engaging manner. The idea of sharing ideas online and adding game mechanics are already showing signs of success. Crowdsourcing ideas using game mechanics can be the game changer.
Reports from research giants such as IDC read ‘The worldwide market for gamification technology and services is expected to rise to $2.8 billion in 2016′, and, ‘Within three years, 40% of the Global 1000 companies will use gamification, to improve performance and efficiency of their business operations’. Gamification has already gained immense popularity in wellness/health programs, retail/shopping, financial services, studies etc. Are you ready to gamify and ‘open’ innovation? If yes, let the games begin!