Gamification - Embracing the Power of Play

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Gamification - Embracing the Power of Play

See some examples of the different types of gamification being used in mobile apps and the apps currently implementing them to motivate users to user their app.

· Mobile Zone ·
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If you are the type of person who thinks that I am going to write about video games and heroes saving cities, you are wrong! Sorry to disappoint you, but instead I am going to bring a more interesting concept to the table. I am going to discuss how a game element can turn a task that we have to do by obligation into a fun and exciting moment.

Let me say, though, there is a lot that we can learn from games. They are the first step towards the gamification apps concept. Games have the power to separate usfrom reality and make us travel to another world and completely forget about the present, in a way that is fun, exciting, and enjoyable. 

This is possible through things like points, badges, and leaderboards.

Gamification is a really buzzword within companies; it makes your employees  more committed to a certain task. It taps into natural human desires for competition and achievement.

 The misconception appears when companies or certain individuals think, “Oh, if I just apply any of those three elements to a task, it'll make it fun." That is wrong! It became a big concept, but people do not fully understand it. 

When you ask a gamer the reason of them playing any specific game, it doesn’t come from the points gotten, or how high you are in the leaderboard. Instead, it comes from other feelings such as brain-challenge, hanging out with friends, being more than who I am today...every game has its unique sense.

And that is what gamification does, it takes all these fun, exciting elements from traditional games and pour that into none-sense context. Whereas task/theory/any accomplishment we have to do but not necessarily want to. It encourages participation. “It has the capacity to turn something potentially tedious into a game”. And it does so, by tapping into certain different senses or feelings that we are searching to get. Some companies and individuals have been able to condense this idea into Gamification Apps. 

Yu-kai Chou, a gamification author and International Keynote Speaker, discussed eight different goals when playing video games at a TedTalk and gave different app examples that currently help you achieve that. 

8 Gamification App Examples

1. Epic Meaning and Calling

This is when you feel important or part of something bigger than yourself.

App: Pain Squad – turns kids into detective and keeps track of pain on those who suffer from cancer at hospitals and it helps doctors to tread them better.

2. Personal Development

This applies to your personal goals.

App: Nike+  – It helps you to be healthy and change your lifestyle towards a more active one.

3. Empowerment of Creativity and Feedback

This applies to your capacity to build something from scratch and solve puzzles.

App: Lego or Tetris are great examples.

4. Ownership

If you can own it, improve it, protect it, get more… It was helpful to many teachers to help their students learn math with this app:

App: Dragon Box – You have a dragon within a box and you have to feed it. You can only do it when nothing is surrounding it- basically, you have to get X (your dragon in the equation) and eliminate all the other numbers or elements, and in that order, give food to your dragon so it grows big and strong. Pretty straightforward!

5. Social Influences

These apps play on what you do based on what other people think of you.

App: Opower – With this app, you are able to see the electric bill of the rest of your neighbors, so that A can see how well B is doing and try to save more electric spending, because you don’t want to be the one who spends more, right?

6. Scarcity and Impatience

You want something, just because you can't have it. It tackles this sense of urgency that humans have.

App: Kickstarter – It is a market where you can speculate on the price of a product and see how many people did the same and how much time is left. It is always showing you the vulnerability of a precious article sliding out of your hands.

7. Unpredictability and Curiosity

Because you don't know what's going to happen next, you're always thinking about it. It helps you finishing books, watch a movie…

App: SpeedUp Lottery: The concept is when you are driving through a speed camera and you are within the speed limit, it still takes a picture foryou. Afterward, between all those drivers within the law, it randomly selects one whowins the amount of money accumulated out of those drivers who were caught above the speed limit. Very smart! 

8. Loss and Avoidance

You don’t want bad things to happen.

App: ZombiesRun – You are in an apocalyptic run and the app is constantly alerting you of zombies or threats chasing you. And you don't want to be eaten by a zombie, so you have to run faster!

gamification ,mobile ,mobile app development ,mobile ux

Published at DZone with permission of David Ayza Enero . See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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