Understanding Gamification

When players hear the word "gamification," they usually relate this to the games they play and how does this term develop or upgrade their gaming habit. But this is another misinformation on what gamification is all about. As defined by an article about gamification, this is the process which integrates game measures and mechanics to existing products - online communities, website, or enterprise application - to stimulate commitment, loyalty, and participation from the participants. It normally uses data-driven mechanics from game developers and relates them to non-game scenarios which add significance to the featured business or product via customer engagement.

There are several game techniques the gamification process considers to ensure the users' motivation and commitment, as well as accomplish different goals which are both beneficial to them and to the product. Here are the ten key mechanics users may use to achieve their desired goals:

Fast Feedback

This encourages users to adjust or to move on with their activities through the aid of text messages, emails, or onscreen notifications. It is also advisable for them to congratulate other users for accomplishing a goal to inspire them to move forward and reach another milestone.

Transparency

This shows the leaderboard for real-time comparison of the user's individual and team records. It also provides metrics to different variables that are essential to the success of all users involved.

Goals

It is important to have different challenges and missions set for users to accomplish. These give them the chance to interact and get educated on what are truly valued and achievable on their experiences in these goals.

Badges

These emblems are symbols of accomplishments and even skill masteries for users within the community. They are also indicators of the available individual skills and group expertise depending on the value of these badges.

Leveling Up

Earning levels shows long term achievements of the users. This will earn them exclusive badges and rewards, unlock new events, and update on their community status.

Onboarding

This technique teaches users the basic procedures and tasks to complete simple missions. It also trains them to move forward to the next stage by learning from their own techniques and playbooks.

Competition

Users can also have individual or team leaderboards to motivate them on finishing goals faster but producing results of best quality. This will also encourage them to be competitive with other present users and compare individual reports with them.

Collaboration

This connects users to other team members to either collaborate to complete larger tasks or compete with each other to achieve more accomplishments. It also encourages them to share and contribute for the group's success.

Community

The essence of a community is to provide meaning to the completed goals and competitions, as well as earned badges and individual levels. This is to create the much needed energy to drive other users in doing their best to also acquire similar rewards, goals, and badges for the community.

Points

It is also important keep track of the user's scores and achievements from accomplished tasks. These points may be used to acquire virtual or real merchandise which can establish the user's status in the community. Points can be accumulated from different activities which are beneficial to the user and to others.

Users can do several combinations of these featured mechanics. It is their discretion to either use some of the presented techniques or all of them to accomplish their desired goals.

Sports Inspiration

But what if the idea of gamification is applied to an actual sport or game? Would it still be considered as gamification? Well, this is what the San Francisco Giants' head coach Hensley Meulens has devised for the development of its players and the whole team.

Meulens' gamification system involves the whole baseball team's progress throughout the tournament. His players earn points for every positive contribution they make for the team. This may involve assisting runners over with under two outs or moving a runner in coming from a scoring position. However, they may also lose some points for creating some errors in the field.

According to Meulens, he uses this technique to keep track of his players' unrecorded statistics and improve them to get better on their next games. It also creates a competition within the team on who should be at the top of the roster and get included in the lineup.

Some may say that these stats may not be that significant because fans are just after the league's leading player in home runs. But for Meulens, both are important factors to consider when he tries to develop a team which are after winning games and championships.

Gamification Applied to other Fields

Aside from sports and games, gamification can be also applied in different fields of the society which are essential to its users. The most common application of this scheme is through promotions and incentives offered by online gaming sites. Players usually earn loyalty points when they regularly participate in online sites like sports interaction canada which can be used to redeem other exciting rewards. They can also earn a spot in the site's VIP program for more prestige and privileges from the feature online gaming site.

It is also applicable in the banking system wherein account holders can rank up to several tiers based on their deposits and the total amount of their savings. Tier members usually get exclusive rewards and incentives from the bank depending on their membership level - the higher the level, the more bonuses it gives. There are also shopping and membership cards which apply this same procedure. People use these cards to earn points every time they purchase something on partner stores or groceries. These points are usually convertible to real cash which can be also used to purchase.

Gamification is also used by Nike+ to promote healthy lifestyle among its users. Nike+ users are rewarded for being fit and healthy progress on the app's online leaderboard. They get to keep track of the records set by other users and they can either match or do better to climb up the leaderboard. This somehow builds a competition between the users while being physically active and fit at the same time.

The process can also be used in several learning environments to aid students to learn and to easily understand their lessons through incentive programs which can be set through gamification. They can earn rewards every time they comprehend the lesson being taught and engage in group discussions to maximize enjoyment in a classroom setting.

These are just some fields which were revolutionized by the gamification process through its rewards and incentives system. It is truly exceptional on how these simple game mechanics can affect and develop this fast-paced changing world.