Think for a moment about the role that games play in our lives…
Have you ever been so engrossed in an online quiz that you’ve failed to see that your manager is standing directly behind you? Oops! That’s me caught!
Have you ever been involved in an online duel with friends, playing one of the many games that are now hosted on social networking sites? Please stop sending me Candy Crush requests!
Or perhaps you’ve used any one of the numerous games consoles now available on the market? Which one do you prefer?
Gameplay has long been a popular pursuit, from the simplest moves of Go, first played in China 3,000 years ago, to the massive multiplayer online games of today. Digital games generated $46.5 billion in sales in 2014, and their popularity is considered to be one of the drivers behind the adoption of elements of gamification.
According to Create Tomorrow, gamification is all about applying game elements – the ‘DNA’ of games – to non-game activities. It can be applied to almost any industry and task, to turn users into players. It is known to increase engagement and is a popular trend that is expected to continue to grow.
Gamification leverages ‘game mechanics’ such as points, levels, badges, rewards, characters, stories, leader-boards and achievements, alongside game design to increase interest and ultimately, drive engagement.
Where did Gamification come from?
The term “Gamification” was first introduced in 2003 by Nick Pelling, a British born computer programmer and inventor. Although it didn’t take off straight away, the term gained widespread usage in 2010, in a more specific sense referring to the incorporation of social/reward aspects of games into software. By 2013, over 70% of Forbes Global 2000 companies surveyed said they planned to use gamification for the purpose of marketing and customer retention.
Gamification can be applied to any activity in which people are engaged, and can help drive desired behaviours within the context of that activity. With this in mind, gamification could be applied to any industry. Here are just a few examples of industries, which we feel could really benefit from gamification:
Education – regardless of whether education is provided via an instructor, teacher, trainer or through computer based training or e-learning, it is possible to include elements of gamification within a course by creating a game for the course or gamifying part of the course. The game doesn’t have to replace the whole course, however allowing for a gamified element will allow you to increase interactivity, help you identify the ability level of participants and provide the recipient rapid feedback. All this together allows you to increase engagement and drive results.
Marketing – increasingly, businesses are discovering that gamification can be applied to marketing, in order to help drive adoption and engagement with their brand, create loyalty, increase brand awareness through social and sharing, and ultimately drive sales. With rewards, points, leader-boards and other gaming elements, helping to elevate a user’s status, it makes them feel important – something which other marketing tools find difficult to achieve. With the added benefit of the ability to give back to customers in the form of incentives, it is a solution many marketing professionals are now opting for when it comes to driving customer engagement.
Health and Wellness – gamification and the rise of smartphones have merged at an integral moment. With a growing young population that is accustomed to technology, and dependant on being connected at all times, gamification through cheap, often free, smartphone apps allows companies within the Health and Wellness industry to drive engagement through fun, dynamic, and most importantly, an instant and personal interface.
Today’s average 21 year old has played around 10,000 hours of video games. These ‘gaming virtuosos’ want cutting edge technology and game like interactivity and engagement.
Source: M.Gladwell ‘Outliers: The Story of Success’ 2008
Having established the potential of gamification being able to deliver across numerous industries, the global potential of communicating and engaging with your target audience through this means is vast.
However, in order to achieve this, your gamified elements will only work if you are speaking to your audience in their language. Every communications professional must face the fact that the tools we use, especially digital ones, are reliant on engagement in other languages, and in ways that are culturally relevant. With this in mind, it is vital that you consider translation and localisation of gamification elements from the very beginning, in order to ensure you are reaching out to as many potential people as possible through your gamification investment.
G2G3 – part of the Capita group – are a team of creatives, engineers and strategists, driven by a passion for crafting engaging experiences that build better business outcomes. Their capabilities – already proving successful with global clients – are vast, and include: simulations, gamification, serious games and engagement. They have helped many organisations utilise game science and gamification to transform the way they do business – For further insight into the different types of game science and how they are being used visit the Capita website.
Interested in learning how translation and localisation could help you with gamification? We’re offering a free review and estimate – fill in your details below and “let the games begin.”