What is gamification? When you hear the term, what is your first thought? Some would say it’s turning things into games. This is true; but it’s much bigger and more involved than that. Gamification is the process of talking elements of gaming and using them to make daily tasks more desirable to complete. It uses the mechanics and principles behind games to turn things into a more fun and interactive activity. Not only is it “making a game out of a task”, but it is the process of using our core drives to motivate us more to complete the task more efficiently.
There are 8 core components that drive us to want to complete a task. They are:
- 1.Our Desire for “Epic Meaning and Calling”
- 2. Development and Accomplishment
- 3. Empowerment of Creativity and Feedback
- 4. Ownership and Possession
- 5. Social Influence and Relatedness
- 6. Scarcity and Impatience
- 7. Unpredictability and Curiosity
- 8. Loss and Avoidance
Many companies use these principles in order to persuade their customers into using their product or doing a desired action. Our desire for epic meaning and calling is like our desire for a bigger meaning, for instance, part of the reason that people believe in a higher being. Everyone has the desire to want to feel bigger then themselves. This basic desire is part of the reason why people want to play video games in the first place – to be a part of an organization that is bigger than one person.
The second core component is the idea of development and accomplishment – the desire to improve and complete new challenges. This is the “hook” that gets people addicted to games. It creates the thought of I wonder what the next level will be like. The next element involves the creativity aspect of the task, such as new ways to complete the task to be more efficient or complete it faster. This helps to produce the feedback of how people think and what is the most efficient way someone can complete a task. Ownership and possession also gives people the feeling of empowerment by receiving some kind of recognition for the activates that they completed, either by receiving a badge or congratulations.
It is expected that social influence effects people’s behaviors and desires to complete things. For example, the desire to do better than someone else. This idea of influence drives rivalry between different people and creates a competitive environment (the drive to continue to play constantly to beat other people). Just like people’s desire to own certain products because they are rare, gamers have the desire for the scarcity of a reward and are impatience until that reward is accomplished (to which the reward increases level after level). This idea of wanting something that is just out of reach is a huge element to people’s addiction to games (or other activities or objects). What they have is not good enough because there is always room for improvement and usually the improvement is just out of reach.
Part of the reason why casinos are so addictive is because of people’s desire for the unpredictability of winning and the feeling of curiosity of when they will win next. Since gambling is mostly a game of chance and not skill, people become very curious of when they will receive a “big pay out” and the unpredictability of winning excites them. Lastly, the final element of our core drives is loss avoidance. This idea is that an activity must be completed in order to avoid a loss, for instance, when kids play tag and they need to continue running so they do not become “it”.
Here are some facts that you may find surprising:
- - The average gamer is 35 years old
- - Over 68% of gamers are over the age of 18
- - Almost half of all gamers are women
- - There are more adult women gamers than men under the age of 18.
So what does all this mean? Gamers don’t just like playing the game because they receive rewards. It triggers the core values that make us want to show initiative to complete something and the drive to finish it. It all comes down to targeting people’s desire for accomplishing achievement, the desire to beat competition, and the fun of participating in an activity. This puts a whole new spin into the world we live in. This means that using these gaming mechanisms isn’t just targeting teenage boys – its targeting customers, other companies, prospects, and future employees. This idea of gamification is drawing people’s interest to one company or product over another. The time to act on it is now. To learn more about gamification visit our spanish blog.