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What the heck is Gamification and Why is Time Magazine Saying it will Rule The World?

August 30, 2012

DAZZMOBILE’s Fandazz and Showdazz  solutions are built upon a philosophical foundation that, among other things,includes the belief that people inherently seek ongoing recognition for their actions.  What’s more, we believe people like to keep score and see where they stand in the ‘scoreboard of life’.   In essence, this philosophy is what is meant when the term ‘gamification’ is used.  Despite the connotation, ‘gamification’ does not necessarily mean ‘turning things into a big game’, as those first introduced to the concept might mistakenly conclude.  For a more formal explanation, see wikipedia here.   To see our prior posts on gamification, click here.

In the world of web startups, everyone is focusing on user  engagement. For startups, strong fan engagement is a great indicator of a promising start.  On the other hand, brick/mortar established brands are attempting to transition their image into actionable dimensions (many times leveraging social media) in an effort to prompt more and deeper engagement with customers.  And pro teams, media properties and anybody in the business of selling tickets for physical events is attempting similar feats in an effort to continuously engage fans.   Companies are even gamifying their internal employee processes in HR, Sales, Product Development and Marketing.

Even as big believers in gamification, we were still surprised when Time Mag’s eye-catching headline, “Six Reasons Why ‘Gamification’ Will Rule the Business World”popped up in a Twitter feed.   Here’s a snapshot of the six reasons why Time believes gamification will rule the business world thanks to a summary published by a gamification blog we follow (and provide a link below).

1)    Consultants are on the case —Because companies such as BadgevilleBunchball,We Play exist, expert minds are working on the challenge of fan engagement. These companies are committed to delivering top quality gamified solutions.

2)    Gamification exploits some very basic instincts—Gamification can be boiled down to tracking actions, rewarding/punishing actions, rankings, ratings, and clear rules that everyone can understand. The automatic appeal of gamification to human instincts will make its implementation into business much faster.

3)    Technology makes all things easier —Technology will assist in maintaining the gamified environment so users can spend more time interacting in the environment rather than with the rules.

4)    Boredom! — Human boredom can be alleviated when given certain, fast-paced, competitive interactions. These quick initial interactions will draw interest and use. Quick feedback loops is the key to fixing boredom.

5)    Money isn’t everything — As our TemboSocial article showed, gamified environments can create non-monetary rewards that influence the actions of users.

6)    Fantasy Football—This is the epitome of gamification for sports fandom.

While we here at DAZZMOBILE belive in the power of Gamification to help our Showdazz and Fandazz clients better engage their attendees and fans, we need to be honest.  We don’t feel like the Time article lived up to the audacious billing of its eyegrabbing title.  Gamification won’t rule the world.  But its principals will help thoughtful teams, media properties, event properties, and companies better engage– ongoingly– their fans/attendees.

If you want to dial in to a steady stream of gamification content, we suggest this blog, www.gamification.co

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