At last week’s Social Media Breakfast, East Bay, Nicole Lazarro from XEO Design and Tony Ventrice from Badgeville took us through gamification: how game mechanics can be applied to business applications to provide a more immersive experience.
So, what exactly are game mechanics and what drives us to spend hours playing popular video games?
Nicole took us through the steps that will lead to what the Italians call ‘Fiero’: a feeling of elation through overcoming obstacles.
The four steps Nicole outlines:
- Easy fun: offering choice and fulfilling our desire for curiosity at the outset
- Hard fun: you can’t just push a button to win – there has to be a strong element of challenge and mastery
- People fun: bringing out these very human traits of competing and communication
- Serious fun: creating a sense of meaning – the purpose you achieve by playing the game
Now Tony showed us a different methodology: one that included fantasy, choice and growth. Using monopoly as an example really brought this to life. The fantasy is one we can all associate with: the idea of owning large tracts of prime real estate. That is the goal we buy into when we play the game. There is a large element of choice, from which areas on the board to develop right through to the choice of whether you want your playing character to be the top hat or the Scottish Terrier. And then there’s the very visible sign of growth as you move from houses to develop your hotel empire.
Tony explained how you can apply this methodology in evaluating social networks like Yelp and business applications. When it comes to business applications, we’re really seeing gamification applied to the areas of adoption, activity and retention.
More commentary from this event: