Recently, there has been a new trend on the rise: Gamification. Gamification is the combination of game playing elements with learning material to encourage participation and engagement. The way people learn is changing; Books and lectures are being replaced with interactive activities and online resources. In order to keep up with this change, many companies have adapted the use of games in order to communicate a message in a way that is relatable and memorable to their audience. Gamification uses challenges, achievements, and rewards to drive certain desirable behaviors.
Games can be used in combination with learning material and demonstrations to provide a hands-on experiential training seminar for employees. Many companies have also created an interactive game to aid in the recruitment process by helping locate qualified applicants through “playing” online.
Benefits of Gamification in the Work Place:
- Employees show higher satisfaction levels, and are more focused at work.
- The engaging experience provides employees with higher retention rates of information.
- Games create a positively competitive environment among co-workers.
- Gamification allows you to constantly monitor and improve performance.
- Studies have shown that the use of games in training leads to higher productivity.
Example: L’Oreal is the world’s largest cosmetic and beauty company. They have created an online interactive game that brings being a L’Oreal employee to life by providing contestants with an online experience of a global working environment. The company uses this game to hire internships and full time positions in sales, marketing, and more.
In the Classroom
Young adults are especially attracted to learning through games. This group of individuals has been raised in the era of technology, and they are among the most tech-savvy learners. Many professors have applied games to their lectures to keep students focused and interested in the course material.
Benefits of Gamification in Education:
- The use of games reinforces learning concepts in a way that is easy for students to understand.
- Adding games to what would normally be a boring lecture can spark debate and conversation among students.
- Gamification appeals to the emotional, cognitive, and social needs of students.
- Students will develop problem-solving skills by using learning games.
- To put it simply, games are fun. Students will have an enjoyable time interacting with their peers while also gaining important knowledge.
Example: Socrative is a smart student response system that provides an engaging classroom experience. Teachers can use a variety of exercises and games for their class to participate in using their smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Each individual’s performance can be monitored and then exported into a spreadsheet.
Many companies are using games, especially in the form of apps, to create a loyal customer base. These games can be used as a reward program, encouraging customers to participate and in return earn coupons, free items, etc.
Benefits of Gamification in Marketing:
- Companies can target existing customers using reward program apps to increase brand loyalty.
- Games can help enhance your brand awareness among consumers.
- Provides an easy way for companies to promote products to their target market.
- Broadens appeal of both new and existing product offerings.
- Differentiation strategy to set your company apart from the competition.
Example: Starbucks has created an interactive app that customers can download and use to collect “stars”. These stars are accumulated when you make a purchase using the app. There are three levels: Welcome, Green, Gold. Each level provides increasingly better rewards, such as free drinks, free refills, etc.
Tips for Using Gamification
- Make the game relevant. If the game is applicable to the content you are presenting, the audience will have higher retention rates and greater memory recall.
- Present material so that it is comprehendible. Games are a great way to simplify material so that it is easier for your audience to understand.
- Encourage teamwork. Teams are a great way to create a fun and competitive environment.
- Use a point system. Keep track of points and offer rewards to the individual/team with the highest score.
- Have control over the situation. Make sure that your audience doesn’t go off topic, or get too consumed in the game that they fail to focus on the material being presented.
- Motivate players to do their best. Rewards can be a great way to provide motivation and ensure that each individual is actively participating to earn some sort of prize.
- And most importantly... Have fun!