Gamification: what it is and how it strengthens the user-business relationship

An emerging driver of rapidly evolving organizations, there is one strategy that is a powerful driver in today's technology marketplace

Gamification: it is the use of elements borrowed from games
Gamification (known worldwide by the English word gamification) is the use of elements borrowed from games and game creation techniques in non-gaming contexts

It's time to dispel the myth that video games are only for young men and women.

Although it is statistically recognized that a boy or girl accumulates over 21 hours of gaming by the age of 10.000, it is equally true that, according to a study on users in the United States in 2021, video games are a universal phenomenon.

In fact, the report revealed that as many as 2,8 billion people around the world are gamers.

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Gamification: the use of playful methodologies stimulates active behavior
It has been proven that the use of playful methodologies, typical of gamification, stimulates active behavior, which can be found through the analysis of the data of the choices made within the game

What exactly is meant by gamification?

What exactly is meant by gamification?

Simply put, it is the art of applying elements of video games into non-gaming contexts, such as websites, online communities, or even everyday business processes.

By intertwining challenges, rewards and competitions, such as points, badges and leaderboards, gamification increases stakeholder engagement, motivation and loyalty.

Gamification can be the glue that binds the corporate Purpose and its Community, another fundamental attribute of Exponential Organizations.

The gamification trend has been boosted by Web3 technologies.

With the advent of Blockchain, Smart Contracts and NFTs, the field of gamification has indeed expanded.

These technologies have ushered in a new era where users can truly own their digital assets, earn through gaming, and participate in decentralized communities.

This not only adds layers of transparency and security, but also democratizes the gaming experience, allowing players to have a true “stake” in the digital worlds they help shape.

Through this, gamification has moved from simply collecting points to creating rich, economically interconnected virtual ecosystems.

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Gamification: the art of extracting all the fun and engaging elements
“Gamification is the art of extracting all the fun and engaging elements found in games and applying them to real or productive activities” is the definition of Yu-kai Chou, author of “Actionable Gamification – Beyond Points, Badges and Leaderboards”

The Octalysis Framework and Epic Meaning

In his Octalysis Framework, Yu-kai Chou proposes a human-centered design scheme between engagement and gamification.

He explores eight fundamental units that motivate human behavior and represented by an octagonal shape, which we can translate as: Epic Meaning and Calling, Development and Realization, Creativity Enhancement and Feedback, Possession and Possession, Social Influence and Relatedness, Scarcity and Impatience, Unpredictability and Curiosity, Loss and Avoidance.

Yu-kai Choi also describes Epic Meaning as the central driver of human-centered game design:
“This central engine is activated when your system inspires people and excites them to be part of a bigger plan or goal.”

Human-centered game design prioritizes human experience and emotional engagement.

By leveraging these intrinsic motivators, it creates more meaningful and engaging experiences.

In this way, gamification can be a powerful tool for strengthening epic meaning within ExOs, connecting gamification elements with the organization's larger purpose and mission.

Two applications can illustrate the difference between function-oriented design and human-centered design.

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Gamification: the basic idea of ​​“Zombies, Run!” It's by Adrian Horn
The basic idea of ​​“Zombies, Run!” was developed by Adrian Hon, who was inspired during a run and thought about how much more engaging and fun it would be if he felt like he was being chased by zombies during training

Runtastic cases from Adidas and Zombies Run!

The first is Adidas' Runtastic app: users can track their progress, record achievements, interact with the community and earn their badges.

Zombies Run!, on the other hand, is also a running and fitness application, but it transforms the running activity into a mission in which the user must escape zombies and collect supplies to reach the game's objective.

From these two examples, we can see how engagement game mechanics leverage principles from motivational psychology, behavioral economics, and neurobiology.

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Gamification: Adidas uses it to actively engage customers
Adidas uses gamification to actively engage customers, incentivize desired behaviors and create a deeper connection with the brand: this approach not only improves the overall customer experience, but also loyalty and interaction with the well-known German brand

The state of the art of gamification in Switzerland

Gamification has also become increasingly widespread in Switzerland, with numerous companies and institutions adopting this strategy to engage and motivate their users and customers.

This trend reflects a growing awareness of the importance of interaction and engagement in both digital and physical contexts.

A notable example is the Swisscom Hero League, an initiative of Switzerland's leading telecommunications company.

This gamification platform offers video game enthusiasts the opportunity to compete in online tournaments, accumulate points and receive rewards, thus creating an engaging and rewarding experience for its user base.

The public transport sector has also embraced gamification with programs such as SBB Green Class, introduced by the Swiss Federal Railways, whose German acronym derives from the phrase Schweizerische BundesBahnen AG.

This program rewards travelers who choose sustainable modes of transport, such as using public transport instead of private cars, by encouraging eco-sustainable behavior through a rewards system.

Swiss banks are also not behind in adopting gamification.

Raiffeisen Bank has integrated gaming elements into its e-banking service, offering customers the chance to earn badges and rewards by completing online banking tasks such as bill payments and fund transfers.

In summary, gamification has proven to be an effective strategy for engaging and motivating people in various sectors in Switzerland.

With evolving technology and growing awareness of the importance of user experience, we can expect this trend to continue to grow and positively influence the way businesses and institutions interact with their users and customers.

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Gamification: principles underlying the concept of fun
Taking advantage of the interactivity afforded by modern means and obviously from the principles underlying the concept of entertainment, Gamification represents an extremely effective tool

How to implement it in a corporate reality?

By harnessing human's intrinsic desires for competition, goal achievement and recognition, gamification can effectively drive behavior change and inspire employees and stakeholders to reach new levels of excellence.

Additionally, gamification can foster a culture of continuous improvement and innovation within organizations.

By providing real-time feedback and rewards for desired behaviors, companies can encourage employees to actively seek out growth and development opportunities.

Whether mastering new skills, solving complex problems or collaborating with colleagues, gamification can incentivize staff to push their limits and pursue excellence.

However, successful implementation of gamification in businesses requires careful planning and execution.

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Gamification: the dynamics and mechanics of the game are important
The underlying principle of gamification is to use the dynamics and mechanics of the game: points to accumulate, levels to reach, rewards or gifts to obtain and badges to show off

Well aligned with company values ​​and culture

It is essential that companies clearly define their goals, target audiences, and desired outcomes before designing gamified experiences.

Organizations must ensure that game mechanics are aligned with company values ​​and culture to avoid possible negative reactions or disengagement from employees.

In conclusion, gamification has enormous potential to revolutionize business engagement and achieve significant results.

By harnessing the power of game mechanics and dynamics, companies can create a more dynamic, interactive, and rewarding workplace that inspires employees to excel and reach their full potential.

As we continue to embrace digital transformation and innovation, gamification will undoubtedly play a central role in shaping the future of corporate businesses.

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Gamification: known to the general public in February 2010
The concept of gamification became known to the general public in February 2010 thanks to the conference that Jesse Schell, an American game designer, held at the "DICE Summit" in Las Vegas