How to work effortlessly or an introduction to gamification

    Remembering the famous phrase from the opera The Queen of Spades, our life is really very much like a game: rivalry, increased professionalism / skill, rewards, losses, and even battles with the boss. Philosopher Bernard Suites identified the following essential components of the game:
    • Goal.
    • A set of rules and restrictions that allow you to interact in the game space.
    • A gambling attitude, which is expressed in voluntary following the rules, because players regard the game as something that has meaning and value.

    But this approach can be applied to many types of human activity: training, achieving success at work, passing a course of treatment - wherever there is a certain convention. The game is distinguished from everything else by the entertaining nature of activity - a pleasant pastime. Gamification and its scope Gamification refers to the use of game elements and game design techniques in non-game situations. One of the main goals of gamification is to increase the involvement of participants in the process of core activity. For what activity does it make sense to use gamification? 1. Routine work. In our life there is always a monotonous activity, to which I want to add additional meaning. In the movie Sight

    a possible picture of the future gamification of our daily activities is presented. For example, the main character receives points for slicing cucumbers, performs physical exercises, overcoming game obstacles, and so on. The goal of gamification in this case is to simplify activity, make it more fun and significant. For the production sector, gamification can be aimed at increasing the speed of operations and, accordingly, increasing productivity.

    2. Training. In this case, we are talking about training in the broadest sense - gaining new skills, improving skills. In contrast to the previous paragraph, there is the possibility of modifying activities depending on the level of the student. For example, if you cut a cucumber for a salad, then having achieved success, you will not switch to pineapple, since such an ingredient is not required in the salad. But if you study as a cook, then having mastered the cucumber, it is quite natural to move on to cutting more complex objects.

    3. Process improvement / innovation. In the history of gamification, there are several successful examples when a game made it possible to make a discovery or improve something. The most famous is the collective construction by gamers of a 3D model of an enzyme that destroys the protein of the HIV virus. Scientists have been trying to do this for years, and the players managed in three weeks. Another example is the UK Department of Labor and Pensions has developed the Street of Ideas online platform. At it, employees of the department share their ideas for improving the work. It can be either small proposals - for example, to sign each outgoing letter, or large ones - for example, to develop a training program. The best ideas begin to sell their “shares”, which employees can buy and sell using in-game currency. Ideas with the highest quotation are considered by the ministry and implemented. The Street of Ideas game saved about 10 million pounds in the first nine months. At the same time, ministerial officials noted an increase in job satisfaction - now they are heard and citizens are pleased with the improvement in the quality of service.

    Speaking about improving and searching for innovations, it is necessary to note the enormous role of collective cooperation (crowdsourcing), without which achievement of goals would be impossible.

    Kevin Werbach, in his book “Engage and Conquer”, outlines three types of gamification depending on the scope of application:
    • External gamification.
    • Internal gamification.
    • Gamification that changes behavior.

    External gamification is aimed at consumers, potential customers, society as a whole. If this is a marketing task, then it works according to the scheme: involvement in the game process - getting positive emotions - building brand loyalty / making a purchase. But collective collaboration models are possible, as is the case with the construction of a protein model.

    Internal gamification is usually aimed at company employees. Its customers are human resources and personnel training departments. It is used to increase productivity, stimulate innovation, strengthen team spirit or to achieve certain goals of a company with internal resources.

    There are two signs of internal gamification:
    • All participants are part of a specific community (company).
    • Participants interact with each other on an ongoing basis.

    An example of the UK Department of Labor and Pensions can be attributed to internal gamification.

    The relationship between different categories of gamification

    Changing behavior gamification is aimed at the formation of new habits. The first thing that comes to mind is a healthy lifestyle and health care. But habits can relate to finance, personal relationships, and self-improvement. An example is the Nike application, which allows you to track how many kilometers people have run with the ability to publish results on social networks.

    We introduce gamification: points, badges and ratings or a magic circle?

    Very often, when considering examples of gamification, it is said that the company has implemented a rating system based on points, badges and ratings and this has a positive effect on user engagement. Although many gamification gurus say that this is not enough - you need a magic circle. What does it mean? Returning to the Sight film, is it possible to say unequivocally what the main character does in the first scene: plays a game or is engaged in charging? Being in a magic circle means feeling inside the game with the corresponding drive effect.

    However, do not underestimate the importance of points and ratings. Let us recall the largest resource in Europe for IT-specialists Habrahabr: karma and rating, which change dynamically depending on the actions or inaction of the participant. Depending on the amount of karma, access to the resources of the resource changes: evaluate posts, invite new members, etc. The icons "Zababerny", "Author", "Starozhil" and others allow you to understand the achievements of the resident habr. Using classic gaming tools, this site managed to attract a huge number of visitors. At the same time, a bet was placed on intangible assets: the usefulness of content and respect for the community.

    Another example is the project “ Active Citizen". For each answer to the respondent points are awarded, which can then be turned into gifts: tickets to the theater / museums, thematic souvenirs and much more. Of course, in this case there is a risk that people will answer solely for the sake of points, not reading the gist of the issue - there is such a drawback when using external motivation. However, it can be noted that the organizers perfectly selected an assortment of rewards that fits well with the project concept.

    To summarize: in the examples described, game elements are used to indicate the position of participants relative to each other or to show progress. As such, the game interaction does not occur, but all the elements used have a certain value for the participant.

    Gamification development steps

    Kevin Werbach and Dan Hunter proposed the 6D concept for developing gamification (6 steps to gamification):

    1. Define business objectives / Define business tasks . Why do you need gamification within your business? What can she give? The immediate goal of any gamification is to increase the participant’s involvement in the core business process. However, you need to understand why: increasing productivity, making a purchase, increasing loyalty, achieving a research goal, social project, etc. In addition to direct tasks, indirect ones may arise, associated, for example, with the growth of brand awareness.

    2. Delineate target behaviors / Highlight the target behavior of the participants.What should participants do? How can this activity be measured? Does it contribute directly or indirectly to the achievement of the above business objectives? For example, the goal is to increase loyalty, and the target behavior is to maximize the time spent on the site. It is advisable to explain how one or another target behavior of the participant will lead to the achievement of the business task by fixing specific digital indicators, in the first place, in the future, to have a high degree of manageability and project settings, and, secondly, these indicators can be used to reverse liaising with participants to guide them toward a planned goal.

    3. Describe your players.How can you characterize people who will participate in gamified activity? How are they associated with the company? For example, it can be potential customers, employees, community representatives. In the description it makes sense to use demographic (age, gender), psychographic (life position, values, attitude to innovation), dividing players into killers, researchers, triumphs and communicators, etc. This is necessary in order to select the optimal game elements and structures. For example, choose on what principle game interaction will be based: rivalry or cooperation.

    4. Devise your activity loops / Design activity loops.In games, two types of cycles are distinguished: the engagement cycle and the progress cycle. The first works as follows: Motivation - Action - Feedback and again Motivation. An excellent illustration will be training for a cook: I learned to cut a cucumber, got a high mark, get a pineapple for training. Assignments become more complicated as mastery grows. The progress cycle is responsible for moving the player from the starting point to the final one - we don’t learn to cut everything at once, but carry out individual tasks that will lead us to the goal. In examples of gamification, where there is no clear route for participants, the progress cycle can be tied to filling out a profile or completing a complex multi-stage task. It is also worth considering separately what a beginner should do to become a full-fledged participant in gamification.

    5.Don't forget the fun. Here we are talking about what makes gamification not just a set of points, but something really significant for the participant. This item can be considered as a checksum: you planned something, and then you ask yourself: “Will it be interesting for the players? What will motivate them? Can we get along only with internal motivation or will we need material? ”

    6. Deploy the appropriate tools.We have already said that there are points, badges and ratings. But the toolkit of games is not limited to this. There are avatars, achievements, boss battles, collecting, battles, discovering new content, quests, virtual goods, social interaction and much more. At this point, you determine the specific content of the gamification and the technical requirements. For example, you can define the platforms (Windows, iOS, Android) through which the interaction will pass.

    A few words about where you can find additional information on this subject. For me, the primary source is Kevin Werbach's “ Gamification ” course on The book “Engage and Conquer” was published in Russian, which was written by the author of the course in collaboration with Dan Hunter.

    In conclusion, I want to say that I am optimistic about the prospects for gamification, especially some routine operations. The main thing is that this does not turn into another way of manipulating people.

    For my company, I dream of introducing elements of the game into the process of protecting software and digital content: I made the first defense - received approval, made protection with individual settings - received the Security Expert badge, and while protection is in progress, you can solve a small quest. It just so happens that all life is a game.

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