This research paper investigates Gamification as a concept, that has emerged in the recent years, its various application in the fields of marketing, human resource management, advertising and other departments of major and minor organizations. It talks about the cause and effect on companies and consumers mapping the ongoing trends in relation to gamified platforms and examples from both,the global and the Indian context. It tells us what mantras organizations must follow to adapt to this newly adopted brainchild of the 21st century. 1. INTRODUCTION
The word Gamification did the rounds around June, this year when one of my friends excitedly purchased the book ‘Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World’, by Jane McGonigal(World-renowned designer of alternate reality games — or, games that are designed to improve real lives and solve real problems) This led to avidly watching Jane McGonigal’s 20 minute TED talk ( 2012 TED Global talk), where she explains “how games can boost our resilience, help us experience post-traumatic growth, and even give us 10 extra years of life.” “But why”, she asks, “should games be used for escapist entertainment alone?” She talks about, “how we can leverage the power of games to fix what is wrong with the real world-from social problems like depression and obesity to global issues like poverty and climate change-and introduces us to cutting-edge games that are already changing the business, education, and nonprofit worlds.”
Jane believes that Cooperative gameplay, overall, has more benefits than Competitive gameplay as cooperative gameplay lifts our mood longer, strengthens our friendships more, than competing against each other,also making us more likely to help someone in real life, and better collaborators at work,boosting our real-world likeability and chances for success. “Game design isn’t just a technological craft”she says, it’s a twenty-first-century way of thinking and leading. And gameplay isn’t just a pastime. It’s a twenty-first-century way of working together to accomplish real change.When you strip away the genre differences and the technological complexities, all games share four defining traits: a goal, rules, a feedback system, and voluntary participation.”
2.THE KEY INGREDIENTS OF THE GAMIFICATION POTION
For a gamified application truly to engage its audience, “M³” must be present : Motivation is inspired by most of today’s gamified applications primarily by offering extrinsic rewards and/or weak intrinsic rewards to direct behavioral changes. Extrinsic motivation comes from outside an individual and is inspired by rewards such as money and grades. Intrinsic motivation exists within an individual and derives from that person’s interest in, or enjoyment of, the task. Momentum depends on sustained engagement. In gaming, momentum is achieved by balancing the difficulty of the challenges presented with the skill levels of the players. If players find challenges too easy, they will soon get bored. On the other hand, if challenges are too difficult, players will become frustrated. Gamified applications need to engage players quickly and maintain their engagement through deft use of game mechanics such as challenges, rules, chance, rewards and levels. Meaning is about serving a larger purpose. To succeed, gamified applications must provide rewards that are meaningful to the participants. Different people will find different rewards and incentives meaningful, but many will value opportunities to help charities through donations, lose weight, master a specific skill or achieve a significant task.
3. GAMIFICATION IN THE CORPORATE WORLD
These were a few interesting discussions I came across during my research from some of the most powerful people in the Gamification world. “I define gamification as the application of techniques or mechanisms from game design to business problems and other kinds of non-game problems. What is it that makes a game fun, makes it engaging, makes people want to come back and use it? We can take some of those same techniques and apply them to making online experiences fun, potentially making work experiences more rewarding and potentially encouraging and motivating people to do other things that are beneficial.” (Kevin Werbach, professor of legal studies and business ethics, and is the co-organizer, along with New York Law School professor Dan Hunter, of a two-day conference at Wharton on gamification titled, “For the Win: Serious Gamification.”) “Good gamification design seeks to understand and align an organization’s objectives with a player’s intrinsic motivation (an innate drive to do something, or your pursuit of activities that are rewarding in and of themselves).
Then, through the use of extrinsic rewards and intrinsically satisfying design, move the player through their journey of mastery. This journey requires elements such as desire, incentive, challenge, reward and feedback to create engagement.” (Gabe Zichermann (b. 1974) is an entrepreneur, author, public speaker and gamification thought leader. He is the chair of the Gamification Summit and Workshops, and is co-author of the book “Game-Based Marketing” (Wiley, 2010) ) “People don’t like performance reviews because the world of work has changed so much in the last 50 years. But the way we’ve been managing people hasn’t changed. Our insight was why don’t we apply these techniques to make the process of getting feedback, recognition, setting goals to be much more real time, social and collaborative. Gamification is very data driven. You are absolutely looking in real time at how people react and what are they clicking through and how are they behaving. Most people think money would incent people to behave and encourage them in one direction. And in fact, even in the consumer web space, a company called Drop Box has exploded in growth because of a very clever two-sided incentive that gives you free stuff if you share the product. We experimented by giving people $25 if they shared it.
What we found is that people actually were far less likely to share at work when we offered them a monetary incentive, and much more likely when we removed it and made it much more intrinsic.” (Daniel Debow, co-founder of Rypple, a social performance management company.) “I think social is actually a really good analogy. So Myspace explodes. Friendster explodes. Everybody on the Internet says, “I need social on my website.” And then it even moves into corporate, right? At some point, the same legitimate question gets asked: Aren’t people going to get tired of interacting with all of these different social systems? I think the answer is, yes, people will interact with the ones that they want to interact with and they’ll ignore the rest.” (Rajat Paharia, founder of Bunchball, a tech company that enables businesses to implement gamification) Little did I know, that I would be experiencing the penetration of the concept of Gamification in my very family. I chanced to see a device lying around the house one evening and on enquiring what it was, my Mother ,(who teaches 4th graders in the American school of Bombay),excitedly introduced me to what was called the Pedometer.
It was given to her by her school as part of the the Stepathlon movement to encourage the employees to keep themselves physically fit by attaching to themselves, the Pedometer that records the number of steps they take in a day. Each employee is provided with a user Id and password and are asked to feed the number of steps onto an online website where the distance is mapped en route to different points in the world ,and I was taken aback when the 47 year old told me she had reached Philadelphia and was on her way to New York with her team in her virtual world! She also said that the process was self motivated and there was no monetary incentive attached to it, only the deep sense of satisfaction obtained by viewing how she had performed as an individual and as a team. Thus, she had unconsciously been consumed by Gamification.
Figure 1. Stepathlon Website [Screenshot]. Retrieved October 30th, 2012 from http://www.stepathlon.com/#&panel2-5&panel1-3 4. THE GLOBAL SCENARIO Research(Gartner 2011) indicates that by 2015, 50% of organizations that manage innovation processes will gamify those processes, and that by 2014 more than 70% of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application. Kris Duggan (Chief executive of Badgeville, that provides a gamification platform for marketers and brand strategists in businesses to increase and measure conversions, referrals and retention from social gaming, social media and social analytics) believes that “the popularity of gamification in 2012 represents the convergence of multiple trends in today’s online and customer environments. The exponential growth of available content and online experiences means brands need to work even harder to sustain user loyalty and increase key behaviors. A small piece of positive feedback increases the likelihood that we will repeat that or other incentivized actions in the future.
Social gaming, at the height of its growing popularity, is successful due to sophisticated understanding of user psychology and behavior analytics. These proven techniques are now being borrowed to drive user behavior in non-gaming experiences.
Traditional loyalty programs that reward only transactions are no longer relevant in today’s digital world with multiple brand touch points. Being able to track and reward behaviors outside of pure transactions increases lifetime user loyalty and can significantly lift metrics such as social referrals, user-generated content, media views, product ratings and more.”
5.GAME MECHANICS A recent gamification study conducted by Stephanie Hermann found that game challenges must be tailor-made to address desired target groups. “One must consider the context of the underlying application and the user’s state within the player life cycle to sustain user engagement.” Accelerated feedback cycles Clear goals and rules of play A compelling narrative Tasks that are challenging but achievable The Flow theory proposed by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, a Hungarian psychologist who has identified ten factors that can be applied to Gamification context also. Clear goals High degree of concentration Loss of the feeling of self-consciousness Distorted sense of time, one’s subjective experience of time is altered Direct and immediate feedback Balance between ability level and challenge
Sense of personal control over the situation The activity is intrinsically rewarding Lack of awareness of bodily needs Absorption into the activity
5.1 LEADERBOARDS They are defined on the Gamification Wiki as: “A means by which users can track their performance subjective to others. Leaderboards visually display where a user stands in regards to other users. They are implemented on sites to show which players have unlocked the most achievements. The desire to appear on the Leaderboards drives players to earn more achievements, in turn fueling deep engagement.”
Figure 2. Networking Clubs Leaderboards Retrieved October 30th, 2012 from http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/26-elements-of-a-gamification-marketing-strategy/ 5.2 PROGRESS BAR The profile completeness bar on LinkedIn can be seen as an example of game mechanics. By seeing how much more complete the profile needs to be, many people will be driven to take steps to 100% completion with the promise of being able to take advantage of LinkedIn’s more advanced features.
Through gamification analytics, user participation, daily activities and users by achievement and levels can be tracked.
Figure 3. Linkedin Progress Bar Retrieved October 30th, 2012 from http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/26-elements-of-a-gamification-marketing-strategy/ 5.3 BADGES Kevin Warhus writes,“Since the dawn of Foursquare,rewards and badges have become all the rage.Companies have realized that it is a great way to connect with customers and reward them for the use of their service.People naturally enjoy being praised for their actions and collecting proof of their invested time and energy to show off to their friends.”
Figure 3. Foursquare badges Retrieved October 30th, 2012 from http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/26-elements-of-a-gamification-marketing-strategy/ 6.APPLICATIONS 6.1 Kudos Badges Kudos Badges are being leveraged by applications such as IBM Connections, shown here. The Kudos Badges Leaderboard enables users to view the top contributors throughout Connections. Users rise in rank through activities such as posting a status update, creating a blog, sharing a file, or having someone recommend your file. Within Connections, users can view the top 10 Kudos Leaderboard across the platform or within individual features, such as Profiles, Activities, or Blogs.
Figure 4. Kudos Badges Retrieved October 30th, 2012 from http://www.informationweek.com/7examples-put-gamification-to-work/232901489
6.2 Nitro IBM is also integrating Bunchball’s Nitro into IBM Connections. Through the gamification features available with Nitro, new IBM Connections users are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the platform by completing a few straightforward tasks, or missions. More than 20 missions later, this user has “leveled up” and become a much more engaged and knowledgeable IBM Connections community member.
Figure 5. Nitro Retrieved October 30th, 2012 from http://www.informationweek.com/7examples-put-gamification-to-work/232901489 6.3 Xerox Stepping Up Xerox is using game mechanics for management training. Within the Stepping Up application, the user must apply learned skills in on-the-job activities called Quests. Quests often can be conducted with other gamers, driving social interaction.
Figure 6. Xerox Leader board Retrieved October 30th, 2012 from http://www.informationweek.com/7-examples-put-gamification-to-work/232901489 6.4 Badgeville-Samsung Samsung Nation, powered by Badgeville, is a loyalty program offered on Samsung.com. The program includes gamification features such as leaderboards. Missions, a gaming feature useful in business environments, are used in Samsung Nation to guide users through multiple activities to complete specific collections.
Figure 7. Samsung Retrieved October 30th, 2012 from http://www.informationweek.com/7examples-put-gamification-to-work/232901489 6.5 SessionM Within apps that have integrated with SessionM’s platform, users can unlock achievements tied to activities and engagement milestones. These include visiting regularly; exploring content, being social, unlock achievements by choosing to engage with immersive video and rich media ads. Users collect points for achievements that can be redeemed in a mobile storefront for realworld rewards such as gift cards and exclusive deals or they can be donated to charity.
Figure 9. SessionM Retrieved October 30th, 2012 from http://www.informationweek.com/7examples-put-gamification-to-work/232901489 6.6 Gigya Gigya provides websites with end-to-end social infrastructure. On the front end, Gigya’s Social Plugins and Social Gamification products create a “Facebook-like” social experience to drive engagement. On the back end, Gigya’s Social Identity Management Platform allows businesses to access and manage social identity data. Pepsi Soundoff is a community site for viewers of Pepsi-sponsored TV shows that provides users with a co-viewing experience while shows are airing on TV. By leveraging Gigya’s Social Gamification Platform, users can accrue points and “caps” (badges) as they earn rankings such as Rookie and Veteran.
Figure 10.Gigya Retrieved October 30th, 2012 from http://www.informationweek.com/7examples-put-gamification-to-work/232901489
7.THE BIG BRANDS Traditionally, gamification rewards are exchanged as virtual goods like points, badges, and higher community status. However, some brands are taking their gamification strategy a step further, accelerating user action by offering real-world incentives. 7.1 PEPSI Pepsi’s Sound Off is a website where fans Pepsi Sponsored TV events such as The X FACTOR, The Super Bowl, and The Grammys, can voice opinions and connect with fellow fans. Sound Off enhances TV watching by incorporating game mechanics into the site experience, giving viewers the ability to earn rewards for contributing to the site community. Fans can earn rewards by leaving comments, sharing to social networks, and “fanning” comments left by others. To encourage participation and high quality comments, Pepsi rewards the top four users with the most “fans” by featuring their comment and profile on-air, in a Pepsi advertisement, during the broadcast of a sponsored event. By providing top influencers with a this real-world exposure, Pepsi is able to amplify buzz around their brand and strengthen user loyalty.
Figure 11. Pepsi sound-off Retrieved October 30th, 2012 from http://socialmediatoday.com/patricksalyer/730026/real-world-rewards-through-gamificationexamples-5-leading-brands
7.2 SONY PLAYSTATION Sony has built in gamification elements throughout the PSVita site to give console owners and fans a compelling reason to interact with like-minded gamers. Every month, Sony gives away an assortment of prizes to game participants, with prizes ranging from PSVita consoles and games to exclusive trips. To promote site activity and contributions to the community, Sony guarantees a prize for the user at the top leaderboard position, and scatters additional rewards across rest of the leaderboard. By offering high-ticket, physical rewards, Sony is able to spark valuable user actions and build a loyal user base through gamification.
Figure 12. Sony play station Retrieved October 30th, 2012 from http://socialmediatoday.com/patricksalyer/730026/real-world-rewards-through-gamificationexamples-5-leading-brands 7.3 MSN Playing off the competitive nature of the London 2012 Olympics, MSN has integrated game mechanics throughout their olympic coverage site to allow users to compete against friends and other fans for their Social Games promotion. To move up the Social Games leaderboard, users can watch videos, share links, comment on stories, play trivia, and rate photos. By doing so, users are able boost their status from Rookie to World Champion, and are incentivized by the
possibility of winning a weekly $1000 prize.
Figure 13. MSN Retrieved October 30th, 2012 from http://socialmediatoday.com/patricksalyer/730026/real-world-rewards-through-gamificationexamples-5-leading-brands 8.THE USERS Dustin DiTommaso discusses a number of questions to help businesses as they set out to research the games for their users: Who are your users? What are their needs and goals? Why are they playing? What’s holding them back from achieving their potential? Is it lack of volition (belief that completing the task at hand is valuable) or lack of faculty (ability to complete the task)?
What is their primary playing style (solo, competitive, cooperative)? Who are they playing with? What social actions do they find enjoyable, and why? What metrics do they care about? 9.The Indian Context Experts believe that Indian websites are making use of orthodox designs and for gamification there is a need to adopt more creative strategy. The Indian market is ready for investment but no one is taking a step forward for gamification in India at a larger scale. Not being completely organized, the investors are hesitant to enter into such an untapped market. Marketing tactics within gamification are the incentives that drive the audience to move towards your strategic goal, which can be to create awareness, make sales or identify new leads. The point is not to make a game but to incorporate game mechanics into a marketing effort. 9.1 HiFli It is an online team engagement game from MindTickle ,India, that encourages collaboration and teamwork. It can be used as an employee engagement event for de-stressing and ice-breaking. Offline activities such as off-sites and team dinners are logistically challenging and expensive. Moreover, traditional team activities have become increasingly infeasible as the businesses are becoming more geographically diverse. Employees collaborate within teams and compete against one another across geographies – anytime and anywhere by applying game mechanics such as leaderboards, medals and rewards excites the users.
Figure 14. HiFli Retrieved October 30th, 2012 from http://mindtickle.com/hifli/ 9.2 AllAboard A gamified learning platform from MindTickle that can supplement or replace existing new hire onboarding and training process. New Employee orientation is a great opportunity to turn new hires into productive and committed employees.A majority of employees make their decision to stay with the company in the first three months of joining. AllAboard can help make new hires engaged and productive on day one. It is an engaging online game that can supplement or replace new hire orientation offline process.
Figure 14. HiFli Retrieved October 30th, 2012 from http://mindtickle.com/allaboard/
9.3 CASE STUDY: New Hire Induction using AllAboard at InMobi InMobi, world’s leading mobile ad network, was facing several issues in new employee onboarding e.g., delay between day of joining and orientation, unavailability of SMEs to deliver the training sessions and lack of tracking. Today InMobi has on-boarded 300+ employees using AllAboard in order to: Introduce new hires to history, roadmap and values Efficiently complete new employee formalities Train newly hired employees to succeed at their job Absorb new employees into the cultural fabric Track and evaluate the effectiveness of the on-boarding process 9.4 eMee It is a comprehensive social gamification platform enabling engagements in online world around us, be it a B2B / B2C / eTailer environment, an HR organization looking for employee engagement, a BPM firm looking to provide engaging performance in automated way or eLearning institute. eMee has completely redefined employee engagement using following gamification and social media tenets:
Use game mechanics and game dynamics to drive desired behavior within the employees Configurable points scheme to motivate users based on company goals Leaderboards to drive competitive spirit Levels and badges providing special commendations and status Mood-o-meter to gauge mood of the organization
Virtual Gifts and Commendations – rewards as a token of appreciation. Provide instant and real time gratification Online Profiles, Avataars – Drive ‘desirable behaviour’ and increase productivity, make dull activities more fun Request & Recommend Virtual Gifts/Awards/Appreciations – The most transparent and interactive way to show appreciation Easy to manage and track R&R budgets Dashboard/portal for employee recognition
Figure 15. eMee Retrieved October 30th, 2012 from http://www.emee.co.in/about_emee.html# 10.GAMIFICATION: BUSINESS STRATEGY OR FAD? The above question is answered by two top-level people in the industry validated with reasons. “I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand, is the rationale behind experiential learning and the usage of games and simulations. Employees moving up the ranks can test management approaches in a low-risk environment. Second, managers have a tool that’s available round-the-clock to test drive decisions in a simulated environment before they commit to any real-world action.” (Santhosh Babu,Founder, Managing Director, OD Alternatives )
“Gamification refers to a corporate strategy wherein a company applies the principles of game design/mechanics to the everyday life of an employee to derive a certain set of results. Even a loyalty programme is part of the overall gamification strategy a company can implement; designed with rewards and incentive they encourage consumers to opt for a certain brand as opposed to another. There are two sets of benefits a corporation can derive from games — external and internal. Understanding and applying the mechanics of games can give companies a powerful tool to transport information, change consumer behaviour, influence the decision process, the brand perception, etc. These are the external benefits. Game mechanics can expand your employee’s imagination, help managers create new opportunities for their teams and thus forge better social interaction and recognition in them. – internal benefits.
Whether you seek free upgrades, a gold credit card or an entry into the red carpet airport lounge, what you are invariably seeking is a win. What drives you to carry on is the belief that one day you will win those rewards. It’s like adding a fifth P in the marketing matrix—power.” (Manish Agarwal,CEO, Reliance Entertainment Digital) 11.B I would like to cite an example of how the principles of gamification were implemented based on an academic module‘Service Design’ at the National Institute of Design. 11.1 Brief The scope for a service design intervention in NID,from the perspective of its strategy and business models.(Group project,2 weeks) Introduction of a service, PAHELI, an initiative to aid team building and communication skills through community engagement and social interaction.The opportunity arose due to the need that students work in teams in real work scenarios and not as individual designers.PAHELI could be a platform to realize and achieve individual and organizational goals through gamification.