It is the creation of games in a purely digital environment, where it is possible to join a digital platform with one or multiple users, seeking an integration between the platform and users through the empathy generated by the platform with variables such as motivation, effort, loyalty and in most cases different educational aspects with the people that interact.
Gamification manages to influence social issues such as the creation of communities based on the game where participants share the passion and loyalty of fun through the platform. In the different social networks users are able to contact people from different places or countries, where they manage to participate in groups or communities of certain games, giving them the opportunity to expand their group of friends, participate in tournaments and sometimes excel for being the best of the community in the game.
An example of this approach is the worldwide recognized game League of Legends, where users participate in groups or communities in Facebook, share content with other participants, search tournament information and find activities of interest. In this case, Gamification has managed to influence thousands of people around the world through this platform where they have successfully achieve the interaction with users during and away from the game.
The influence of games in people has sparked a great interest in several marketing activities of different companies around the world, where they have begun to develop activities of high interaction with users through games that have some relation with the company.
Gamification use may be for different occasions:
- Educating customers about changes or improvements in the company
- Increase brand recognition
- Increase company sales
- Set the game as a main source of income, like the case of League of Legends
- Encourage employees to develop activities in a more friendly and interactive way through the game.
In companies gamification activities are developed for all audiences, where the functionality and interaction of these depends on the objective and the public; these are divided into the following categories:
Gamification to change behavior
Gamification for external users
They are developments that are purely focused on interacting with the target market where different objectives are sought in marketing, such as brand recognition, sales increase, loyalty strategies, brand viralization through social networks, etc.
You can find several examples world-wide that meet the above objectives, one of these is the creation of NIKE RUNNING APP, where the company managed an application for users who like jogging and where they can use their phones to know and store the distance they have traveled, observe the different exercise speeds achieved during the year and one of the most important actions is that a community was created so that users could interact with each to set goals, participate in challenges and share photos with exercise statistics in social networks.
The success of this example of Gamification has been the functionality for users, where the interaction has a positive impact on the image of the company, possibly creating a safer purchase decision by users when choosing a sportswear brand. The possibility of viralizating the application through social networks and community generates a voice to voice both virtual and physical, where the brand name and the application will be heard in different situations.
Gamification for internal users
It is the development of interactions for people who are part of an organization, seeking to motivate, generate awareness, gain loyalty, improve productivity and in some cases encourage learning of unknown aspects for employees.
A case that generated motivation, productivity and a broader learning of the company was the game creation by Microsoft for Windows 7 called Language Quality Game, where the limitation that the company had was to develop their software in every existing language. This limitation generated an internal gamification campaign where employees from each region voluntarily participated in the correction of errors found in the software, which caused a greater encouragement of employees with the company and a healthy competition between the various offices of the company.
Thanks to this development Microsoft found 6,700 errors and the activity involved between 4,300 and 5,000 employees.
Gamification for education in behavioral changes
In this case, companies create a development that seeks to educate the audience about certain changes or improvements that have been made through an interactive game between companies and users.
One particular case is the BBVA GAMES, where the company wanted to educate users the proper way to perform banking activities through internet, in order to achieve lower traffic of people at the branches and provide users more comfort when doing their banking requirements.
The user enters the web site, makes the proper registration process with a specific nickname and begin the game. Once the user is registered, he/she must accept a challenge and fulfill it according to the specifications and when the challenge is completed the user receives awards and can continue their next challenge. The prizes or points won can be redeemed for benefits or participation in sweepstakes that the company has.
To sum up, user learn to navigate the real website of a company in a more easy and fun way thanks to the game through gamification. It also gives companies the opportunity to strongly interact with their audience and generate relevant content to users through functional developments offered by the digital world.