In this week’s recap, Ikea has great flow, social networking platform Gigya announces game mechanics platform, gamification and games for public health, Keas cofounder Adam Bosworth shares his vision for the future, and the Guardian discusses gamification for the public good. Be sure to read the full stories.
Gigya, a long standing social networking platform, just released a game mechanics suite as part of their product offering. Gigya CEO, Patrick Salyer, told VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi, “Gamification has been one of the most requested features from our clients, so we are very excited to bring to market a truly best in class social rewards product.” Some of those customers include GoodSearch, Fathead.com, CarDomain, VideoBash, Shoebacca and Daily Racing Form, and Gigya is entering into the gamification platform market with competitors Bunchball, Badgeville, and BigDoor.
Canadian news source Globe and Mail introduces the idea of gamification by taking a look at Ikea from a game designers prospective. They find that the store has excellent flow and a knack for engaging customers with trendy furniture and Swedish meat balls. Similarly, game designers look at long term engagement rather than simply pushing users to a point of sale. But gamification is not a panacea, “There are lots of games that suck,” says Daniel Debow, co-founder and co-CEO of Toronto-based Rypple Inc.“Just because they have badges and leaderboards doesn’t mean they’re good games. The underlying gameplay has to be engaging.”
In reference to an excellent article by Margaret Simmons on using games in journalism, Melissa Sweet that online games can be important tools for public health. The post looks at Re-mission, Reach Out Central, and Lit to Quit as examples of things to comes in the use of games to help people be more fit and healthy.
Continuing on with games for health, Keas cofounder, Adam Bosworth, wrote an op-ed two weeks ago for the Washington Post. The write-up is short, but Bosworth argues “We used to teach information design. Then we taught UI design and UI interaction. But now it will be game mechanics. Within two years (if not already), lack of understanding appointment mechanics, game mechanics and leveling will be as crippling to someone who aspires to design online solutions as it is today for someone who doesn’t understand HTML and CSS and AJAX and JQuery.”
In this article, the Guardian introduces gamification and goes deeper into its use for public good with a quote from James Riley, managing director at digital marketing agency Effect, that gamification can create “fun in things that traditionally weren’t by playing to human nature. So what you’re really trying to do is to create an experience that people engage with emotionally – that’s when you get real success.” The article also goes into Spigit’s program with the United Kingdom’s Department of Work and Pensions as an example of gamification in the public sector.
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