Game mechanics are everywhere, if you know where to look. They are best implemented when they seamlessly integrate to the product or service. Sometimes the mechanics are not visible at all, but our minds still act like something is a game. In this post we’ll take a look at a few simple gamification examples that almost all of us have experiences with.
Did you know there are now over 3 billion people on social media? That makes likes on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter the most common form of gamification in today’s world. Everyone wants to feel loved and show their best side on social media. Checking the likes of our latest posts becomes an addiction, and can lead to a slippery slope.
Like a game leaderboard, the like system makes it very easy to compare ourselves to everyone else. For some people it can even become a metric of self-worth. Furthermore, if we compare ourselves to the social media stars, it will be a long way before we are “good enough”. What happens if the next selfie does not get likes?
The stock market
Take a look at the Nasdaq markets page. There are metrics for most active stocks, different indexes and the market as a whole. The masters of the game analyse these numbers, and use them to predict trends for the instruments. All kinds of events, both external and internal can affect the stock prices. Additionally, every investor out there is trying to figure out which way the stocks will go. Plus, of course, outsmart the competition. This creates even more uncertainty in the market.
Many are afraid of the stock market because of the horror stories we hear. It is true there are those who lost their life’s savings. Yet the truth is we should be more afraid of our money sitting in a bank account with minimal interest. Anyone can get into the stock game, and it does not take more than a couple of hundred to get started. But like all games, this one has its own rules, and you will need to spend some time to succeed.
School is a gamified system as well, but currently the gamification part is broken. It is safe to say improvement is on its way with tech giants like Google and Microsoft entering the fray. The situation we are in now is that the game aspect mainly comes from grades. Scoring systems like grades are the grandpa of gamification mechanisms. What we are currently seeing is that it isn’t enough to keep students interested anymore. The current generation has grown up with games. That means they are used to more sophisticated mechanisms to keep them engaged. Then there is, you know, the fact that success in school largely determines what you will be able to do after you graduate.
There is enormous potential in further gamification in education. One day we might be able to ditch the outdated grading system in favour of a more rewarding alternative. With things like artificial intelligence rapidly developing, the days of standardised education are numbered. The future is customisation.
Apps like Tinder have made dating into a game. We swipe left and right and hope to find a match. Some users even consider the number of matches as a kind of point system. This world of online dating has much in common with social media likes we talked about earlier.
There are even power-ups and tutorials to help you succeed in Tinder dating. Both of these are classic video game mechanics to help you overcome an obstacle. An app like this bypasses some of the randomness in traditional dating. Ultimately by finding people with similar interest should lead to better matches, right?
Loyalty programs make consumption of certain brand’s products and services a game. By signing up for a loyalty program, you enter the world of points, levels and rewards. A report published by Forrester research states almost 3 out of 4 people belong to a loyalty program. The members of these programs spend around 30% more than those who do not belong to a program. It’s no wonder companies invest in this.
When we as consumers enter a loyalty program, it is compelling to keep consuming one brand. The rewarding feeling from the program can sometimes come in the way of logical choices. The loyalty program craze has recently given way to influencer marketing. That’s a whole another world, which links back to the power of social media.
The gamification examples above are only a few of the plethora of mechanics we face in the world every day. Were you aware of all of them? Did they evoke any thoughts? Let me know in the comments or hit me with a tweet @loadlastsavenow.