Core Elements and Mechanics of Gamification

Everyone loves playing games. Playing games enable a good-feeling and more likely to reduce stress which impacts to a more productivity and a better result of work. In the other hand, play games also come with a risk of addiction. The gradual achievement such as gaining more badges or item to unlocking new stages can cause someone to continuously play it over and over again. Therefore, similar to the two sides of a coin, games can bring happiness and addiction at the same time.

However, what happens if the addictive and fun side of the game is transformed into something that can produce a real productivity that can be applied in everyday life? This question can be solved through one way of combining the mechanics of the game into real-life topics called gamification. Before speaking more about gamification, let us discuss how we would define gamification.

Gamification has many definitions. According to Yu-kai Chou, one of a renowned expertise of gamification, gamification is the craft of deriving all the fun and addicting elements found in games and applying them to real-world or productive activities. Meanwhile, the definition of gamification according to Huotari and Hamari, refers to a process of enhancing a service with affordances for gameful experiences in order to support user’s overall value creation.

Furthermore, gamification can lead to a change in user behaviour without resorting to extrinsic incentives such as monetary rewards or punishments. In the area of implementation, examples of gamification can be found in different application fields such as sustainability, environmentally conscious corporate resource planning, as well as production and logistics.

Still, how gamification can impact a bigger cause as well as impacting your productivity? Studies have shown that game mechanics can have a significant effect on motivation and participation in non-playful contexts (Herzig et al. in Matallaoui et al: 4, 2016). Especially latent factors such as joy, the ease of use, workflow, and perceived usefulness of an application can directly be improved.

However, the term of gamification is not only limited to how we insert game mechanics into an application. Gamification, as we know it, has a greater form. Gamification does not only include game mechanics and elements, such as leaderboard, level, and so on, but more than that, gamification requires users to be more proactive in order to get a clear meaning and purpose of what they are doing.

Core Elements and Mechanics of Gamification

Core Game Mechanics. Image via source.

The most basic form of gamification as most of us experienced may most often be implemented through education. Back to our college day, some of the materials in the campus organizations such as leadership and collaboration are taught through challenging games. The game definitely requires these two skills in order to solve a problem and come out as winners.

Back to the digital form nowadays, we can take an example when you are creating an account on LinkedIn. Whether you realize it or not, there is definitely a levelling as we complete the data of ourselves. This level will increase as we fill it out with a more extensive data. LinkedIn, as a professional networking platform encourage the users to put as comprehensive data as it can be to build the net of collaboration, or to simply facilitate recruiters to find a qualified candidate.

Core Elements and Mechanics of Gamification

Linkedin’s Profile Level. Image via source.

Another simple implementation of gamification in an app might be seen in the location-marker app, Foursquare, or now better known as Swarm. It applies the concept of gamification without having a complex game mechanics into the application. It implements the badges mechanics in the app. One of which is the “Mayorship” feature. This feature allows users to earn the “Mayor” title for when someone does the checks-in at a certain location in a certain period of time. This feature allows users to compete in order to claim the throne of a certain place. Another badges mechanics implemented in the app also redeemable with a various promotion with a number of merchants collaborating with Swarm. In this case, gamification turns into a retention rate, users get the promotional benefit while at the same time encourage the visit.

Core Elements and Mechanics of Gamification

Mayorship badges level in Swarm. Image via source.

Gamification can be found everywhere with an unlimited topic and various implementation. Everything is basically can be gamified. Gamification has the ability to turn an ordinary or even a boring material into something that has a big impact and more likely to stays longer in the minds of users. So, are you ready to be a part of this amazing change through gamification?


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