8 surprising places gamification is showing up

8 surprising places gamification is showing up

Aren’t there interesting gamification applications beyond schools?

Gamification is the technique of turning things that are completely unrelated to gaming or entertainment (such as education or business) into an experience that is designed to be fun and interactive. Gamification is part art, part science, combining the science of teaching and learning particular skills with the art of making those activities fun and more memorable. Following are some surprising gamification applications to consider.

1. Gamification of shopping

The digital era has shaken the retail industry to its core. It’s become increasingly difficult to make a success out of most brick and mortar stores, and competition among online stores is fierce. Retailers have taken to gamification to create a unique and entertaining experience in order to keep shoppers happy and buying. Popular gamification methods that are being adopted by online retailers include points systems, loyalty programs, or even online scavenger hunts.

2. Gamification of education

Every level of education, from kindergarten through college, is using gamification to make learning easier, faster, and richer. Educational gamification strategies range from interactive textbooks to learning games (like those at SesameStreet.com) and gamified testing programs.

3. Gamification of training

Workplace trainers are using gamification to train employees on a variety of issues. Gamification training ranges from interactive computer games to live role playing, such as employees taking turns playing the part of a harassment victim or the boss who has to make budget cuts.

4. Gamification of work

Gamification in the workplace isn’t limited to training. It is also being used to develop better work interfaces. For example, some software developers who design help desk software and other business interfaces are using gamification to make the work more intuitive and less stressful. Gamified software for HR, finance, research and development, production workers, and more is changing the way people work, train, and handle customers. Gamified time management apps are also popular.

5. Gamification of healthcare

People with diabetes must track their blood sugar, heart patients must keep up with regular exercise, and many other health conditions require monitoring of medicines and other daily routines. The medical profession is using gamification in apps to help patients track and manage their health in a more fun way. This not only encourages patients to take better care of themselves, it also takes some of the stress off patients who are battling medical conditions. A game-like experience is more enjoyable than logging what you eat every day, how much you exercised, and when you took your medicine.

6. Gamification of fitness

Gamified fitness apps are incredibly popular, and range in scope from counting calories to tracking exercise goals to logging weight loss. Gamified apps that aid in health can help users quit smoking, lower cholesterol, monitor salt/sugar intake, and track emotional health symptoms. Like the apps used for healthcare, these “games” make it easier and more enjoyable to do things that are traditionally considered tedious or unpleasant. It’s even better when these apps are designed to be competitive — you can try to lose more weight than your coworkers or jog more miles than your neighbors and follow who’s in the lead via a leaderboard.

7. Gamification of retirement

It didn’t take a room full of actuaries to figure out that nobody likes researching and setting up retirement plans. Retirement plans are often boring, confusing, and frustrating. One 401(K) provider figured out what it takes to get people interested in researching and setting up retirement plans: a gamified app for mobile devices. This company lets users compete with others in terms of retirement savings, which encourages them to research better plans, put more into their accounts, and track their progress regularly.

8. Consumer research

With people receiving more surveys than ever before, it can be very challenging for marketers and researchers to get their surveys through the noise. Survey gamification is simplifying the survey-taking experience, making the experience more interactive and less time-consuming. These gamified surveys are collecting more authentic feedback, and require less time to gather a sufficient sample size.

Want to see how gamification can improve your organization’s consumer research efforts? Register to create your own research game for free at Datagame today.