January 14, 2011

Data point: Gamification’s effect on everyday life

Posted by: in North America

All the World's a GameWe arrived at All the World’s a Game, one of our “10 Trends for 2011,” after tracking several drivers, including one-upmanship enabled by social media, mobile technology, the engaged consumer and the rise of humetrics. Gaming has also become ingrained in culture: As Gabe Zichermann, chairman of Gamification Summit and Workshops, recently told us, “We’ve been exposed to games, and now we start to unpack and solve problems using metaphors we’ve learned in games and techniques we’re accustomed to learning from games.”

People are increasingly gamifying their everyday lives. In the survey we conducted for our trends report, 63 percent of respondents agreed that making everyday activities more like a game would make them more fun and rewarding. More than half said that if a layer of competition were added to their everyday routine, they’d keep a closer watch on their behaviors and activities.

It’s fitting, then, that game mechanics are being applied to all kinds of behaviors. We’ve talked about the smiley faces featured on utility bills when a customer uses less energy than neighbors, bringing a competitive edge to energy conservation. And via a partnership with RunKeeper, Foursquare is rewarding its users beyond the good ol’ “check in,” giving badges for reaching fitness milestones. With gamification “rewriting economics for marketing,” as Zichermann puts it, we’ll see more brands in a wide range of categories follow suit.

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