Brands are integrating as a market strategy the use of gamification. You may have not heard that term in use but chances are you’re participating in it. Gamification is the idea of receiving online status reward for online fulfillment with a brand or organization. Foursquare is the most noticeable. Users checkin to various venues and at points of accomplishment they receive badges that reward behavior, make the use of the app fun, and create status for the user.
As narcissistic as it sounds people want to accomplish online status for not just visiting five mexican food places but ten different mexican food places, or coffee shops, or malls. It’s not just in foursquare but also with education. CodeAcademy also rewards users with badges after they’ve finished certain levels of online training to encourage them and move them forward. I recently wrote about Leap a photo driven app that also uses gamification among users to establish wins.
As gamification emerges and continues to be applied in the marketplace companies are emerging to provide brands with the service setup and implementation. Badgeville is one of those companies. Like App builders, the market cost for creating apps with gamification customization will become increasingly affordable.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR LEADING YOUTH.
It may be some time before non-profits integrate gamification but because it’s possible you may soon see the opportunity to create group experiences and recognition for online and offline behavior through smartphones. Take YouVersion for example, users receive badges for finishing reading plans, highlighting verses, and bookmarking. This may feel awkward to consider rewarding groups members and attendees with badges but as leaders become creative they may discover that badges can signify anything from whimsical reasons to impulsive accomplishments. You may give a badge for being the first to arrive, last to leave, being at a service project, checking in at the waining hour of an all niter, or leading a children’s ministry group. Gamification isn’t about creating an online cultural class but simply put, it’s about having fun.
Again, as platforms emerge that make gamification accesible, affordable, and customizable you will see opportunities to create environments and experiences that engage and encourage.
UPDATE: An app that uses gamification to reward kids for cleaning the house.