Digital Focus: More than just fun and games
Gamification can deliver real benefits to brands if agencies follow the rules of game psychology and focus on enjoyment
Standing, as I was the other day, in a crowded stairwell for 40 minutes while engineers tried to fix the fault on the aeroplane I was about to board, I found myself in what I now know is a recognised state in gaming. I was in the “flow zone” – a state between anxiety and boredom – and I only know to recognise it having read Adam Graham’s article on page 47 in this collection of pieces on gamification.
Sadly, for me, this was no game (I had no choice but to wait and no way to influence the outcome), and the title of the Weapon7 chief executive’s article, “Where’s the fun in that?”, swam much too clearly into mind.
When my delayed flight finally landed in Amsterdam that night, I felt more than ready for a dose of what Essence’s Alastair Cole claims psychologically informed game design can replicate: the positive feelings generated by alcohol, drugs or gambling.
The principles of gaming weave themselves almost imperceptibly throughout our lives, and ’twas ever thus. Just ask Jon Davie’s sister-in-law or, better still, read his essay that crystallizes the elements needed for the successful gamification of brands.
What do I mean by gamification? It’s a good question and one that is not sufficiently interrogated as brands and agencies rush to bolt this new-ish concept on to their communication strategies, Elle Graham-Dixon of Elvis argues in her thought-piece on page 43.
This is Campaign’s first “Focus on Gamification”, created from a demand that readers told us they had for more information about a concept that sounds so simple – mere child’s play – yet is one that few truly understand or use to full effect.
Anyone who takes the time to read the pieces that follow will find the reward truly worth the effort. The perfect game.
Suzanne Bidlake, consultant editor, Campaign
When considering a gamification strategy, forget points, badges, leaderboards and prizes - and focus on enjoyment
The idea of using gaming mechanics in marketing is not new, but any use of gamification must be appropriate to both the brand and the audience
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