Gamification has been used effectively over a wide-range of different fields. Including fitness, education, productivity and marketing. Let's have a look at a few popular examples from these different areas.In the fitness space, here’s one you may have heard of, FitBit. It's a device that tracks primarily how many steps you take during the day and encourages you to reach a daily step goal. It does this through playful feedback by rewarding users with game-like achievements when they hit certain milestones. Users can also compare their weekly step count to their friends on a leaderboard.
Another of my favourite examples of gamification is Duolingo. It makes learning a language easy and fun by giving you engaging language challenges to play. You get experience points every time you practice, and you can compare your points with your friends. It also has a streak feature where you are encouraged to come back and practice every day. It supports a range of different languages. Everything from Spanish and French to even Klingon.
If you struggle getting through your emails each day, then the Email Game may be something worth looking at. It connects to your Gmail account and challenges you to reply to your emails as quickly as possible. It measures your speed and gives you points based on your performance.
When it comes to examples of gamification in advertising and marketing, there's plenty to choose from. Coca-Cola has had a number of playful marketing campaigns over the past few years, for example, they have made their vending machines more playful, letting people earn a free Coke by hugging the vending machine or pronouncing different phrases. They also had an interactive TV game promotion where people could download an app and shake it at the right time when watching a Coca-Cola advertisement as if they were catching prizes from their TV screen.
The McDonald’s Monopoly partnership is also another great example of gamification in action that many people know and remember. Buy food and drink to collect street names. Match them and you can win a prize. It's been incredibly popular and has been running for many years.
When we think of a stereotypical gamer, we generally consider a market of mostly young nerdy males. However, this is far from the truth. The gaming community is a rather large and diverse group. According to the ESA almost 50% of Americans play games. The average age of a gamer is 35 years old and 41% are female.
But there is a reason for this, with the advancement and integration of technology into our everyday lives, we've seen games evolve to become incredibly accessible and popular over the last decade. These days we can easily play games anywhere using our mobile devices and this is a key contributing factor to the popularity and success of gamification.
What may surprise you is that according to the Nielsen digital ratings, the biggest group of online gamers in Australia are actually adults age 55 and over. Surprisingly these Baby Boomers make up almost a quarter of Australia’s 14.5 million gamers, that's more than any other age category.
One thing we don't often realise is just how much time we spend playing games each day. According to the 2016 Digital Australia Report, Australians spend on average 88 minutes a day playing games, which is incredible considering how time pressured we often feel.
Let's briefly mention one game in particular, World of Warcraft. It's a popular game released over a decade ago that people are still playing. What's amazing is just how much time we've spent in this one game. By one analyst's calculation, the 11 million or so registered users have collectively spent 50 billion hours playing this game. This is about six million years, which is as much time as we have spent evolving as a species.
Needless to say gamification is now an established industry. There's more and more research happening in the space. You can hire gamification consultants to make your products more engaging. You can even find entire platforms built to help you integrate game elements into your website and apps. These days it’s becoming easier and cheaper to build full fledged serious games as well. Just like Gamify do for advertising games.
Join me in this following video. We're going to look at an overview of the game industry and who's playing.