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What is Gamification?

Gamification with Dr Zachary Fitz-Walter

Introduction to Gamification

Dr Zac Fitz-Walter (PhD in Gamification Design) gives us a greater understanding of what Gamification is and where it originated from. Watch now to discover for yourself!
Doctor Zachary Fitz-Walter

Head of Education

Dr Zac Fitz-Walter (PhD in Gamification Design) gives us a greater understanding of what Gamification is and where it originated from. Watch now to discover for yourself!
Doctor Zachary Fitz-Walter

Head of Education

Hi, my name is Dr. Zac Fitz-Walter. I'm a gamification designer, speaker and geek and one of the first people in the world to have a PhD in gamification design.

 
Do you want to know what gamification is? Well, this series of videos will give you a quick overview of some of the key concepts of gamification. We'll look at a range of different topics that relate to gamification. You'll come away knowing much more about gamification and how to use it to effectively help your business.
How can we encourage people to exercise more? Well, some clever designers in Sweden came up with a playful idea to encourage everyday commuters to take the stairs instead of the escalator. They did this by making the stairs more fun to use by turning them into a giant working piano. They found that by doing this, 66% more people than normal chose the stairs over the escalator. But more than that, the commuters looked like they had a lot of fun at the same time. Some of them were walking up and down...and up again, just playing with the piano. These piano stairs are an incredible example of using the power of play to motivate people.
 
There are many different definitions for the term gamification. One of the most popular definitions is found in an academic paper from 2011 where gamification was defined as the addition of game elements to non-game activities. In this context, game elements can range from interface elements like badges, leaderboards, or levels. Or can also include game design methods, drawing. from the way we design games.

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What's interesting is that gamification is not a new concept. Actually if you remember Mary Poppins, she sums up gamification quite nicely with the quote:

 


"In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and SNAP! The job's a game."


 

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If you checked into a location, you would receive points. Check-in to a new location, you hadn't visited before and you would receive even more points. You could then compare the number of points you had on a leaderboard with friends and you could also receive badges for doing special things like checking-in on a boat or checking in with more than 50 people in one place. If you checked into a place more than anyone else, you became the Foursquare mayor of that place. This felt like a game. And it was a lot of fun to use. Foursquare became a popular example of gamification. What's interesting, though, was that the game elements they used started to appear in many different other applications and websites. This may have contributed to these game elements becoming a popular way to add gamification.
 
he was on to something here. She knew that something could be made fun by turning it into a game all the way back in the 1960s. Gamification existed even earlier than this. If you were a Boy Scout you could obtain real badges and ranks back in the early 1900s. However as video games started to take off, we saw educational video games then become popular in the 1970s and 80s. You may remember such games as 'Where in the World is Carmen San Diego', ‘Reader Rabbit' and 'Math Blaster’. These games were built for serious purposes, to educate players.
 
These days we’re seeing more and more serious games in gamification, partly because video games have become mainstream and, as well, smartphones have made it incredibly easy to play games anywhere.
Join me in the following video as we talk about popular examples of gamification

Interested in what gamification can do for your business?

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