Whenever you are observing just born animals, 'Playing' is one of their first activity. And, within their species, they always know exactly how to play. Why? Because 'Mother Nature' has built it into our DNA. Play is being used as nature's learning engine.
But it doesn't stop here. It is also the internal learning engine for us humans, isn't it? Or, who can deny that Play captures the better part of our childhood? That it is Play that let us discover most of the human behavior arround us? That it is Play that let us learn how to loose for the first time? That is is Play that provides us with our first challenges to overcome and to progress by try and failure?
To survive as a species means to be able to adjust ourselves to changing conditions, right? And the only way this worked for the last 200.000 years was our ability to learn. That's it why evolution outfits us with an internal rewarding system ever since the beginning of humankind . And one of the highest 'level' of reward is the flush of dopmanine inside our brain by overcoming a tough challenge --> called 'learning'.
So, if playing is a basic element for our species to survive, how can it be a distraction?
So, I believe that using game-design-thinking inside your company doesn’t change your business priorities. Instead it is about taking advantage of our most reliable human natures. So, the biggest challenge is to find a way to merge work and play
to encourage the behavior of your employees AND customers in a way that feels just natural. Engaging and fulfilling.
And please, this is not some kind of marketing activity that wants to trick people to do something they don't want to do (even if a lot of marketing agencies will try this in the future).
"Games produce positive emotions (even failling can be positive within a game), stronger social relationships, a sense of accomplishment and a chance to build a sense of purpose." (Michael Wu, Science of Social)
In the future I will post more about the science of games, why I believe in its 'business-potential' and how to apply it to your area of activities.
At the end of these posts and my own research I want to bring it all togehter and to write it down in a book. Therefore I'm looking forward to your comments, thoughts, doubts, objections, examples, and more. It would be great if the book, at the end, will be an example by itself of some kind of social interaction of some interested peoples out there.
Please let me know what you think about the subject of gamification, coming up theories and more.
Via Roman Rackwitz