Aux Etats-Unis, l’industrie et les associations du jeu vidéo se sont récemment associées afin de créer un laboratoire du « game design » dont le champ de recherche va être fondé sur l’engagement et l’apprentissage des étudiants.
Cette initiative tombe dans un contexte de société où la grande tendance actuelle de”gamification” se mélange au domaine de l’éducation dans le but de rendre tout enseignement ou apprentissage, aussi amusant et engagent que le plus commun des jeux.
Yesterday, I have had a very interesting talk with Toby Beresford (a UK based strategic technology leader with expertise in social media and gamification, www.tobyberesford.com).
Amongst other things we talked about "what would it be worth for a company/a business leader to implement a game mechanic within the organisation, teams or activities?" (For an internal use)
I would love to answer this question using a counterquestion I've heard from Gary Veynerchuck "What's the ROI of your Mother?". I love this question becuase I think that there is a lot of truth in it. There are things you just can't measure (or it is very, very complicated). And this is true for almost every emotional and subjective activities and values.
But of course this answer wont satisfy any person that is responsible for the investments made within an organisation. So, what is the ROI of a game mechanic?
Honestly? I don't really know. It depends of the activity you're using the mechanic for, the people that are engaging with it, the level of intensitiy you are implementing it, the 'rewarding' consequences, and so on. Despite the fact that most people are looking at using game mechanics just to collect points, levels and badges and think that this is the purpose of game mechanics I have to say that I wish it would be so easy. Because than, it would be a lot easier to talk about a ROI.
But (fortunately, because this is it where I see the amazing potential of using game-design-thinking) points, badges and levels are just some tools within a large toolbox. I believe that the purpose of gamification is to develop intrinsic motivation or to say it in other words: a strong engagement and commitment.
So, we are talking about something difficult to measure, right. There are already some very interesting approaches, developed by the psychology area, to provide management-tools concerning the state and progress of the motivation of employees.
For example Deci & Ryan wit their self-determination theory. The difficutly will be to combine these approaches with actual management tools. From my point of view one of the ost important problems to solve here: Most management-tools and of course company goals and so also the incentive-models for employees are short-term oriented. Working with tools in the area of motivation, improving skills and an intrinsic engagement is like running a marathon. But most of actual used management-tools are rather for sprints than for marathons.
So, I'm looking forward to early adapters that are implementing game mechanics into their busoiness without thinking at the ROI of it. After some period perhaps we are able to use the 'approach to human motivation and personality' by Deci & Ryan to measure something a 'before and after' of using Gamification or better 'motivational-design'.
I know this is not really a ROI in the economic sense but it will be an approach, right?
Let me know what you think about this. Or, do you know about some kind of ROI- measurement for employee satisfaction? Better: employee fulfillment?
Dans la catégorie « Game Design », deux équipes françaises défendent cette année les couleurs de la France à Imagine Cup : il s'agit de Swifteam et de l'équipe Ecosia, deux groupes d'étudiants qui ont en commun d'explorer une nouvelle manière de...
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.
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