‘Fun at Work’ isn’t that an oxymoron?

By SpiderGroup

12 Sep 2013

(Guest Post from Mark Evans of KBase Connect)


Casual business team laughing during meeting


Gamification is a term that has been around for over 11 years and was coined by a computer programmer named Nick Pelling in 2002 but has only gained momentum over the last 3 years.

The definition in Wikipedia is “the use of game thinking and game mechanics in a non-game context to engage users and solve problems….

Sounds like the ultimate solution, a productive, effective, profitable workforce all having fun and trying to get to the top of the leader board! What could go wrong?!

Gartner, the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company predicted that by 2015, more than 50% of organizations that have managed innovation processes will gamify those processes.  Is this just another buzz word or is there substance behind this treat to add game mechanics to business processes?

I personally feel that Gamification is here to stay and it will evolve and seamlessly integrate into the workplace of almost every business within 10 years in some form or another.

What are Game mechanics?

Within the gaming environment there are many components that make up a successful engaging experience, game mechanics is the process of engineering these components into that experience and there are lots to choose from, some perfect for adoption into the business world, others definitely not!

Known as the Game Components, these are all at your disposal:

  • Achievements
  • Avatars
  • Badges
  • Boss fights (very interesting from a work place point of view)
  • Collections
  • Combat
  • Content unlocking
  • Gifting
  • Leader boards
  • Levels
  • Points
  • Quests
  • Social Graph
  • Teams
  • Virtual goods

Other concepts from the gaming world are:

  • On-boarding
  • Engagement Loops (Motivate – Action – Feedback)
  • Progression Loops (Small Goals – Bigger Goals – Ultimate Goals)
  • Fun

Is that all I need to do?

Not quite, as to make sure these game components work best for your business and your specific tasks & processes there are other things to consider such as:

Who are your Players (Users)

What Motivates the Players

What form of Motivation (Intrinsic/Extrinsic) exists for each Player

The Behaviour Types of your Players

How best to make components visible and interactive

Putting all of these things together in a focused review of your requirements will provide a valuable insight into how Gamification can help you drive your business forward through Player engagement, motivation and fun.


(Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net)


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