Last night our CTO and Co-founder Jeff Malek participated on a gamification panel for the WTIA’s Gaming Community Event. Wade Rockett of Weber Shandwick and Scott Dodson of Bobber Interactive were also on the panel, moderated by Kraig Baker of Davis Wright Tremaine. The panel was excellent, with perspectives from a wide variety of gamification experience, ranging from finance applications to HR benefits. It’s always interesting talking gamification in front of the gaming community and this discussion was diverse and thought provoking.
The panel discussed a range of topics from the distinction between gamification and games, gamification failures and the role of social media in gamification solutions. It was surprising that even with a panel of experts all using gamification in different ways, they were often in agreement about the core principles of gamification and where it is heading in the future.
Scott Dodson spent a good deal of time talking about the importance of intrinsic rewards in gamification solutions. He noted that while extrinsic rewards give users an added bonus, the internal value to the user to engage, is key to creating an effective gamification program. We are seeing these kinds of intrinsic value a lot in energy, environmental and non-profit applications of gamification. Users who may already value the end goal are rewarded intrinsically though a gamified process.
Jeff Malek highlighted the differences between an old fashioned loyalty program and a gamified loyalty platform, namely the ability to expand and adapt well beyond what a standard loyalty program is about. Gamification is a next frontier loyalty program that uses technology to engage and solve online publisher and user questions. It is a much more adaptable system than the loyalty programs of the past with much greater analytic power and customization.
Wade Rockett brought a really interesting perspective to the panel with his company’s use of gamification internally to structure learning and development of employees. While the program is still in fairly early stages, he spoke to the success it has seen with employees actively seeking and engaging with badges and rewards. Wade also talked about the distinction between gamification and games noting that gamification often has a larger end goal than simple entertainment and is typically used to enhance something that already exists.
The final question to the panel was “Where do you see gamification heading in the next 2 years?” Everyone agreed that gamification in its many different iterations is here to stay. Examples of industries it will affect ranged from politics to mobile platforms.
We wanted to thank the WTIA for once again putting on a fantastic event that was both informative and interesting. Thank you as well to the panelists, the moderator and everyone who attended and grilled Jeff with some great questions. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!