Why Making Predictions Makes Your Outlook Better
I’d like to start with an article that was published in lifehacker.com. At first sight, this may not look like what we’re usually interested in here at GamEffective, as it doesn’t deal with enterprise gamification software, or with software at all for that matter. Even though, I found this article fascinating since in my eyes it highlights what is so powerful about gamification. In short, and without too many spoilers, the article discusses the mechanisms of playfulness in our brains and how we can activate these mechanisms and harness them towards the goals that we want to achieve. It shows how making predictions (of any kind, from how many red cars on the way home to how many sales closed during a working day) just lights up the brain and makes us more engaged. It’s a great read that combines valuable and practical tips, information about neuropsychology and a fresh look at how being playful allows us to enjoy life and work so much more. The article is part of Jane McGonigal’s new book, SuperBetter. You can find the article here.
Habit Formation & Mobile Apps
Next, we’re moving from playfulness to habit formation. Gilad Bechar writes in Venturebeat about how getting users to use your mobile app involves the creation of new habits, and what the best way to do that is. While most of us may think of the smartphone like a bad habit that we want to kick, mobile app marketers want users to get a habit of using their app: otherwise the app is likely to be deleted. Bechar notes that to make something a habit, a good way to keep people engaged is to insert gamification mechanics that will retain the users during the time it takes until your app becomes part of their routine. Otherwise, many app developers get frustrated when all their hard work results in a resounding “meh” from the appstore audiences. If you’re an app developer, it’s well worth your time to dive into this article.
Ania Rodriguez wrote a great piece at Entrepreneur.com about how her company is creating ‘innovation games’ – games that allow all employees in the company to exchange ideas and impact the company they’re working at. The games have names like ‘sacred cows’ and ‘bad idea’, and they deal with issues such as getting away from constricting and limiting patterns of thought, or having the freedom to play around with ideas the would be considered terrible, just to get the creative juices flowing. There are also games for prioritizing what to work on and for raising the level of motivation in the company. If you’re heading an organization, or deal with HR on a daily basis, this is a great read to open your mind to a new way of tackling some pressing problems that we all encounter at the workplace, this is a great read. You can also read our post on gamification for innovation here.
Even Ninja Monkeys Like to Play
Lastly, there’s a new book out by Andrzej Marczewski, called ‘Even Ninja Monkeys Like to Play: Gamification, Game Thinking & Motivational Design’. In the book, Marczewski goes through the different theories on which gamification is built, and also surveys practical advice for building gamified solutions. If you’re just at the beginning of your gamification path, this is a great way to get in to the thick of things and achieve a fundamental understanding of gamification.