Gamification is Here To Stay. What Now?

Popular studies, supported by real-world experience, remind us that everyone everywhere learns and retains information better when it’s delivered using the elements of game theory.

So … now what?  Break out Yahtzee™ and Chex Mix™?

Even if you’re a believer in gamification, implementing it is a challenge.  What style of game?  What’s the reward?  Is there a reward? How long should it be?  Physical or electronic? Person against person or machine?

When considering these questions, it’s clear that industry and target audience directly influence the activation.

This blog provides a “next step” on your gamification journey.

There are 5 styles of games, defined by Gamasutra –  a leading game developer.  Here they are, along with a short profile of the type of person to whom each appeals, as well as the industries in which that game may find traction.

Game Type: Accomplishment

  • Player Profile: Games that involve rewards, both internal (pride, knowledge, etc.) and tangible (physical prizes, monetary, etc.).
  • Industry: Banking, Surgeons, Doctors, Government, Construction, Business

Game Type: Imagination

  • Player Profile: Games that appeal to a target audience’s empathy, and predisposition toward pretending and storytelling.
  • Industry: Education, Nursing, Nutrition, Architecture, Design, Hi-Tech, IT

Game Type: Socialization

  • Player Profile: Games that appeal to a target audience’s desire for camaraderie and group identification.
  • Industry: Agriculture, Horticulture, Public Safety, Construction, Nursing, Education. Business

Game Type: Recreation

  • Player Profile: Games that appeal to target audiences who like to have fun and “get away” to adjust their physical, mental, or emotional state.
  • Industry: Health & Fitness, Industrial, Manufacturing, Construction

Game Type: Subversion

  • Player Profile: Games that appeal to target audiences who consider themselves renegades, and who like breaking social or technical rules.
  • Industry: Hi-Tech (all industries), IT, Design

This list is not exhaustive; and industries are repeated.  Tradeshow classifications are also not finite (e.g. the classifications “Business” or “IT” encompass dozens of subdivisions).  Furthermore, many gamification strategies must and should include multiple types of appeal, e.g. integrating accomplishment, socialization, and imagination in one game activity, etc.

However, this list should give you food for thought and set you on a clearer path toward identifying the type of game that will appeal to your target audience, connect with their personalities, and metaphorically (or literally) communicate your brand promise.

For a deeper dive on the subject, take a look at our white paper, Gamification: Winning the Engagement Challenge at Tradeshows and Events

Happy gaming!