By Bess Ho (Founder, Silicon Valley Web Builder)
Gamification is a fast growing trend in web and mobile app design. Gamification gained popularity since SXSWi 2010 after the successful launch of Foursquare and Gowalla — two check-in platforms to use achievement and badges to engage users. For decades, traditional industries have successfully implemented Gamification strategy in Frequent Programs and Nike Plus.
Gamification is a design approach to apply game elements to engage users to share or interact in activities and to induce users to accomplish targeted business goals. In short, gamification is also defined as application of game mechanics to non-game environment. As social network giant Facebook has restricted the viral channels such as limiting the number of friends you can invite daily on each app and removing the notification feature, many developers are exploring using the game mechanics to increase user engagement, in addition to the social layer.
What is gamification?
Gamification involves both game mechanics and game dynamics. Points, levels, challenges, leader boards, gifts and charity are involved in rewards, achievements, self-expression, competition, and altruism. The advanced gamification does involve in a key game design element – Addition. Addition elements consist of Addiction of Finishing the Game, Addition of Competition, Addition of Mastery, Addition of Exploration, and Addiction of the High Score.
Gaming has changed. The game industry used to make $50 game but they didn’t care about how long users played, as long as it was a well-liked game and users would buy the next one. The game industry is moving toward to subscription-based games like MMO’s. The business model shifts to keep users playing and paying until they build the entire world of cities or kingdom of animals.
Game addition designs shift to game elements such as encouraging obsessive collecting, variable ratio rewards, easy initial rewards and leveling, eliminating stopping points, play it or lose it.
Gamification Best Practices: June 29
On Wednesday, June 29, 2011, the Silicon Valley Web Builder (SVWB) will be gathering a panel of expert speakers with background in Game Design, Game Console, Mobile Game, Gamification, Hardware-based game creators. The key focus is on Gamification Best Practice – Addition.
Our invited speakers are Albert Chen (Assistant Professor, Game Design at Cogswell Polytechnical College), Ronald Mannak (Creator of Air Guitar, Founder & CEO at Yobble), Idan Beck (Creator of gTar, Founder at Incident Technologies), Kenny Spade (Academic Developer Evangelist at Microsoft), Catherine Aurelio (User Experience and Creative Direction Lead at Bunchball), and Alexander Graham Barnes (User Interface Designer at Samsung R&D).
Women 2.0 Community Special
To encourage and support female founders, we will be giving out FREE tickets to the first 5 people from Women 2.0 community to use discount code “women20friend”.
Register for the event here: http://gamificationpart3.eventbrite.com.
About the guest blogger: Bess Ho is Mobile Architect and Instructor. She has helped and advised many early stage startups on iPhone, iPad, Cross-Platform mobile/web apps. She has received awards and honorable mentions from iPhone & iPad Dev Camps. She has guest-lectured at Stanford, spoke at mobile sessions at Web20 Expo SF, Where20, Mobile Play, Silicon Valley Code Camp. Bess is a contributing author on new book release “Sams Teach Yourself Twitter API in 24 Hours”. Follow her on Twitter at @bess.