Gartner Predicts Over 70 Per Cent of Global 2000 Organisations Will Have at Least One Gamified Application by 2014
Analysts Discuss the Future of Gamification at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2011, 7-10 November, in Barcelona, Spain
Gartner analysts examined the future of gamification during Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2011, being held through 10 November. Gamification describes the broad trend of applying game mechanics to non-game environments to motivate people and change behaviour.
"Gamification aims to inspire deeper, more engaged relationships and to change behaviour, but it needs to be implemented thoughtfully," said Brian Burke, research vice president at Gartner. "Most attempts at gamification currently miss the mark, but successful and sustainable gamification can convert customers into fans, turn work into fun, or make learning a joy. The potential is enormous."
For a gamified application truly to engage its audience, three key ingredients must be present and correctly positioned: motivation, momentum and meaning (collectively known as "M³"). According to Mr Burke, "The vast majority of gamified applications today lack or misplace at least one of these ingredients, which means gamified applications run the risk of falling into disuse, once their novelty wears off."
Motivation is inspired by most of today's gamified applications primarily by offering extrinsic rewards and/or weak intrinsic rewards to direct behavioural changes. Extrinsic motivation comes from outside an individual and is inspired by rewards such as money and grades. Intrinsic motivation exists within an individual and derives from that person's interest in, or enjoyment of, the task. "Framing the right motivations is an important consideration when designing gamified applications," said Mr Burke. "It's essential to use the right mix of intrinsic and extrinsic motivators, combined with appropriate player relationships - competitive or collaborative."
Momentum depends on sustained engagement. In gaming, momentum is achieved by balancing the difficulty of the challenges presented with the skill levels of the players. If players find challenges too easy, they will soon get bored. On the other hand, if challenges are too difficult, players will become frustrated. Gamified applications need to engage players quickly and maintain their engagement through deft use of game mechanics such as challenges, rules, chance, rewards and levels.
Meaning is about serving a larger purpose. To succeed, gamified applications must provide rewards that are meaningful to the participants. Different people will find different rewards and incentives meaningful, but many will value opportunities to help charities through donations, lose weight, master a specific skill or achieve a significant task.
"Gamification could become as important as Facebook, eBay or Amazon," said Mr Burke. "During 2012, 20 per cent of Global 2000 organisations will deploy a gamified application. IT leaders must start exploring opportunities to use gamification to increase engagement with customers and employees, with the aim of deploying a gamified application next year. Understanding how to apply game mechanics to motivate positive behavioural change is critical to success."
About Gartner Symposium/ITxpo
Gartner Symposium/ITxpo is the world's most important gathering of CIOs and senior IT executives. This event delivers independent and objective content with the authority and weight of the world's leading IT research and advisory organisation, and provides access to the latest solutions from key technology providers. The event also features an ITxpo show floor, which offers exclusive access to some of the world's leading technology and service providers. With 95 IT exhibitors demonstrating their solutions at the event, the ITxpo show floor provides a unique opportunity for attendees to assess the vendor landscape and engage face to face with exhibitors while away from the distractions of the office. Additional information on Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2011 in Barcelona, 7-10 November, is available at www.gartner.com/eu/symposium.
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