Gamification is the use of game elements and game design techniques in non-game contexts. I attended a course on gamification which was hosted by Kevin Werbach, professor at The Wharton School, and Co-author of the recently released book, For the Win.
During the past few months I have been looking at a series of online and offline products and services that are adopting Gamification. One of the key things that Gamification helps in achieving is “Intrinsic Motivation”. Health and Fitness industry has leveraged Gamification as the key challenge that they face is motivating people to spend time on their health and fitness. The Nike+ fuel band is a fantastic example. Similarly, I am aware of around multiple such apps that have hardware and software combination where they track health and activity data and sync it to online portals and present that data in a structured way through the use of gamification elements to motivate people to get into a habit of regular focus on fitness.
2 such products that I use are: Runtastic.com and Fitbit.com. I use the blackberry app from the runtastic as well as I use the Fitbit One tracker + Windows 7 sync software + iPad App. Below are some results that I saw in my behaviour after using Fitbit for the past 2 months. I know the data is too small and not statistically significant. I will keep updating the blog post to share updated data on how my performance improved or deteriorated. But at a broad level, I can see a 44% improvement in my daily Kms walked metric (see image below).
These products have leveraged Gamification very well and the continuous motivations, notifications, alerts, badges and the friend leader-boards with quick tease messaging to friends works very well in tandem to keep people motivated.
If you notice Image 1: clearly, there was a long period when I wanted to be regular about my fitness, however, I didn’t. But since the time I got Fitbit One tracker, I am motivated to walk, climb stairs instead of taking elevator and walk that extra mile whenever I see a chance.
All this is happening because we all like to have fun and games are fun. Gamification of real life activities makes mundane activities as fun and keeps us motivated to keep participating and playing.
So, that’s my story of intrinsic motivation driven by gamification and technology that is helping me out, Your turn now!