Tricks: They’re Not Just for Kids Anymore

In USA on June 11, 2011 by sdaniellebenjamin Tagged: , , , , ,

Guess who just became mayor of the ice cream shop down the street? No, it wasn’t me. But it could’ve been if I’d tried harder (and went back for that extra scoop of pralines and cream).

Competition, tricks and games have always been a dominate theme in our society, but if you thought they were just for kids… think again!

If you hadn’t realized, gamification has become big business in today’s ever-moving digital world. Businesses can now reward customer loyalty and ultimately build profit for a company.

In fact, a recent study published by Saatchi & Saatchi S reports that most Americans not only engage in online social gaming during a typical work day, but more importantly, 55 percent of Americans want to work for a company that uses gamification.

This is one digital trend that doesn’t seem to be leaving any time soon. But what does this mean for the neighbor down the street? Well for one, it means their dream of dethroning the reigning leader of their community Starbucks might actually happen. And in all seriousness, there certainly appear to be a lot of benefits to incorporating gamification, not only as a direct-for-profit mechanism, but also for learning and education.

But truthfully (and perhaps this is just my tendency to err on the side of caution coming out), I think that as with most new trends of the digital nature, it is important to view them from a lens that sees these as simply tools to help us get a particular job done – and not ends in and of themselves.

Games and tricks are fun… but let’s not allow them to dominate our lives.

One Response to “Tricks: They’re Not Just for Kids Anymore”

  1. Nice choice to focus on gamification – it is definitely a big trend to watch and something that many businesses have been paying attention to. Foursquare is a good example and there are likely many other great brand examples. Your caution about brands who might only use gamification just to create a game but not as part of a strategy is also a good one.

    The title of your post and the idea of “tricks” and how they relate to the trend of gaming wasn’t really clear to me. Are you noting that brands are starting to “trick” their consumers as part of this gamification trend? Is that right or wrong?

    The links that you share are also to some strong examples, but you miss taking the next step to actually analyze them and bring those experiences into your post. You share the phenomenon of mayorship – which seems to point to Foursquare. Are there any other examples of how brands are using gamification that you found? When people say they want to work for a company that uses gamification, what do you think they mean by that? Did you find any examples of gamification in the workplace that you could point to?

    Those sorts of additional details help to dig deeper into your topic and add more substance and would be something to focus on for coming posts. (3)

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