You Janet Jackson fans will recognize what I did there in the post title (wink).
Greetings all. We humans have been presented with methodologies and processes aimed at motivating us to to things for a reward, for decades. Oxford’s Dictionary defines gamification as :
- the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service.
Think of the many times you’ve been presented with gamification through your own desire or via presentation from services tied to your occupation, etc. It is purely psychological, yet can have, sometimes, profound effects on how one approaches things based upon the reward outcome.
The greatest effect of gamification on me (from what I can remember) came from awards given via fitness tracking devices. It really started for me back in 2009 when I started tracking my runs with the Nike+ Fitness app via the Nike+ iPod Sport Kit. This continued through the use of the Nike Fuel Band, and onto my current method of tracking fitness – the Apple Watch. All three entities provide awards, aka badges, for completing a myriad of daily, monthly, and special challenges. Out of the three, I will wholeheartedly say that Nike fitness tracking ecosystem and advertising deeply drew me into striving to gain those rewards. I haven’t tried the same with Garmin or FitBit, and Apple really doesn’t do it for me, like Nike did…it’s kind of hard to explain the draw with what Nike did, but if I could, this would end of being a TLDR post.
I’ll go on to admit that the entire marketing design, the aspects, the developed ecosystem (when done “right”) can provide that motivation for winning beyond anything else – and this is the only thing that matters when it comes to desired engagement and the same return on investment that a product seeks.
This entire process, at least from the digital approach to gamification, finally made me think back to the days prior to the rise of gamification, especially with digital fitness tracking techniques, I began to realize that there were (and still are) many that focus on the discipline vs the motivation, and that is very key.
Today, my approach to gamification is different. The collection of rewards is not important as it once was, particularly once I realized that the Apple Watch Activity algorithm for tracking fitness goals is flawed, I call it dumb, for reasons by which I won’t go into explaining in this post, but are quite obvious by the many posts I’ve seen regarding individual monthly challenges issued at the beginning of each month for everyone. If I get said challenge award for said goal based on my regular routine, that’s fine – if I don’t, that’s fine too. This is a far more realistic approach to take and it keeps you in tune to how to effectively track your goals.
What has gamified you?
Thanks for the read,