It is important to remember that no strategy is good or bad by itself. Whether it’s effective or not will depend on factors such as the combination of sub-strategies, timing and follow up.

Last week we started to speak about our innate playful instinct (introduced by Huizinga,1964). It being one of the main reasons for evolution.

Playful instinct is directly related with survival instincts and evolution. Learning is the gate to headway.

Let’s cut to the chase and later we can deepen in that matter.

By answering these questions you can tell us if to play or not to play is a question no longer to be asked.

Have you ever considered charging your friends for playing a board game with them? Oh, I see… Did you abandon Candy Crush or Icon Pop Quiz before the second level? Would you watch a soccer game with no scores or only one team?

If your answer is no… Congratulations, it’s a human!

More so, what is it to games that make us feel so motivated? Why do we eager that sense of fulfilling and achievement that only a game like situation can give us?

No matter the explanation, we all have felt it. So, why so serious? Let’s play!

Playing is a serious matter for businesses

We listed for you 13 skills that a good gamification strategy can stimulate in your team. Based on real science and real common sense.

  • Decision making and taking risks: When playing for fun, there are no real consequences, therefore we are willing to take further risks and to demonstrate different shades of ourselves. This is when the stakes get higher and creativity is boosted.

  • Abstract reasoning: If you start a gamification strategy with your team, reality will be observed almost indirectly. Therefore they would observe everything from a fresh perspective and let’s be real, that can’t harm anyone.

  • Engagement, filiation, socialization: Being part of a team has a totally different meaning when playing. It’s human to pack with those who share your thrives. Even sometimes healthy competition can be the gateway to bonding.

  • Competition, pleasure, fulfilling: Even if your gamification strategy is not contemplated with a winning or losing outcome, competing is considered to be a conditioned psychological reaction, sometimes more rewarding if endless. Playing is a pleasure because it mutates from rational to irrational, therefore, our brains need to activate more functions that any working task.

  • There is no cost in failing (or achieving): If your team feels that there is no cost in failing they will probably take bigger risks. Use the crazy guns or draw outside the lines. Gamification is great when you have no answers or when developing a new product or service.

  • Catharsis: Maybe there’s nothing to teach to your team. But everybody needs a break, and outlet or maybe a light spot. Competing or failing for free is a way to release emotional tension or negative urges as aggressiveness. Yes, you can have a ping pong table or a Zumba class, but you can also gamificate your practice.

  • Self-esteem and increase of knowledge: By stimulating creativity, strategic thinking, participation and probably completion, team members have to achieve new knowledge, even without noticing which improves their self-esteem.

  • Autonomy: There are few things more thrivings than learning something new… By yourself. It is great to ask every single thing to your co-workers or to imitate your boss. But can you imagine that by trying to win, or by the seek of playing your team members will look for fresh innovative answers outside their comfort zone?

  • Creativity and divergent thinking: A little bit of crisis can bring geniality to the surface. As we said before, you can use gamification to develop new ideas. When nothing is written and escalating positions (even if fictional) is at stake, the animal instinct will oblige your team members to display their shiniest feathers.

  • Methods and systematization: Failing or achieving are the only definitive ways to prove us right or closer. Thus, game-like situations bring the opportunity to create and systematize methods in pretended situations that can be used later in the real ones while minimizing risks.

  • Sharpening the senses: We’ve established the relation between playful instincts and basic instincts. Captivity and known truths tend to numb our senses and to decrease our sense of urgency. If we can find the way to use our reptile brain as a servant and combustible to our rational brain we could really get on the way to the top of the chain.

  • Persistency: According to Jane McGonigal (2011) and The Institute for the Future (2015), game-like situations allow people to look forward epic meaning while developing stronger and long lasting persistence related skills. This is by far one of the most important factors to success.

These skills are good to your business independently but together are game changing. That is why gamification should combine several strategies. Find out more at: Gamification: No fuss, No muss?

As promised at the beginning, there are some historical arguments in favor of gamification.

We need to play and History proves it

Nowadays, gamification has earned a spotlight in marketing, tourism, and cultural activities. Regardless the age of the audience.

As usual, the present generations can’t take credit for this invention. But we sure have done our fair share into making noise about it. Nonetheless, we can definitely take credit for trying to conceptualize it.

Since the very beginning of History, gaming has been a must. There is evidence of pharaohs and scribes using gamification as stimulation to fulfill everyday tasks.

Greeks were masters of gaming and solving problems creatively, just think about Troy. Armed forces all over the world are sustained by people who aim for badges and all sorts of ways to upgrade.

We have never stopped chasing a sort of sense of achievement. Let’s not condemn nature but use it in our favor.

Gamification brings the opportunity to business everywhere to cultivate different dimensions of being and more motivation. Don’t you feel it when you play?

Let’s Recap:

  • Boost productivity with motivated and engaged employees.
  • Competing is always a reason to shine or to be different.
  • Persistence is the ultimate quality of game players. You want that in your business.
  • Games are a serious matter. And great for the business too. 

 

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