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Gamification and its Benefits

Gamification and its Benefits

Gamification is relatively a new term in recent times, but its uses

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and applications are gaining popularity with many businesses and companies adopting it into their systems – that could potentially save lives. By Veron Ng.

According to Kim (2015), “many benefits of gamification are hypothesized rather than verified at this point” because of the fact that it is still a new adaptation into current routines (29). Kim (2015) also suggested that the term ‘gamification’ is “not quite creating a game but transferring some of the positive characteristics of a game to something that is not a game, thus, gami-’fy’-ing it” (5). These positive characteristics are often related http://viagraonline-genericmall.com/ to as ‘fun’ and carries engaging elements to the players. Basically, gamification means the adding of certain game elements or mechanics to a task that is not related to games, in hopes of engaging the users and increasing participation.

According to Kim (2015), gamification itself is a very powerful attraction tool, and it strongly captures people’s attention and gets them engaged into a specific task or sildenafil generic activity (20). It could even influence the behaviour or attitude of the person through the activity. For example, the ‘Piano Stairs’ installed in Odenplan, Stockholm in 2009 fascinated numerous people and 66 percent more of them actually chose to use the staircase instead of the escalator which is right next to it. Besides that, the ‘Bottle Bank Arcade’ which was also installed in 2009 attracted close to a hundred ‘players’ in one evening to recycle their bottles through a fun and entertaining method. During the same period of time, a nearby conventional bottle bank was only used twice. Based on these two activities, we can observe the huge impact of gamifying an activity, and because entertainment is present, this attracts people to participate in the activity, as well as changing their behaviours, as cheap cialis online canadian pharmacy how the Bottle Bank Arcade did to encourage recycling.

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Gamification also promotes friendly and healthy

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competition among users or ‘players’. When there are rewards or achievements to be earned, there will always be people who would want to be the first to attain such awards. By being in a healthy competitive setting, it further improves motivation of the users as they compete against each other in hopes of achieving the rewards first. For example, in a classroom sildenafil trial setting, students are required to study in order to gain academic knowledge and exams or tests are created to measure and test each student’s understandability of each subject. These exams and tests are marked and grades are rewarded, due to this, students will be motivated to study harder as they strive to be the best among their schoolmates and also to reach a goal set by themselves or to achieve a sense of self-accomplishment that they mastered the subject.

Aside from that, gamification also had a huge significance in the scientific field. In 2011, news was released that a group of gamers managed to solve an AIDS puzzle. Clayton (2011) explains that by “using a game called ‘FoldIt’, which was released by the University of Washington, players have deciphered the crystal structure of a protein that causes Aids in rhesus monkeys. He also further adds on that “it had baffled scientists for 15 years, and gamers took 10 days to solve it”. FoldIt is a revolutionary new computer game enabling players to contribute to important scientific research (Fold.it, 2015). It is basically a game focused on protein folding, and knowing the structure of a protein is important to understand how it works and to target it with drugs. Figuring out which of the numerous structures are the best is regarded as the hardest problem and it takes a lot of time, money and effort to do so. FoldIt is a game that targets players’ puzzle solving skills in order to predict what can be considered the best protein structure in order to help scientists with research. Hence, by gamifying the whole process of protein structure prediction, players who are not scientists could also contribute to scientific research and this would help the scientists to gather information even faster.

Overall, gamification is not only a powerful attraction tool, but it promotes a certain level of competition among users as well, which could be considered healthy. The significance of gamification in our lives is also shown through the example of the FoldIt protein prediction game, and how gamers managed to solve an AIDS puzzle by playing the game.

References

Kim, B. (2015). Understanding gamification. Chicago, IL: ALA TechSource.

Clayton, N. (2011). Gamers Solve AIDS Puzzle. The Wall Street Journal. [Online] Available at: http://blogs.wsj.com/tech-europe/2011/09/21/gamers-solve-aids-puzzle/ [Accessed 11 Mar. 2015]

Fold.it, (2015). The Science Behind Foldit | Foldit. [Online] Available at: http://fold.it/portal/info/about [Accessed 11 Mar. 2015]

Image courtesy of http://www.lgdb.org/game/foldit

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