'The Israel Gamification Week' took place between February 19th and 23th, 2012. Posters and distribution emails were all shouting about the upcoming event that is going to change the concept idea of work experience. I have to admit, that after attending the culmination day of the workshop, the main idea of Gamification had emerged in my mind with a strong desire to support and implement it.
Gamification is the use of game design techniques and mechanics to solve problems and engage audiences (Wikipedia). Gamification is the way to make adults/children/ adult- children, do their work in a fun way. We all love to play, regardless of our age or skills. Various human qualities come out during the game process: optimism and achievement and sometimes even envy or pride. These are only several examples of possible behavior, but they all have something in common. During the "Game" we feel fully engaged to the process and our expressions are bolder and much more colorful.
The last day of Gamification Week started with a presentation held by Mario Herger "Enterprise Gamification: Exploiting your users by letting them have fun". At the beginning of the presentation Mario presented gaming statistics, and one of the presented data drew my attention; "insufficient" number of 97 % of American youth is playing video & computer games. The Survey (first of its kind) was conducted by the Pew Research Internet & American Life project (2008).
(Photography: Herzog Idit)
As we all know and understand the youth is our future. If we assume that the vast majority of our future generation is being brought up on games, what would happen if we take this community from its natural environment (school playground/ after school activities) and put it in the opposite environment; strict and automatic 'work discipline'? What would happen then? Most employees' only responsibility is to learn basic relevant tasks and perform them on a daily basis. One of the well-known criticisms on Capitalism is that employees have limited motivation. One of the reasons behind this lack of motivation is a constraint to perform similar tasks on a daily basis. As a result the employees' capabilities are used much below their potential. With that said, if an enterprise world would implement Gamification on a business level, both the company and employees would benefit from it. While engaged in game, people "work" hard and enjoy it! Combining work with game is the perfect recipe. It is so good that Gamification opponents claim to exploitation. But reasonably speaking, most of us have to work anyway, so it's better if it's fun. Not every job is a dream job; however each and every one of us deserves the chance to maximize our self-potential.
(Photography: Herzog Idit)
As you can see above, this is my humble contribution to the lecture, a picture of me and Mario Herger after the presentation. (In addition, of course, to my own thoughts I just shared with you).
The Gamification day ended with a contest between 7 talented groups, an Innojam! The main idea of the contest was all about integration of Gamification into a business technology roadmap. Each team was given 6 minutes to present their project. Judges were "game spirited" too and each of them adopted their own game character: Walker Ferrara- Firebird, Mickey Steiner- Mickey Mouse, Erez Sobol- Sonic and Avi Naveh- Ninga Avi (pictured below on the top right). All contesters brought innovating ideas and showed spectacular presentations, but there was only one winner that "took it all". His name is Moiseev Andrey (Lone Wolfpack team) and he presented the “SAP Travel and Expense management – Travel with FUN!!!”. The purpose of the product is to make user enjoy filling out expense reports. We all definitely enjoyed his presentation.
(Photography: Ferber Yifat)
Gamification is a great concept that should be implemented on all business levels. In my opinion the idea serves (in the very best way) its main purpose and brings more fun to the work experience. This is one of many motivation techniques that should be implemented in many business environments and in spite of the fact that the idea itself is new (approximately 2004) it is really promising and most importantly is fun!