Gamification – What Say You?

By | January 4, 2017

Badges and stickers and puzzles- Oh My!

To play or not to play, should that even be a question? First of all, lets define what gamification actually is:

  1. 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.
    "gamification is exciting because it promises to make the hard stuff in life fun"

Why did I show that definition? Well, because there seems to be a misunderstanding of what the term means. When I say that, remember that I am speaking simply about the meaning of the term and not the quality of the application of the word. I have heard all kinds of comments about this subject - both positive and negative.

I guess the question needs to be 'what is the goal of gamification?' It's not that program owners were bored and had nothing else better to do but start adding these things to their TE, Safelest, Blog, etc. All program owners should have the goal of giving people a reason to come to their site. The first and overall reason needs to be the quality and usefulness of what they have to offer. After that, program owners try different things to get folks to come to their site, use their service, read their blog, etc.

To me, collecting badges, finding letters, claiming zubees, defeating enemies and collecting items are simply an incentive to surf, read safelist mails, subscribe to a blog, etc. Some people do get a bit carried away with these things (like writing nasty support tickets when these games don't work correctly), but those folks simply need to realize that these elements are simply incentives and have no bearing on the success of what they are promoting.

There are even some positive aspects to some of these games, like getting advertising credits at different sites when you click on the the Viral Traffic Games button and move your character, or getting CTP 'XP' for collecting badges or reaching certain prize pages. Even though that may be the case, some people seem to complain about gamification (imagine that - lol).

The bottom line is that we have a choice as to whether we claim that badge, click on that game button, etc. We can even discuss the quality of the games and things that are available, but do we really need to complain about gamification itself? When you walk into a store and see a display that says you can fill out the card and be eligible to win a prize, you either do it or you don't - but do you complain about it?

Sometimes surfing traffic exchanges and claiming credits for safelist emails can be a bit boring. So why not have some gamification elements to make things a bit more fun? What do you think? I would love to read your comments about it!

Thanks for reading my blah blah blah.

Please leave your comments – that is what makes the whole “system” work.

Till next time!
Yours in Success,

John L. Brewer

Proud member of Mardox Marketing - Building a Community One Member at a Time!

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10 thoughts on “Gamification – What Say You?

  1. Catherine White

    This topic usually ruffles some feathers….lol. I agree Johnny: Either collect the incentive or pass it by. The choice is always the users. Many owners like to offer incentives to surf or join. Nothing wrong with incentives. With that said, if you are using a site ONLY to collect incentives, well then, you are a hobby marketer. It’s that simple. AND, there is NOTHING WRONG with being a hobby marketer. It takes all kinds of people to make a site successful. EVERY SINGLE MEMBER bring value to a site.
    And that’s my two cents…lol.

    1. admin Post author

      Thank you for your comment Cathy.

      “This topic usually ruffles some feathers.” Isn’t that interesting?
      You would think there are more important things to get upset about.

      The “hobby marketer” point in your comment was great.

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment.

  2. Richard Taylor

    Way back in the Fall of 2001 Stephen Ayer and I introduced the first ‘themed’ game in a TE. It was a – select a cow – game on TrafficRoundup where you could win credits, or not, based upon the cows you clicked on. We wanted something unique to offer, and it played a part in the site security to stop bot surfers.

    Yes, we had complaints. Since the opening page was mandatory to play (continuing to play for a chance at more credits after that was optional), some people didn’t like it. So we changed it. People still complained! Realizing that no matter what we did we would still have some that didn’t like it, we went back to what worked best for our business model.

    And that is my point – do what works best for YOUR business model.

    See an advantage in the games for your business? Play them!

    Want a break and have some fun in the competition? Play them!

    See no reason to do so? Don’t!

    Complaining solves nothing. Sure, offer constructive criticism when appropriate. But don’t allow something to take away from your journey. Remain focused.

    Games offer different rewards for different people. Personally, I use advertising resources for one thing . . . advertising. If I want to play a game, there are a multitude of sites for doing that. Just my opinion.

    1. admin Post author

      Some great points Richard.

      Thank you for sharing your experience and giving your opinion.

      I really appreciate your comment.

  3. Nancy Radlinger

    Very interesting topic and the comments from others can be all over the place as the bottom line is that you will never please everyone. Being a big surfer, I enjoy the games and I have to say that after I have played one – it makes me watch the pages more – kinda wakes me up after being in the page after page daze. Great Post!

    1. admin Post author

      Yes, you will certainly never please everyone.

      It will be interesting to see what folks think.

      Thanks a lot for your comment Nancy!

  4. Nick Grimshawe

    Great article on the subject. I’m not sure I would be able to surf without gamification LOL. I think it has a very important role to play in encouraging people to get active and stay active. I think it’s improved the industry quite a bit.
    But of course , as others have indicated, you can play or not play. It’s up to you, and no reason for anyone to get themselves twisted into knots about.


    1. admin Post author

      Yes, for me it’s a great incentive to surf “just a little bit more” – lol.

      Thanks a lot for your comment Nick. Highly appreciated!

  5. Fran Klasinski

    Nice article John. Here are the gamification values being taught across the net since its intro in 2013 as a simple badge to say thank you to the many who brainstormed ideas while only certain people took the credit.

    Has it changed?

    “What business wouldn’t want to increase sales, reduce expenses or improve employee satisfaction? Business gamification has been touted as a way to achieve all this and more by motivating employees while making routine processes more fun and engaging.”

    1. admin Post author

      Yes, it would seem like anything legal and ethical that can bring in more business is a good thing.
      Thanks for your comment Fran. Appreciate it! 🙂


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