Gamification Case Study: Pasa Thai Machine


This is a guest blog spot by Kamala Northong

Today I want to talk about the Pasa Thai Machine, a gamification project by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

I remember when my foreign friends tried to pronounce my full name, and vice versa, It was pretty funny. Sometimes we tried to avoid saying the name of the places we went, or were scared to read out the authentic food name to the waitress and point at the picture instead. What if we try that with a game machine, plus win a prize in return? That is exactly what the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) did. And here is how it works:

They put up a "Pasa Thai (Thai Language) Machine" at the World Travel Market London 2016 event, under the theme "Amazing Thailand". The idea is to let people try to repeat a word in Thai, in a karaoke way (who doesn't love karaoke, come on).  The words could be names of food, places or everyday items. The closer your accent was to the Thai accent, the more points you will get. Finally, you will be rewarded with the item you spoke. Cool isn’t it. Get to learn new a few foreign words, their meaning, as well as getting a unique gift from the country.

Pasa Thai Machine uses the Exploration Game Mechanic. The machine draws people who came to the event to test their ability to read and explore the new words in a different tonal language. Each word is a new experience for the player to try out. The designers are also smartly tagging in the Curiosity Game Mechanic with the prizes. The player will wonder what the word would be, what it means and what they will get if they win the game. These are some of the excellent examples of how to use gamification with marketing and learning experiences.

At the end of the 3-day event, there were over 4,400 deals made at the Thai pavilion. It was a great success indeed. After this first attempt, they expanded the market by putting the machine in other events throughout 2017.

This is a great gamification example. You can check out the video below to see how the players enjoying the game, how the people around the player stop by to cheer and how excited they are when they got the perfect score. At the end of the day, the players gain fun experiences from the machine, Thailand got to promote the country. Win- Win situation.

About the author 

Pete Baikins

Pete Baikins is an international authority on gamification, a lifelong gamer, successful entrepreneur and a lecturer. As CEO of Gamification+ Ltd he mentors and trains companies world-wide on the use of gamification to solve business challenges. Gamification+ won the Board of Trade Award from the UK's Department of International Trade in January 2019.

Pete is co-host of the health gamification podcast Health Points and is also Chair of Gamification Europe, the annual conference for Gamification practitioners.

Pete is an Honorary Ambassador for GamFed (International Gamification Confederation), having previously been the Chair from 2014 to February 2019, whose aim is to spread best practices within and support the gamification industry.

After 15 years as a Lecturer on gamification and entrepreneurship at the University of Brighton he now guest lectures on Gamification at King’s College London and at ESCP Europe at post-graduate and under-graduate levels.

Over the past 20 years Pete has built and sold two businesses. One was in security software and the more recent one was a telecoms and internet connectivity business. He is also an Ambassador for Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce in the UK.

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