Pay & Benefits Blog on Gamification


web_gamificationOn the 27th October, Pay and Benefits wrote an article on gamification. They quoted Pete a number of times, for example:

“There are lots of theories and knowledge out there, including motivational psychology, user experience and behavioural economics,” he says. “Gamification gives us an easy framework to apply that wealth of expertise to any business situation”

I approve of this article by Pay & Benefits. It clearly defines and lays out what gamification is, how it can help businesses and the scope of the gamification market (3.6bn in 2018). It then looks in detail at how important it is to look at business objectives in gamification. However, I wanted to look in more detail at the part titled “Who plays games?”

They state “Gamification is established in areas such as e-learning, health and safety or compliance training, and recruitment, where it is used to find suitable candidates and take them through their induction.”

Pay and Benefits then state “For many employers, it sits in the box labelled “possibly too hard” when they are seeking novel communication approaches. Perhaps it’s deemed too silly or a little risqué, or even just inappropriate for serious subjects such as employee benefits and pay. These are the concerns of some of our clients and contacts who have been toying with gamification.”

Pete replies to the statement by stating: “Games are about making it more fun to learn difficult concepts or to help absorb lots of complex factual information. This, in fact, lends itself brilliantly to the world of pensions and benefits.”

This is the point that I wanted to pick up on. It can be hard for small and medium enterprises to accept or even consider this cutting edge idea that is gamification. It can be seen as perhaps too juvenile, or it may be said that games are an entertaining aspect of life that can never be taken seriously or used for making money. Yet, the gamification industry is thriving. The well quoted study from Gartner found that more than 70% of the Forbes Global 2000 companies have at least one game based application. Gamification works, and is here to stay.

I say this because not long ago I attended a placements fair in which a potential employer asked how much experience I had in business. I said I currently work one day a week at a gamification consultancy firm focusing primarily on digital marketing. With the mentioning of the word ‘gamification’, the employer was instantly sceptical and asked me “what is gamification?” to which I reply the generally accepted definition “using game design principles in real life business contexts”. He didn’t seem convinced or impressed. Playing games is not all about playing. Well, it is, I guess that is the problem. That is not to say that the designers and creators of games are not extremely intelligent and have used game principles alongside an overall game setting to make this game enjoyable. Furthermore, businesses can use these principles with an overall business objective to motivate people in the way that games do.

Why not?

Got any queries,

Comment below.

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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