WHAT THE EXPERTS ADMIRE Gamification gurus on apps they admire outside their immediate fields.
JUHO HAMARI: ZOMBIES, RUN! “In exercise apps you usually win points, but in this one there are zombies chasing you, requiring you to increase or slow your pace. It gives you missions where you have to acquire resources to improve your situation. It’s a more holistic experience.” JUSSI RÄISÄNEN: POKÉMON GO “It’s an interesting way to influence physical behaviour. It has the benefit of making people actually walk around, and it’s social in the real world. I observe my son meeting other young people he didn’t know before, talking the language of the game and connecting to one another, and learning about new places.” ELIZA HOCHMAN: GEOCACHING “It’s like a gamified trek, instead of a usual walk. Kids don’t get bored. The sense of community is massive. It makes you learn a bit about orienteering and you need creativity and problem-solving skills to find the treasures – or create your own.”
ANALOG GAMIFICATION? Gamification isn’t just impacting the corporate world. It is helping the educational sector deal with societal changes, as well. For example, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are forcing the industry to rethink how it teaches. “The industry is asking itself if MOOCs are exposure or competition? And if content is free, 64 BLUE WINGS OCTOBER 2017
operations and services to a broader audience. “I see gamification as a way to help people get the results they’re looking for,” says Räisänen. “It can give you the feeling of being rewarded, of tracking progress.” Hintsa accumulates a client’s data, benchmarks, and offers comparisons to others with a like profile. In many cases, a social element is added for encouragement. A very common challenge among executives is sleep, says Räisänen. “Top executives know exercise is important, but it’s an area you’re likely to find people who don’t know that a lack of sleep causes poor decisions. If you’re sleeping poorly over a long period of time, it’s effectively equivalent to being drunk.” Thus, gamification can be applied to improve sleep. What Räisänen terms the “entry-level program” is helping clients understand why sleep is important and its impact on performance. Subsequent levels offer rewards for actions that move the client in the right direction. “Digital products can be customised in a very personal way,” he says. “But what’s critical is to use technology to help create regular habits and not demand too much from yourself – to do small things consistently well.”
then what should they sell?” says Eliza Hochman, CEO of World of Insights, a company that provides tools to help business reinvent itself and find new ways to engage with customers. Hochman views learning as a driver for business growth. To facilitate that learning, her company creates card games and board games. Since education is changing, the way teachers teach must also change. MOOCs have served to emphasise the shift in focus away from teachers transferring knowledge to creating ecosystems where learning takes place with active learners. “Our message to teachers,” says Hochman, “is that when students do see you, you need to create a different kind of experience. If you put a board game or cards in the centre of a group, there’s something that happens; you enter a different kind of space.” Hochman says the board game connects those in the group through participants’ past experiences. “When people see the game, they smile. They physically relax and it suddenly puts them in a good place.” The game context enables the presentation of questions, even old questions, which generate new insights. “A good question in the right context slightly reshapes the way you see the world. People say, ‘That’s a good question!’ But it’s good context, actually. It’s a good ecosystem,” says Hochman.l
Scott Diel is an American author, editor, librettist, and bookstore owner based in Tallinn, Estonia.
Anni-Julia Tuomisto is a Helsinki-based freelance designer and illustrator who has been breathing life into customer ideas and wishes for more than a decade.