A Dinosaur’s view of Gamification

Play arcade — cutting-edge gamification

Until recently, the concept of gamification was daunting. Like many people, when I did eventually wrap my head around the software developments, I was skeptical. Leaderboards. Prizes. Virtual high-fives. I was unsure how these game mechanics could do anything more than infuriate generation X and Y employees, clients and customers, let alone motivate them.

Change is upon us, however. I can proudly say I am now one of the enlightened and refuse to sit stagnant amongst the stubborn technological dinosaurs that still question the benefits of today’s hi-tech possibilities. They are clearly there for all to see.

Adaptability and an open-mind are both essential for business progression in today’s market. It seems sensible then to suggest that the tired calls of gamification as merely a “buzzword” or a “toe-stub” are rapidly losing momentum.

This outdated perception fails to acknowledge the enormous benefits already being enjoyed by so many companies around the world. Microsoft’s recent take-over of Incent Games Inc, the creator of FantasySalesTeam, is an example here and may well prove to be the vanguard for gamification software designers.

Arcade is the latest cutting-edge gamification platform that has overcome the hindrances, recently highlighted by freelance writer and editorial consultant Jessica Twentyman, currently plaguing many gamified products.

“So what is holding workplace gamification back? In part, it is an issue of availability. The blare of industry hype has not been matched by enough enterprise software that cleverly incorporates gamification into the business processes it is designed to support. That leaves organisations keen on gamification in the unenviable position of having to pick from a limited range of gamified enterprise applications or retrofitting existing systems with game mechanisms.”

Arcade is one of the few companies bucking this gamification trend and actually delivering on performance. The team at arcade have developed an intelligent game solution that adapts into any workplace through instant integration into business processes.

I recently read an article that discussed “digging your own hole” and “sharpening your own shovel” as analogies within the debate surrounding the usefulness of gamification. Essentially, the argument was that it is up to the employees themselves, without the benefit of “glitzy” gamified products, to improve their own work and stay up to date with practices in their own field.

The analogies were argued to run deeper than gamification ever could, for they are a “core element of my character” and an “important aspect of identity”. Apparently, Gamification is too shallow to prosper on a long-term scale.

Conversely, however, both the depth of your hole and the sharpness of your shovel can be significantly improved with the aid of gamified products that aim to motivate and monitor office performance. To maintain otherwise, is archaic and narrow-minded.

Indeed, in relation to employee motivation and boosting productivity, Neil Penney, the product director at Sunrise Software, notes that, “Gamification, applied well, can support all those things — so perhaps it just needs a bit of an image makeover”. A makeover? Perhaps. A new perception towards it? Definitely.

One needs only watch a segment on any Current Affairs program around Australia to understand the association of screens and technology with our generation Z. Already their depth of technological understanding is vast and their shovels extremely sharp.

It seems silly then to continually label gamification as a passing “fad” and doubt its future potential. Gamification is merely the next logical step in achieving superior corporate output.

For corporate entities to remain relevant and attract the best of the next generation of employees, many of which feel lost without technology, an open mind is essential. Without it, businesses will fall behind and be lost wandering in technological obscurity. Just like the dinosaurs.

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