Just like social media and tablet devices, gamification is very hyped in the media these days. With the advent of Foursquare, Fitocracy, and Farmville, gamification has become a big deal for any company looking to increase loyalty amongst its customers; if customers have fun interacting with your company, engagement (and sales) are bound to go up.
If companies can use gamification to make customers more engaged with their company and products, might gamification be a practical solution for individuals looking to feel more motivated and be more engaged with life? That’s the question I seek to answer in this series. What follows is a log I kept as I set up and conducted this lifestyle experiment.
I have no quantifiable metrics for success or failure. I will simply keep my eye on this one question: “Am I enjoying life more as a result of gamification?” I understand that this is very subjective, but outside of the world of online analytics, companies often measure customer engagement in the same way through surveys and focus groups.
I begin the log at Week 0 as I set up the different aspects of the experiment.
Note: Parts 1, 2 and 3 are dedicated to the experiment itself. Part 4 contains all of my recommendations and guidelines for gamifying your own life. If you want to jump straight to the recommendations and guidelines, click here.
Week 0: The Set-up
After spending most of this past week test driving the initial elements of this experiment, I think I’m ready to go. A great deal of my experiment is based on the research of Jane McGonigal and Jesse Schell. As such, the following four elements of gamification have been implemented extensively into this experiment because they are the fundamentals underlying most, if not all, successful games. The four elements are detailed below, along with how I’m implementing each one.