The younger set has been raised on a regular diet of electronic games, including on tablets and smartphones gaming consoles and computers. So perhaps it should come as no surprise that a 2011 MTV study revealed members of Gen Y, which make up 25 percent of today’s workforce today, think a “game-like metaphor” can be applied to virtually every aspect of their lives.
Of course electronic games are not an area of interest reserved exclusively for the younger set. People of all ages like to play electronic games. The average age of a World of Warcraft player is reportedly mid 30s. And one recent report even indicates the average online gamer is a 43-year-old woman.
Whatever the demographic, there are some one billion regular game players on the planet. That number is growing, and it’s never gotten smaller, according to Gartner (News - Alert), Inc.
Electronic games have become so embedded in the human experience that many organizations are now working to leverage game mechanics – like avatars, leaderboards, online badges, and other rewards – in non-game environments to drive sales and user engagement, enhance learning, and increase employee productivity.
Today, a session called “Using Gamification to Drive Behavior” at ITEXPO (News - Alert) Miami explored how businesses can benefit by leveraging gamification to encourage certain activities and realize various outcomes internally and/or externally.
The panel, moderated by TMC’s (News - Alert) Paula Bernier, featured Michelle Accardi, vice president of Internet marketing, at IT services and management company CA Technologies, which leverages gamification within its MyCA customer community; Omar Divina, regional vice president-East at gamification platform provider Badgeville, which serves such customers as Bell Media, Dell, Deloitte, EMC (News - Alert), NBC and others; and Edward Naef, vice president of CSMG, a TMNG company that is a boutique strategy consulting firm serving the communications, technology, and digital media industries.
While gamification is sometimes seen as a controversial and perhaps less than business-focused term, the bottom line is that – if applied correctly and with a certain goal in mind – it can help businesses do things such as increase employee involvement in areas they deem important, drive customer loyalty, decrease customer service costs, and increase average revenue per customer.
“Ultimately, it’s all about the data,” said Divina, adding that gamification is just another tool to help realize “the quantified enterprise.”