Is Gamification Dead?

Editor's Note: This post was originally created by Lithium before the Spredfast + Lithium (now Khoros) merger.

Gamification uses points, badges, and leaderboards to motivate users to take certain actions. But gamification is actually a big data discipline.

Turns out that the misconception around what makes gamification work is one of the reasons many people fear gamification is dying. It’s true that market growth has been slower than expected and many bold predictions about the gamification industry simply have not materialized. But is gamification really dying or are we missing something?

Dr. Michael Wu, chief scientist at Lithium (now Khoros), explains that gamification must be seen through the lens of a big data discipline to understand what makes it work or not work. And when you do, the payoff is worth it. Gamification is still a powerful force behind your product design and marketing endeavors. But are all the fears valid?

In this whitepaper, Dr. Wu walks you through:

  • Why gamification appears to be decaying.
  • The fundamentals, front-end, and back-end ingredients of gamification.
  • How the big-data behavior feedback loop has caused gamification to fail.
  • What the future of gamification looks like.
  • How to realize the full power of gamification in your company.

To really understand gamification, it must be seen primarily as a big data discipline, because it requires us to measure user behaviors before feedback can be provided to drive future actions.

Realize the Full Power of Gamification

Brands must be strategic and intentional in how they leverage gamification as a big data discipline:

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Identify what you are trying to gamify

To drive community participation you may want to drive behaviors such as: Visiting the community, reading community posts, kudoing posts, sharing content, asking questions, answering questions, etc.

Determine if you have analytics to measure all the behaviors you want to gamify

Data is one of the tenets of successful gamification – you cannot gamify any behavior that you can’t accurately measure.

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Understand your users and what motivates them

You cannot leave this to guesswork. You must dive deep into understanding who your target users are and what matters to them.

Design your program around your users to drive their behavior

Once you know your users, pick game elements that most effectively deliver the feedback to them. This includes everything from what you call the points in your gamification, to the design of your badges, to the gradations, ranks, and the names of ranks. Also, include the other feedback you want to give users to guide their next behaviors.

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It has become clear that every effective gamification platform of the future will also be a big data and analytics platform.

Read the whitepaper