Gamification is all the rage these days. In order to distill this down to something simple was the task at hand. Here are the briefly highlights after reviewing more than 100 documents, articles and reports.
1 – Gamification is using game theory to manage, mobilize and motivate staff/customer/others blending work and play. Since people and management hate training, there is a new way to accomplish training, customer acquisition, corrective behavior and other staff behavior and customer participation issues.
2 – Gamification typically consists of a game and UI designer. The game designer sets the goals, rewards (hard dollars and soft benefits such as recognition, etc.) management, legal and outcome. The UI designer creates the user experience, fun, suspense, intrigue, storytelling, etc. For example, SAP used a golf game and Cisco used a scavenger hunt.
3 – Gamification does not mean just via smartphones. Corporate “war” games played in war rooms will help the leaders find the next generation of corporate executives as well as determine strategy against the ever-present competition. Both real and virtual environments can simulate the office, battlefield, manufacturing floor or wilderness offer a new way of building and nurturing team spirit by enabling collaboration and dialogue that is highly engaging, interactive, visual and social.
4 – Gamification like sports, board and other game formats each have unique characteristics that tap into the human psyche for love, respect, honor, recognition, addiction, hunting, gathering and other factors. As suggested by Buckminster Fuller, various elements can be combined to solve neighborhood, and even intergalactic, problems. The inventors of chess have left a legacy as well as the works of Plato, Freud, or Sartre theories can be applied to gamification. Many think that we all want the chance to simply play and lose, or to win and if compelling come back again and again.
5 – Gamification can also solve common business problems – One UK organization achieved $41 million in hard savings by innovating its legacy business processes. Various studies suggest that 70% of all business process optimization/improvement will occur via gamification. BPO-business process optimization means quantifying the problem and then applying multiple games/simulations/models to the issue, evaluating and trialing results and then repeat.
6 – Gamification is the new means for collaboration and communication (C&C) or unified C&C. C&C is often difficult to optimize, however, contextual communications using AI-artificial intelligence aka expert systems using linguistic (verbal, music, etc.) language and mind mapping including body language assessment offer clues into a game or theory that can be applied to global management. That is, language provides one media a cataloging process of all communication makes more sense. For example, I have more words than you, or you used fewer words to provide a perceptual model for falling rain. Or your model of falling rain nearly reflects the behavior of water under gravitational stress or pull, or your holographic simulation captures the physical and experimental activities of water but lacks the reflective qualities that light exhibits in this activity.
7 – Gamification means new business models as game theory no different than the vast array of games like chess or your favorite board game rises to the C-suite. In other words, future corporate strategy will be gamified.
8 – Gamification systems learn new games. One approach is to develop systems that “learn” about the user-player and begin to solve problems in “their” way, rather than to solve problems in the traditional linear process. Most expert systems are like very young children with the basic building blocks are muscles, neural networks, and mental management resource support. Data via game systems can be assimilated at a rapid rate, and the mental processes react and are capable of acting at an ever-increasing rate on their own.
9 – Gamification is not about monetary rewards. Numerous studies show non-monetary rewards such as peer recognition work even better.
10 – Gamification means no “one size fits all” whether the task at hand or goal or the vast options for rewards leading to suggest like the myriad of computer/online/mobile games the market is ripe for new solutions.
Summary – thank you for spending a minute or so with us to explore, scope and plan a strategy for gamification. Let us know your progress, thoughts and results.
As in Monopoly, these companies test theories and junior management in maneuvers to get hotels on Park Place and Boardwalk. Contemporary management must understand its own product life cycle. It must know the stages of early startup, “skunk works,” or basic development, through EOL-end of life or “dog days.” Management must evaluate its own ability to cope; to know when one has scored a victory or been shot in the foot.
Other bottom-up game plays can direct upper management into leveraged buyout simulations. The actual game processing can be manipulated with independent and dependent variables forcing different controls on the players, in turn forcing new management postures and outcomes. Players can sign up for specific roles or wait for positions to open up by reason of expansion or player termination. Computational metaphors can be introduced at random or specific times to interject surprise and natural predictability into the game. Players, as in the real world, can work together as a team during one level and at opposite ends during intertwining events. (Another note: This is exactly what happened to the author in the formation of a start-up company.) Plays can be simulated by the computer during off-time periods to allow the machine to “understand” the events and project to the players recommended positions for the next play. Players can play a turn which can then be incorporated into future simulations.
An example of management options for steps in processing orders or allocating staff. There are over 600 possible combinations posed by six major choices.
Multilevel gaming is strongly pursued by some AI researchers as a means of balancing known reality with a grasp of the unknown. Multilevel complex networks can be developed in synergistic ways. As suggested by Buckminster Fuller, various elements can be combined to solve neighborhood, and even intergalactic, problems. Possibilities such as terrorist networks, organized crime syndicates, and ultra right-or left-wing political organizations can be included in these networks so that revolutionary tactics can be tested before being used in real situations.
Modeling these games is an exciting challenge to the designers. They have given each one of us the chance to simply play and lose, or to win and come back again and again. Business strategy has been considered by many to be the corporate equivalent of war games. In the applications of gaming, whether they involve economics, war, societal affairs, or teaching, the conflict between mathematical abstraction and simplicity on the one hand, and societal richness and historical content on the other hand, is always present. Neither a purely literary nor a wholly mathematical approach to scholarship holds all the answers. For example, in The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse, the key to all societal values is portrayed in a game. The concept is fundamental to the development of the highly abstract gaming model as both an all-encompassing and intellectual exercise. At the same time, the book presents a dangerously sterile gaming procedure for modeling representations of human affairs. “These rules, the sign language and grammar of the Game, constitute a kind of highly developed secret language drawing upon several sciences and arts, but especially mathematics and music (and/or musicology), and capable of expressing and establishing interrelationships between the content and conclusions of nearly all scholarly disciplines. The Game is thus a mode of playing with the total content and values of our culture,” Hesse in Glass Bead Game**.
In the applications of gaming, whether they involve economics, war, societal affairs, or teaching, the conflict between mathematical abstraction and simplicity on the one hand, and societal richness and historical content on the other hand, is always present. Neither a purely literary nor a wholly mathematical approach to scholarship holds all the answers.
There is considerable research to also be found in this book – Knowledge Engineering – Applications of Artificial Intelligence in Business – click on image for ebook.
Knowledge EngineeringBy Thomas B. Cross*
*Thoughts are from Tom Cross and may not reflect views or opinions of RVC. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @techtionary if you need help/advice on gamification, rewards/loyalty and other mobile app issues.
**Hermann Hesse. The Glass Bead Game. New York: Holt Rinehart & Winston, first translation 1969, p. 273.