By: Bill Hennessy
Have you ever discovered a pattern?
You know what I’m talking about if it’s ever happened to you. You’re just taking things in, thinking that each moment, each conversation, each aspect is unique.
Then BANG! you see the pattern. These aren’t random, disconnected events, but pieces of a larger puzzle that spells out one unmistakable message.
You can’t gamify anything you don’t measure.
In other words, gamification is nothing without statistics.
Will Wright, designer of SimCity and many other Sim games, showed slide after slide of statistics about how people played his game. He pointed out how analytics uncovered a counter-intuitive fact: 80 percent of player time goes to failing, not to winning. That insight informed future releases of the Sim line and made them even stickier with players. It may explain why Gartner expects 80 percent of gamification projects to fail. It’ because people like taking chances, and those two successes more than compensate for the eight losses.
Then Maggie Buggie of Cap Gemini told us:
Observation and analysis is critical.
At that point, I wrote in my notebook:
Statistics. That may be the key driver of gamification. Without digital insights, you’re blind.
Next came Robert Torres of the William and Melinda Gates Foundation who is a pioneer in gamifying education. You know where gamification is most effective in learning? Assessment.
What’s assessment? Statistics. Statistics let educators tailor programs to children’s unique learning styles. And gamification simplifies the assessment process. It’s a wonderful cycle.
The pattern repeated itself throughout the day: you can’t gamify what you don’t measure. Tim Chang finally said it.
So when you’re thinking about gamification and why you should pursue it, think of what Rajat Paharia, founder of Bunchball, told me this morning:
Amazon, eBay, and Facebook know more about you than your boss does.
Gamification closes that gap.
Then again, Amazon, eBay, and Facebook can’t fire me.
Previously, from GSummit: Why I Loved Bob Marsh’s GSummit Presentation