Are you having second thoughts about Gamification? Are you looking for methods beyond badges? I consult fortune 500 companies, governments and startups on the most effective use of game design. Give me a call to harness the power of play for your business. ------ Gabriel has given keynotes at conferences all around the world in innovation, marketing, digital trends and gamification. DLD (Munich), Webcom (Montreal) and The Monaco Media Forum (Monaco) are a few of the events which he has spoken. He has been interviewed about new media trends for articles in Forbes Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, BBC and The Telegraaf. Currently he travels around with Little Lebowski teaching organizations, governments, students and artists how to change the world with games. For more information see http://about.me/gabemac
Hi. I remember working on a project with a large pharma company around gamification for diabetics, and the core issue sounds similar.
The real question is what can I do with the points? In Crush they were mainly used for more lives to keep that addiction going. Sometimes for bonuses to get through a level. Are you doing the same purchase for the points, or is it mainly a leader board scale. Yours could be used to create and upgrade an avatar / virtual pet, which can be used to increase the self image of your players.
If those points are then also given later by a much more strenuous activity, i.e. x pounds, it may throw the game balance off. Multipliers could be used for the weight loss, to rebalance that grinding. Think about the behavioral feedback loop you want to reinforce with the player, and add the gratification at those peak moments of the cue, routine and reward.
Feel free to call if you would like to discuss the problem in more depth.
What dropbox did was in Game Design terms, use the recruitment mechanic. It tells players to gather a team in order to accomplish a goal. "Get together your A-team" as the saying goes. Dropbox also understood, or created the perception, that data stored in the cloud was worth more than on the single device. By giving that currency as an incentive for recruitment, they were able to tap into a reward mechanic of greed.
For social media sites, there are different issues. The early days of Orkut [Google's first attempt at social media sites] became extremely popular in Brazil. Mainly because orkut had a leader board based on the number of members per country. The Brazilians saw that they could overtake America and other countries and it became a viral Epic Challenge for the Brazilians. That's not to say I'm a fan of leader boards, but they tapped into the Glory reward mechanic there.
Facebook tapped into the "God reward" which is all about Access. It was a closed system, only available to certain schools and colleges in the beginning. This meant that you had to be special to be on it. Not like today where everyone including your grandmother is on it.
Look at what your social media app has as far as a USP, and grant more of that for signup. Or allow access only by a certain groups at first. The reward needs to fit your app however, but be strong invite to invite.
I recently gave a talk to National Geographic about how they could increase subscribers by using this mechanic. The main idea of the campaign, "Who would you take on a National Geographic adventure? Fill the seats on the plane, and you could both win the trip." Take the usp and grant access to the experience once more than one friend has unlocked it.
I hope this gets your ideas turning.
Many people may think that Gamification is a trend. Many will say it's the use of badges and points to drive engagement. Both of these are rather inaccurate.
Gamification refers to the Application of Game Design and Game Theory to processes and systems. There are a variety of Game theories and mechanics that are being uses in everything from the stock market, to bidding auctions.
I have worked on a number of rebranding projects for large companies, and can tell you color is very important.
Color gives the subconscious context to what your brand is about. For instance, most Eco brands tend to use Green as a base. This is also why McDonald's spent millions recently in changing all the designs of the Mcdonald's in store and branding from red to green. Blue typically denotes many business to business companies. Look at IBM, AT&T as examples. Depending on what your business is, will also determine how much the color scheme will define who you are to the market.