Gamification Examples that can really make the world better
As a Gamification Pioneer, one of the most common responses I get when I tell people about Gamification is some version of, “Interesting. But how can something like video games really create value in real-world important things?” In other words, “I’m going to be polite to you, but I think this is a gimmicky fad that has no impact.”
Instead of trying to convince people with the same arguments over and over again, I’m going to settle this issue here once and for all – Gamification not only has real-life value and impact, it even saves lives and could ensure our future as a race!
Earlier I wrote about Old Spice’s Genius Gamification Marketing Campaign DIKEMBE MUTOMBO’S 4 1/2 WEEKS TO SAVE THE WORLD. While I think it is brilliant and does a lot of things well, I can assure you that it does NOT really save the world, outside of making more men smell like an adventure and bake gourmet cakes with the kitchens they made with their own hands.
But the 10 Examples below will blow your mind away and show you why Good Gamification, or “Human-Focused Design” (as opposed to Function-Focused Design”), undeniably has a role in “adding more lives” to our future.
Many thanks for the help of 周唯中 for making the work below possible.
Gamification Example 1: Puzzle Game FoldIt made breakthrough in AIDS Research that Scientists couldn’t solve
By 2009, AIDS has already killed 30 Million people, or close to the equivalent of the State of California. As of 2010, there are still 34 Million people that have contracted HIV. For 15 years, many of the top PhD Scientists in the world were trying to decipher a crystal structure for one of the AIDS-causing viruses called the Mason-Pfizer monkey virus (M-PMV), but could not solve it.
Luckily, the University of Washington’s Center for Game Science (yes, such center exists) collaborated with the Biochemistry department and created FoldIt, an online puzzle video game about protein folding. Foldit utilizes a game-like puzzle interface that allows people from all over the world to “play” and compete in figuring out various protein structures that fit a researcher’s criteria.
To everyone’s surprised, with over 240,000 “players” registering for the game and competing viciously against each other, a solution to the structure of the M-PMV was found in 10 days, creating a major breakthrough in the AIDS research field. 15 Years vs 10 Days? I would say for this alone Gamification added extremely concrete value to the world and could one day save a loved one.
Gamification Example 2: RPG Diary Game Pain Squad helps Patients Combat Cancer by providing both Purpose and Data
Starting and running a small business has always been a risky value proposition. The Small Business Administration tells us that 60 percent of them won’t make it past their first birthday.
Historically, that failure rate was eclipsed by the sheer number of new business starts each year. More businesses opened than closed — until 2008. That year, for the first time in more than 30 years, small-to-medium size business (SMB) closings outnumbered openings — and by a big margin. That year, the country was left with a deficit of roughly 100,000 small businesses. And that trend line really hasn’t reversed course all that much since then.¹
Imagine if Google or Yelp added unique discounts and prizes to every one of its business listings? Imagine a simple way to not only support local businesses, but help support the fight against childhood cancer as well? You might wonder how it’s possible to offer a service that helps save you money while helping so many others…that is absolutely free and fun to use. Welcome to LuckyDiem.
There’s no need to download an app, simply go to LuckyDiem.com and search for what you’re looking for by either category or by “What’s Nearby.” Every business on LuckyDiem offers you a chance to win discounts and/or prizes. Simply take a spin on the business’s virtual slot machine to see if it’s your lucky day.
Most businesses on LuckyDiem offer three levels of discounts–each one somewhat dependent upon your level of engagement. For example, the lowest level discount can be won simply off a spin of the slot machine. This discount can then be increased by answering a trivia question about the business. The third and highest level of discount is awarded to users who share their good fortune with their friends on social media. Sharing your reward is actually a three-way win on LuckyDiem because it 1) enables you to earn the highest level of discount, 2) helps get the word out about the local business you like, and 3) supports the fight against childhood cancer (more about this later).
Win prizes from every business
With LuckyDiem, you have the chance to instantly win small prizes from all of our businesses such as free drinks and gift cards, as well as entries into a business’s jackpot prize that is won by a user every three months. In fact, some of our current businesses in our Manhattan launch market have some pretty amazing prizes such as a free CoolSculpting session at SkinTheraP Medical Spa (valued at $750) or a $500 Gift Card for Invisalign services through Dr. Michelle Katz.
Win Mega Jackpots
LuckyDiem is leveling the playing field for local businesses to compete with national brands that can afford promotions with expensive prizes. Now even the smallest business on LuckyDiem can offer its customers chances to win awesome prizes such as VIP tickets to sporting events and concerts. There’s no purchase necessary, but being a good customer that makes purchases and shares with their friends, will undoubtedly increase your chances of winning. Like our businesses’ jackpots, our Mega Jackpots have winners every three months. Moreover, if you win tickets to an event that you’re not absolutely thrilled with, we will make every effort to get you to an event that you’ll love. Through our relationship with 8760, we have access to hundreds of major events throughout the year.
Leave your wallet at home
Mobile payments are no doubt the wave of the future–super convenient for consumers, but unfortunately, expensive for small business owners to implement. LuckyDiem is introducing a revolutionary new mobile payment solution that allows users to pay with their phones at any of our businesses and immediately receive the discount they’ve earned from playing LuckyDiem. Our technology works without any new hardware or software, so businesses owners don’t have to change a thing.
Not all leaderboards are created equal
Like many of you, we used to love Foursquare (come Swarm) for its leaderboards. We liked competing with our friends to become the mayor of our favorite spots, as well as feeling the love from being their “best customer.” But then something strange started happening; rather than being welcomed by management, Mayors were given the cold shoulder, some were in fact plainly asked to leave. It turns out, not all Mayors are created equal. Many Mayors had acquired their badge simply by checking into a business without ever spending a dime–they had gamed the system.
Enter LuckyDiem which rewards users based on their true value to a business–the purchases that not only you make, but your friends’ as well. Now a business can quickly view its leaderboard and have no doubt as to who their best customers are (Sharks and Whales in our world), and not worry about the all lame ducks mayors from the old days. And of course, the higher you are on a leaderboard, the more perks you receive such as more spins to win prizes from businesses and from us.
Sharing really is caring
Finally, as mentioned earlier, LuckyDiem makes it easy for you to not only save money, but save lives. With every reward that is shared,, LuckyDiem makes a contribution to Hope & Heroes, a nonprofit that funds the life-saving work on childhood cancer and blood disorders at Columbia University Medical Center.
We hope you will try LuckyDiem. Save money, save lives and seize the play!