GAME changer.

There’s a story I love to use in my seminars, speeches, etc to illustrate how careful we have to be around changing times. Have you ever heard the story of the frog and the water pot? The short version explains if you put a frog in boiling water, the frog will immediately hop out(!) …BUT if you put the frog in room-temp water and turn up the heat gradually, the frog will stay in until its cooked alive.

I only mention this because the world is an ever-changing ball of opportunity just waiting on us to serve it’s new needs- and therefore if we want success we must first be observant! Common Sense Media (CSM) shows as of 2010 38% of kids under 8 have used a smartphone or a tablet. This suggests that by the time this generation comes of age, they will need more stimulation and excitement than any other generation in history. This need- and their evolving brains- will change the world.. ready or not. I think it was Darwin who first observed “the race goes not to the fastest or the strongest, but to he who can adapt quickest”. Well, ladies and gent’s- if your goal is to get out of the pot before it boils you alive, you NEED to know about gamification.

Are you familiar with the latest worldwide obsession/ addiction? Watch this story on gamification experts – and actual game system- Candy Crush.. Mind blowing usage of these new, modified engagement principles.. But make no mistake- they apply to MUCH more than games..

Gamification is “finding and delivering fun and enjoyment” through at least the 5 distinct elements of points, badges, levels, leaderboards and rewards etc “on the way to mastery” …and its not that this is something new people are doing, it’s that this new theory has come along to explain both: 1)WHY they do it (‘it’ being pretty much ANYthing that can hold their attention for a minute or longer), and also 2)HOW to make them do it a lot more! Interested yet? If you aren’t, blame me and my paltry attempt at explanation and google it yourself. Trust me on this one- this isn’t about making games, this is about making games work for you. It’s not that you want your employees or staff or customers to start playing games- it’s that they already are! Looked at thru this lens- biz models from Facebook and foursquare to AA meetings become crystal clear. The human condition is predisposed to crave validation! And fun!

The concept of ‘fun’ ironically is exactly what makes it hard for some to grasp gamification as a serious, worthy pursuit. I get it. When you hear “fun” it sounds like it cant be “work” related. Maybe this simple revelation I had will help: when we are younger we think of engagement as fun, but when we get older we think of fun.. as engagement. When you see a pretty girl post a pic of her body on IG and get 400 likes and then post a positive quote and only get 40- why does she continue the behavior that gets her more “likes”.. as opposed to the message SHE “likes”.. well its because- like any game- when you choose to play, you have to go by the rules of THAT reality. And suddenly the rules are dictating behavior. You cant kick a basketball and you cant handle a soccer ball. &yes, social networks like IG are a big game too.

So in closing, it doesn’t matter if you are writing a book or designing a program to get more repeat business. It doesn’t matter if you are selling widgets or designing dresses- your challenge is delivering a product that will keep the worlds attention. And to do that, you’re going to be up against the world’s most creative distractors. Level the playing field- study gamification.

and if you want more on the latest cool trends you want to work into your own plans for world domination- enroll in cellphone university: TXT @RichR to 404-537-3941 (it writes you back and asks for your name, enter it- you’re done!)
-Haziq Ali

ps.Think Gaming estimates that Candy Crush brings in around $633,000 per day for King.com, its Britain-based maker, or $231 million per year in the U.S. alone.

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