Let the Games Begin with Gamification

competitoin.jpgThere's nothing like some healthy competition to inspire increased participation, instill a higher energy level and turn a task into something fun.  Why not try Gamification?

The term “gamification” has been tossed about recently in many ways. If you’re anything like me, this lingo might be a new word in your vocabulary too. So what exactly is this increasingly popular concept? Gamification is the idea of incorporating game design into a number of scenarios, such as market research and focus groups, to get respondents to think more effectively. And who doesn’t enjoy a good game? They have a way of keeping us entertained – whether playing Parcheesi as a kid or completing all the Wheel of Fortune puzzles as an adult. Jon Puleston, Vice President of Innovation at Lightspeed GMI, says, “Gamification is an extremely powerful means of getting someone’s attention and getting a consumer to provide more feedback”.  

Let’s say you are conducting a focus group with school administrators to gather feedback on ways to increase efficiencies in the business office. While creating a survey can be a useful tool to collect this information, moderated game play can also be an invaluable way of encouraging all participants to voice their opinions. Studies suggest that including gaming activities can greatly impact the effectiveness of market research. Gamification tends to make tasks more interesting and enjoyable for participants, increasing their willingness to spend time forming thoughtful responses. This is the objective of game-based research. Through this technique, participants may think more creatively and provide feedback in ways that conventional surveys might not encourage.  

One example of this is the 20/20 Vision Game. Imagine visiting your optometrist for a glasses fitting. The doctor may shuffle through several lenses asking you to compare which one you prefer (“Which lens is better, number one or number two? Okay, now number two or number three?”). After going through this process, you have ranked your options and chosen the one best suited for you. This is the logic behind the 20/20 Vision Game, which aims to deliver group clarity around which initiatives should be more of a priority than others.

Step 1:  On sheets of paper, write down all the items up for discussion (one per page).

Step 2:  Shuffle and place the first one on the wall.

Step 3:  Take the next paper and ask the group if it is more or less important. Discuss the benefits of each and then place it on the wall accordingly (either above or below the prior sheet in relation of importance).

Step 4:  Repeat the step 3 process, placing each initiative relative to the previous one, until all of the sheets have been posted and discussed.

After completing this exercise and evaluating priorities as a group, you’ll have 20/20 vision on your group’s needs! 

For more great gamification exercises and tips, check out the following links for some creative ideas: 



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