June 5, 2012

Gamification in the Social Media

Foto do perfilEven if you're not an expert in games or social media, you might have seen such names as FarmVille, FourSquare or Nike plus. These are all examples of games that utilizes social media as a "scoreboard" for the progress of players in each game. So how is this different from the old loyalty games so normally utilized by airlines and hotels. In these social games there are no real financial reward. Of course using foursquare you can obtain access to some special discount, but that is not the main goal of the game.
So, what is attracting players to these social games? What researchers have found out is that there is another kind of reward system that players value more than the common financial reward. What researchers such as Dan Pink found out was, that in most cases people would be happier with recognition than with actual financial reward. In other words people were looking for status.

So, what better place to display your status or performance in a game than in your social application such as Facebook. Its a way of making it public! Not long ago, a player needed to go to the arcade to see what were the highest scoring players in each machine, but now everything is informed through social media.
What game developers, such as Zynga (creator of FarmVille and CityVille) realized was that this information could be very useful in developing a game. If we analyze FarmVille, there is actual no money output. No actual financial return for players. You can put money in the game, but there is no way to obtain any actual financial return. All the player can achieve is virtual reward and display that award to his friends. By analyzing the success of these games, we can assume that there is really something else that these players are looking for, and it is not money.

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