Gamefication and Transportation – what’s the link?

  • Gamefication and Transportation – what’s the link?

    Gamefication and Transportation – what’s the link?

    What you will learn:

     

    I was recently inspired to delve into the world of gamification by a “cheat sheet” created by Dr Jason Fox and James Tuckerman and distributed via James’ most excellent “Anthill” website…

     

    New Sam Wilko Advisory Blog by Peter Wilkinson

     

    I was recently inspired to delve into the world of gamification by a “cheat sheet” created by Dr Jason Fox and James Tuckerman and distributed via James’ most excellent “Anthill” website…

     

    Gamification refers to the process of employing game design elements in making systems, services and activities more enjoyable and motivating. Gamification looks to improve outcomes in areas such as user engagement, organizational productivity, flow, learning and physical exercise. The underlying techniques strive to leverage people’s natural desires for socialising, learning, competition, achievement, status, self-expression, altruism or closure.

     

    The term “gamification” first gained widespread usage in 2010. In addition to companies that use the technique, a number of businesses have created gamification platforms. For example, in 2007 Bunchball was the first company to launch game mechanics as a service.

     

    To understand how gamification really works, one must understand the “gap” that naturally exists between where a person is and where they want to be. The steps they are willing to take are directly related to their desire to achieve the specific goals they pursue. The greater the desire to achieve the goal, the more likely someone will be to put in the work.

     

    The potential applications where gamification is or could be employed are very broad:

     

    • Gamification has been widely applied in marketing as a tool for customer engagement and for encouraging desirable website usage behaviour;
    • Gamification can be used for “ideation” or structured brainstorming applied in generating creative new ideas;
    • Applications like Fitocracy and QUENTIQ use gamification to encourage their users to exercise more effectively and improve their overall health;
    • Employee productivity is another problem that gamification has been used to tackle;
    • Gamefication works well for on-line lead acquisition, for instance by breaking down the process interested prospects follow in entering data into a form to a series of steps (or “challenges”) with intermediate “rewards”;
    • The technique could also be applied to health care, financial services and employee training and education.

    So what’s the link with transportation?

     

    Darren Buck is a bicycle program specialist with the Washington, D.C. Department of Transportation (DDOT). At a 2014 Innovation in Mobility Public Policy Summit he outlined an initiative termed Capital Bikeshare (CaBi) in use in the District, focusing on how CaBi responds to rider demand. CaBi increases capacity on rail in the urban core and acts as a connection between the suburbs and urban employment centres. It is a complementary mode that works holistically with the rest of the D.C. transit system.

     

    D.C.’s successful bikesharing system isn’t without its challenges, however. The system is in need of near-constant “rebalancing.” This is the cost-heavy practice of moving bikes from full stations to empty ones, based on real-time usage data. Buck proffered the idea of the use of gamification to incentivise users in assisting with the bike rebalancing process. By awarding virtual points or statuses via an app, users could be engaged to move bikes from full to empty stations.

     

    In countries where there is a well-established, rich gaming culture (like the USA and Australia) the average young person will spend 10,000 hours or more playing games. This figure brings to mind research undertaken by K. Anders Ericsson which revealed that one needed to put in “10,000 hours” to become an expert in a field requiring cognitive ability (an idea later popularised by Malcolm Gladwell). Imagine for a moment being able to harness this amount of focused input in achieving positive outcomes for society!

     

    Food for thought?

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