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Games Are Fun

April 8, 2012

Why Gamification Can’t Be Stopped

Video games have been around for decades but have only become, “useful,” in the last several years.  Companies discovered that by turning ordinary tasks into games that people not only completed them better, but were more engaged than they would be otherwise.  This is where companies like Bunchball come in.  They see opportunities others don’t and capitalize on them by gamifying existing websites.

One example is the site Bunchball made for NBC back in 2007, which convinced people to do actual work for fake money.  Just look at Facebook’s Farm Ville.  Social games like that are proof that people are willing to put in hours of work on something, however pointless, if they feel there is some intrinsic value to it.

This is why the professional world is interested.  Companies want to find a way to make boring office tasks bearable and to create addictive, engaging content on websites that people will spend hours using.  Athletes and soldiers use games as training simulations and some teachers have worked games into their curriculum.  It just makes sense that the business world, which is always trying to maximize everything, would look at an idea that can give employees hands-on experience and increase retention.  Who knows where this field will be in five years, but hopefully it continues to expand.  Not because time wasters like Farm Ville are fun, but because I’d love an engaging way to do paperwork or check my email.

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