Social gaming is becoming increasingly influential in the commercial world, and is an impressive revenue and engagement-building tool. This trend is also getting more popular in the not for profit and charity sector. A more detailed post on gamification can be found here.
Early examples of gamification were used in sites like Stack overflow which rewards user involvement with a huge array of badges with gold, silver and bronze levels and users can build up reputation points as well through asking and answering questions and rating or approving other’s postings
Gamification can be applied to charities that want to use it as a wider strategy to help them build a strong and engaged community of supporters and encourage certain altruistic behaviour. Gamifcation can be about setting goals, building online communities, education and even marketing.
Examples of gamification in the digital world
This site is a great example of gamification used in charity. Their model is really straightforward, once the user enters the site; they are presented with a word game, for every word definition the user gets right, several grains of rice are donated to the communities in the 3rd world via the world food program.
I think this works really well because the game can get very addictive along with being educational it induces a lot of competition and encourages charity.
is an app for phones that lets you “check in” to places in the real world using your phones GPS – you earn rewards and badges for visiting different places, there are leader boards where you can become the “mayor” of somewhere if you check in there the most which alows you to benefit from rewards such as money off vouchers and discounts. This is a great example of how gamification can converge with the real world and fit into your everyday life.
This is a project launched by Charity Water, an excellent example of gamification being implemented in a non-game context. With this site every time the user donates money, their face will appear in a slot on a virtual book on the site. Each slot in the book costs $10, and 100% of the money goes to charity: water who help build water projects in developing countries.
The catch is that you can’t put yourself in the book. Someone else who is already in the book has to sponsor you with a $10 donation. Each person then has to invite more people, for slots within the book. All your progress is tracked, and the user can see very accurately how much of an impact they have made individually.
I personally think this is a great idea and works really well as you can tell from the number of filled up pages in the book. It is an innovative idea that uses the social aspect really well, and really gives you a sense that you are making a difference by letting you keep track of how your individual contribution is being used.
Project Noah is a hybrid web/mobile application that encourages its users to actively go out looking for and photographing animals and plants nearby. These can be shared, commented on or identified by other members. Members are rewarded with fun badges and their images (“spots”) are geo-located which means that over time Project Noah will build up an incredible wildlife database.
This is a great idea; the site looks awesome, makes you really feel that you are part of the global community, and really makes you want to go out and take some animal snaps. Although not an official member on the site, I am considering joining up just to be part of the great community.
When you launch the game, you’re placed in the shoes of Divya Patel, a 26-year-old bricklayer and mother of four. While Patel is fictional character, her story is supposed to represent an average month for someone in India living in extreme poverty. The game’s introduction explains that 26% of the world’s population lives on $1.25 or less.
You are challenged to survive on the same budget that many of the poorest in the India currently live on and face the same dilemmas which are commonplace in that environment. As you make choices, such as whether to live in the city slums or the village, you learn how Patel’s life can end up.
In conclusion gamification is a great way for users to engage with each other and really get involved with in the community, by sharing information and receiving rewards. The rewards can either be anything from cool looking badges to just a simple point system which builds up reputation. This can be coupled with leader boards to keep a track of an individual’s progress and encourage more competition, which in turn would lead to more user involvement. Gamification, if done right, can also be a powerful aid in helping charities raise money via donations by offering users more rewards and by enabling the audience to get levels of interaction with the projects they support. This can be shown via progress bars which are commonly used on crowd sourcing site like kickstarter.
There are number of different ways and methods that gamification can be used and applied, but the most important aspect is that “gamifying” turns everyday hum drum subjects into entertaining and rewarding games which ultimately make them fun!