Game On: Gaming Mechanics


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Game On: Gaming Mechanics

  1. 1. RESOURCE INTERACTIVE THINK ABLE GAME ON 2010 Game On: Game Mechanics Give Brands a New Power Play RESOURCE INTERACTIVE | ©2010 Point of View | Game On 1
  2. 2. RESOURCE INTERACTIVE THINK ABLE GAME ON Gamification Life has always been a contest—for survival, for Used wisely, gamification represents a perfect example of the “O.P.E.N.” model for building dominance, for power, for recognition. These days, brand devotion among consumers. As we wrote we also compete against our own boredom, seeking in our book, The Open Brand, being O.P.E.N. diversion even during everyday activities like stopping means being: for a latte or shopping for laundry detergent. Enter game mechanics (aka “gamification”), the fast-growing On-demand—Delivers accessible, array of activities that engage consumers online and self-directed and instantly gratifying off through competitions, rewards, ego boosters and experiences. virtual entertainments. Personal—Facilitates meaningful Foursquare now has over 3 million users who have posted over interaction with individuals. 1OO million checkins. —Softpedia, August 30th, 2010: RJMetrics, July 20th, 2010 More than 5OO million active users. 15O million of which access Facebook through their mobile devices. Engaging—Deepens attachment — Statistics, August, 2010 through relevant emotional experiences. Geolocation users are 38% more likely than the average US online adult to say that friends and family ask their opinions before making a purchase decision. —Forrester, July 2010, Location-Based Social Networks Networked—Taps the exponential potential of individual consumers and online communities. RESOURCE INTERACTIVE | ©2010 Point of View | Game On 2
  3. 3. RESOURCE INTERACTIVE THINK ABLE GAME ON Know Your Game Pieces Here’s our game mechanics play book for winning customer attention, affection, and loyalty. Game mechanics come in countless flavors, but the building blocks are the same: Points Systems—Spur desirable actions (purchases, referrals, reviews, check-ins, etc.) with points that can be redeemed for rewards, status or service upgrades, badges or Goals—The ultimate purpose for the games; goals are often broken into more attainable missions (“earn super user status!”) to encourage escalation to higher levels of play other cool “must haves” (or for the virtual currency to buy those (and engagement). things). Points systems are often at the heart of loyalty programs such as frequent flyer programs. Escalation—The stepping stones to higher levels of status, recognition and rewards, escalation paths Scoreboards (aka Leaderboards)—Public recognition that showcases the top contributors, referrers, point- leaders, etc., inspiring a competitive spirit that drives ongoing seamlessly inspire greater loyalty and increased interaction. engagement. Avatars and virtual goods—Celebrations of the self and self-expression, avatars and virtual goods allow online players to re-create themselves in virtual worlds, and Badges & Awards—Colorful status symbols users earn to announce their contributions, activities, or accomplishments. surround themselves with digital reproductions of their favorite things (from favorite brands). RESOURCE INTERACTIVE | ©2010 Point of View | Game On 3
  4. 4. RESOURCE INTERACTIVE THINK ABLE GAME ON Play For Keeps Brands that use game mechanics wisely offer more Gamification isn’t a one-size-fits-all playground. Getting it just right is both an art and a science (plus a pinch of alchemy). than momentary entertainment—they can inform, inspire, enlighten and delight customers over the long The Art—Choosing and designing the right gaming features— haul. They can turn average customers into loyal fans, whether points or badges, status levels or avatars—and fusing and transform already loyal customers into avid brand them into a seamless extension of your brand. evangelists, at the ready to answer questions, convert The Science—Functional implementation of the game their social networks into customers, and tell the world mechanics to ensure reliability and responsiveness, and analytics about new products and features. collection to support reporting, data mining and long-term strategic planning. The Alchemy—The spark of life that touches off a firestorm of playful engagement, from FourSquare check-ins to Yelp reviews to Second Life “private island” sales. Get the recipe right, and your customers cheer. Get it wrong, and they snore. As in most complex games, winning requires strategy, and the ability to think a few moves ahead. RESOURCE INTERACTIVE | ©2010 Point of View | Game On 4
  5. 5. RESOURCE INTERACTIVE THINK ABLE GAME ON Play For Keeps: The Key Steps 01 Plan first, play later—Great gamification demands great advance work. Take the time to define the levels, rewards, points system, goals, and other game components before you 03 Don’t toy with your brand—Off-brand game mechanics can be worse than no gamification at all. Game mechanics must be treated as *part* of your brand, not start building your system. Think about how to keep customers an add-on for purely promotional purposes. Gaming elements coming back for more (and different) experiences; how to inspire must be relevant, appropriate, and creatively matched to a viral sharing and word-of-mouth; and how the game reflects and brand and its audiences, or the brand will be a big loser. enhances your brand’s value proposition and your customers’ sense of brand stewardship. 04 Pick your team wisely—Partnering with the right experts and providers can make all the difference. 02 Target with care—Your customers and prospects come in many shapes, sizes, demographics and social graphs. Target specific audiences with relevant experiences that fit their Resource Interactive has frequently partnered with Bunchball, an industry leader in game mechanics, because of their wealth of experience in creating compelling and on-brand games that lifestyles and interests, and be true to the uniqueness of your spark audience participation. Bunchball, in turn, enjoys working customers or visitors (simply retrofitting the same game for with Resource because, as Bunchball founder Rajat Paharia put multiple audiences won’t cut it). it, “We get to learn about new channels by working with them, and we discover how to make a game and brand sing in that space. It’s a really exciting type of partnership.” RESOURCE INTERACTIVE | ©2010 Point of View | Game On 5
  6. 6. RESOURCE INTERACTIVE THINK ABLE GAME ON Who’s in the game? Vail, Colorado’s EpicMix: Sport as Game The ultimate on-demand experience in the O.P.E.N. Stat Shot: Mobile Web Rising playbook is also the fastest rising media outlet since According to Nielsen Media1, by early 2010, there were the Internet: Mobile. Thanks to smartphones, gaming 60.7 million mobile Web users over the age of 13 in the apps and location-based services such as FourSquare, U.S. (up 33% from 2008), with smartphones accounting for Gowalla, MyTown and Facebook Places, brands have 18% of mobile devices in use (up from 13% in 2008). By never been more portable. Brands that merge mobile mid- 2011, Nielsen predicted a U.S. smartphone user base of 150 million, and growing fast. And smart brands will with real-time and real-world are taking the game have an app for that. experience to whole new heights. 2010 Nielsen Media Industry Fact Sheet, 1 Vail, Colorado’s ski resorts launched the immersive EpicMix app press/nielsen-fact-sheet-2010.pdf in 2010 to track the exploits of skiers and boarders through an RFID code on their lift passes. Apres ski, users can relive their day by viewing maps and stats of their runs, and collecting unique pins for various exploits (and, of course, post it all to Facebook and Twitter). With the free EpicMix mobile, users can locate and chat with other pals on the slopes, check real-time snow, traffic and weather reports, and view their EpicMix maps, stats and pin awards while they’re still on the mountain. RESOURCE INTERACTIVE | ©2010 Point of View | Game On 6
  7. 7. RESOURCE INTERACTIVE THINK ABLE GAME ON Who’s in the game? Cascadian Farms: Faux Berries, For-real Customers The Personal piece of the O.P.E.N. brand comes to Stat Shot : Online Gaming Nips at the Heals of Social Networking life in the virtual world, where players can recreate their playspace in their own image. The most richly Ten percent of U.S. Internet time is now spent on online engaging game mechanics are those that take users games, according to Nielsen NetView. While social out of their daily life completely, offering escapism, networking still reigns supreme at 43 percent, gaming leapfrogged to the number two spot (overtaking personal role-playing, and new worlds to explore. Bathing emailing) in online engagement. Email dropped from 11.5 avatar-based participants in subtle (or even, not- percent to 8.3 percent of user’s online time, while gaming so-subtle) brand messaging and experiential game showed an upward trend that’s likely to continue2. mechanics can take customer loyalty to a whole new Nielsen blogpost, August 2, 2010, 2 level of virtual play. mobile/what-americans-do-online-social-media-and-games-dominate-activity/ Oregon’s organic Cascadian Farms found a growing market for its virtual bounty among the faux farmers of Zynga’s hugely popular FarmVille game. During the summer of 2010, gamers used their FarmVille credits to plant more than 310 million virtual organic Cascadian Farms blueberries. More than a million FarmVille farmers also friended Cascadian’s virtual organic gardener on Facebook, planting the seeds for a more direct connection to the brand. RESOURCE INTERACTIVE | ©2010 Point of View | Game On 7
  8. 8. RESOURCE INTERACTIVE THINK ABLE GAME ON Who’s in the game? HP’s CampusKarma: School Plays The final word in O.P.E.N. is “Networked,” a Rajat Paharia, Founder, Bunchball: Emotional Connections in a Virtual World driving force in the engagement strategy for HP’s CampusKarma campaign. Resource Interactive and “Virtual goods have the same emotional impact as brands Bunchball partnered to create the campaign, which in the real world,” notes Bunchball’s founder, Rajat Paharia. was targeted at increasing the computer maker’s “[As a consumer], you’re paying for the intangibles of the brand. Same as in the real world, those things matter.There’s Facebook fan base, upping registration for the the emotional angle to the virtual world: It’s a commitment education sales portal HP Academy, and sparking to your status and your creativity. People have these multiple community, dialogue and word-of-mouth. budgets in their heads – the identity budget is worth 10 times more than anything else they’re budgeting for. So, they’re The hugely successful campaign (which first ran for six weeks in willing to spend very real money in virtual games to enhance late summer, 2010) offered cash scholarships and share-with-a- their sense of self.” friend computer prizes, and enticed engagement with multiple, point-earning activities and levels of play. CampusKarma surpassed expectations by increasing the number of HP Academy Facebook fans from 900 to more than 24,000 over a 3-month period, and engaging an active player base of 800 fans during the course of the campaign. RESOURCE INTERACTIVE | ©2010 Point of View | Game On 8
  9. 9. RESOURCE INTERACTIVE THINK ABLE GAME ON RI: Gamification Futurecast We’ve talked about some of the key trends and opportunities we see for brand gamification in its 01 “Watch for automatic (passive) check-ins and integrated brand experiences,” says RI’s Dan Shust, who points to EpicMix as being on this new leading edge. current state, but we wanted to close with some “Everything will be happening behind the scenes - you’ll sign thoughts about where all of this is headed, and up once, and your game will follow you wherever you go. So, you’ll earn points, badges and awards, go up levels, and climb how we’re continuing to help our clients move the the leaderboards without needing to log on or check in.” How scoreboard. will this happen? “Consumers will be tracked invisibly as they go through their day,” Shust explains, noting that not only will their activities ring up game rewards automatically, but their movements will also trigger location-based ads, customized offers and other push-not-pull experiences. 02 Hand in hand with automatic gamification and brand immersion, we’ll see privacy redefined. To avoid a consumer rebellion against persistent tracking, brands will need to provide more iterative and intuitive tools that allow consumers to opt-in and opt-out on the fly, and also based on customizable settings that make it easier for them to control when, where and how they’re being tracked on a daily basis. 03 We also anticipate continued growth in social entrepreneurism via gaming—it’s not just good for the world, it’s a smart brand strategy. From virtual fundraisers for disaster victims (as held by Zynga and others) to gamification to inspire conservation (as Google’s PowerMeter scoreboard does), games are increasingly becoming a vehicle for doing good while having fun. RESOURCE INTERACTIVE | ©2010 Point of View | Game On 9
  10. 10. RESOURCE INTERACTIVE THINK ABLE GAME ON The Final Word JANE McGONIGAL, DIRECTOR OF GAMES RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, INSTITUTE FOR THE FUTURE “As a planet, we spend 3 billion hours a week playing computer and videogames. That’s a LOT of time—enough to change our lives, and probably save the world (the real world) while we’re at it.” As written by McGonigal in her Avantgame blog. McGonigal has proven that games can be a serious business by sparking attention and inspiring change with projects such as World Without Oil, in which participants role-played (and documented with 1,500 videos, blogposts, voicemails and images) how they would respond in a major global oil crisis. RESOURCE INTERACTIVE | ©2010 Point of View | Game On 10
  11. 11. RESOURCE INTERACTIVE THINK ABLE GAME ON Want to know more? Want to know more about how Resource Interactive can help you play for keeps with your customers? Connect with Dan. Dan Shust Executive Director, RI:Lab Email: Phone: 614-621-2888 Twitter: @getshust RESOURCE INTERACTIVE | ©2010 Point of View | Game On 11