Gamification is a new technique that has changed the way people work, play and learn by engaging users with strategic game mechanics, such as point systems and rewards. This method of reward-based learning targets key intrinsic motivators in people that trigger the release of dopamine, a hormone in the brain that encourages exploration. This technique offers heightened value to users, as they can enjoy the learning process and maximize their results.
The Winner Effect
When an animal, whether it’s a cute hamster or not so cute human being, wins at anything there is a large release dopamine and testosterone in the system. Dopamine along with oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins is responsible for our happiness. We all like to be happy. Some people want to be happier and indulge in addictive drugs, which guess what? also increase release of dopamine.
For a winner this released magic juice changes the structure of brain as well as its chemical makeup. It increases their confidence and helps them achieve better results because of the foundation established by past wins. This is called “The Winner Effect‿. Our brains continuously monitor our strengths and weaknesses. Winning basically boosts our self confidence. We feel more powerful and that helps us achieve more. The concept of Gamification helps simulate this effect through points, achievements and badges to enhance productivity.
“It’s Just a Game‿ is Something Only Losers Say
Contrary to the “everyone wins‿ approach that has developed among games played by children, the truth is that there are winners and losers in every game. And it’s not specific to a kid’s soccer game either. What happened the last time you played Monopoly with friends? We have all suffered the fun and pain brought on by Monopoly. To win in Monopoly, you have to be ruthless and force the opponent into difficult situations. It doesn’t matter if they are your siblings, your friends or your significant other, we all want the best properties in Monopoly and acquire more houses than our opponents. The objective of being competitive in real life isn’t necessarily to dominate the opponents as in Monopoly, but to go head-to-head and prove you are better in your field than the competition. This helps in increasing your performance, sharpening your skills and bringing discipline to your life. Otherwise, you just can’t compete.
Adoption of Gamification by Enterprise Businesses
Fortune 500 companies such as IBM, Microsoft, and Deloitte successfully use work-integrated games to motivate employees and increase productivity. These are not the only major companies using gamification methods, FedEx uses game simulators to train their pilots, while Google engages their engineers with “Goobles‿, a currency they can spend on server time. So why is gamification being adopted into our education system as well as our business section? Let’s take a look at why gamification enhances productivity and why we, as human beings,hate losing.
Gamification can be successful in any given industry, and the real estate industry is in need of this type of motivation.. The concept of gamification is not new, it has long been exercised in the school system. It’s the sticker we got for scoring 100% on a test, or the ribbon we received when we completed a track and field tournament. It is the little extras that push us into accomplishing great things. When we feel good, when we are given the recognition for our efforts, the dopamine hormone is activated and a sensation of well being is produced. The gaming aspect can recapture this sense of reward in our current business.
The continued positive psychological response to effort in our adulthood has shown a positive increase in performance levels. That’s the greatest part. Any points, badges, certificates or anything that you receive is all because you have earned it. It’s not something that is given, or purchased, but earned, and if you’re anything like I am, nothing feels better than achieving something that you have earned.
It’s not just the points, the badges, the certificates or the messages that pop up that makes gamification stand out, it is the positive effects, the accountability and the ability to see and monitor where the time has been spent, and the ultimate outcome that makes gamification so powerful.