Imagine walking into your boss’ office and saying: “What if we buy a game for the business?”; and then your boss looks up at you and says: you’re fired. Incredibly, this is how gamification seems to lots of people. I’m here to help you out on describing a pretty cool idea for boosting work performance without limiting working schedules and making the job you love, a funnier one!
Games vs Gamification
To understand what the difference between these two words is, first we have to go through some examples and concepts. Games and gamification can be different but deeply linked at the same time.
When we are talking about games, the most serious and business people get scared and run away. Most of them think that employees develop a slower performance in their daily tasks when talking about fun during the job, which is not correct, and actually has a positive effect on employees.
Game is an activity or sport usually involving skill, knowledge, or chance, in which you follow fixed rules and try to win against an opponent or to solve a puzzle. Pretty fun right? We can refer to good ol’ Dungeons & Dragons as an example of what a game is. However, most of these have a unique set of rules that puts them under categories such as strategy, role-playing, action, and also they have game “style” such as board games, video games, etc.
Gamification aims to be the process of developing a game with custom rules added to what we know today as tasks, with just one objective: Make the work entertaining and fun!. Is not about creating a new game, is about amplifying the effect of an existing working or daily experience by using techniques to motivate the people who do it every day. Combining this with usual game mechanics we can accomplish on what we are expecting: a regular workflow with all our daily routines added, with a gaming experience that makes it sweeter. For example, integrating a task management software with the game API can let you have a cool game where you level up by login in, achieving your task, build up gold that you can use to customize your avatar and earn achievements. In other words… gamifying the routine.
I already got the sauce, but I need the cheese
In Summer 2016, there was gamification in all over the internet. Maybe you didn’t even realize it, and what’s better, it involved in just a simple, regular activity that we all do everyday… walk!
That’s right, the award-winning game for handheld devices that captured most of people’s attention in 2016. This is a simple and a creative form of gamification that encourages people to walk, meet each other and enjoy the experience of visting new places of interest. In addition to this, you can capture your favorite pokémon, train them and make them fight in a gym! The gyms are mostly all located in places of interest that have a high numbers of visitors. This is a really cool example on gamification applied to fitness and health.
Gamification applied to software development
Whoa there, pal. So you’re telling me that gamification CAN be applied to any kind of activity or workflow? What about software development?
Software development is not just coding. There are techniques and methods to develop software that makes things better organized, hence, makes it faster to develop and makes a better handcrafting on the ways a software is developed and tested.
There are some cool examples of software that makes this easier such as JIRA by Atlassian, a very useful one that makes my bug hunting pretty easy. I want to make a quick comparison between the description between this product and my future open-source project just for having an example on how powerful gamification can be:
JIRA Issue Tracking Platform
The best software teams ship early and often. Jira Software is built for every member of your software team to plan, track, and release great software.
Create user stories and issues, plan sprints, and distribute tasks across your software team.
Prioritize and discuss your team’s work in full context with complete visibility.
Ship with confidence and sanity knowing the information you have is always up-to-date.
Improve team performance based on real-time, visual data that your team can put to use. Pretty useful right? But at some point, it will became simple another instrument for your work. You love your job but you can do better. How so?
Introducing the world of Lyra, a game-tied issue tracking platform.
Introducing the vast world of Lyra, a gamified issue tracking software that lets you build your character story by achieving defined tasks, activities and others! Level up as you
fight with bosses complete sprints and fight monsters close stories to achieve maximum power!
Plan your fight!
As a sprint manager, you choose what the boss is! Plan your own story trough a set of tools that lets you decide what’s the next sprint difficulty (Story Points) with different stories, and what the achievements prizes should be for your project party!
Upgrade and Share
Level up as you complete stories and sprint, buy different items with your earned gold from your quests, participate in different projects to have bonus loot. Discuss different ways of completing your stories (quests) and boost your item drop rate.
Free the world from evil with confidence
Lyra is always up-to-date, no matter what changes in the quests are, you’ll be receiving synced information as long as you’re connected to the internet.
What’s going on?
The world of Lyra is based on workflow reports, every user will be witness of beautiful visualizations on graphs and reports, and also have the ability to compare yourself to others. Who’s having the most experience, or who needs help on it’s performance? You’ll be knowing soon!
You can grab something as complex as an issue tracking platform and then add achievements, prizes, some background story and it will make it even more interesting. Games are a great way to maintain yours and yourself entertained and at the same time productive!
Let’s share a final example, let’s look over simple things:
To-Do lists. Microsoft To-Do is a simple way to get your activities done with beautiful task lists. Sounds right! But what if I told you there’s another way of getting your task done, and have yourself make it for a simple prize such as gaining experience, leveling up, winning some gold or train virtual pets? There’s also a cool habit planner if you want to have a change in your daily routines.
There’s an app that does this, and it’s Habitica. Their message is simple: gamify your life! You should check it out to have a better definition on what gamification is.
I’m pretty interested in Lyra. Did you make it all up?
Lyra (potential project name) is an non-published project (will be open source) that’s still on a planning phase. And I’ll be publishing updates in different posts as how did we manage to set them all up, including a git repository. Thanks for reading this posts and hope I clarified what gamification is for you, and hope to see you in a next update for Lyra if you’re interested in. Thank you!