Gaming technology and Gamification are often misunderstood and incorrectly used for one another. In this post, we offer some clarity.
Gaming is everywhere and so is Gamification – and each are very distinct entities.
Gamification applies game design thinking to non-game applications to make them fun and engaging – and it’s one of the most important technology trends. It has been successfully implemented by many verticals seeking to convert users into return customers.
A common example of Gamification are loyalty programs, like Frequent Flyer Programs, or FFP, such as the one that United Airlines pioneered. Loyalty programs are designed to encourage and alter behavior, resulting in repeat customers. And they’re VERY effective.
Gamification doesn’t have to be fancy though. You can find it at your local convenience store, like this one fueling the Hans Solo/Lando Calrissian debate, in turn encouraging you to tip in the process.
Or this clever homeless gentlemen using Gamification in a way that demands attention.
But what about Gaming? Well, that’s probably something you’re very familiar with. Gaming is an electronic game requiring human interaction, offering a visual user interface – hence the word video. And video games now include any type of display device that can produce two- or three-dimensional images. Video games are played on platforms, including personal computers, video game consoles – and now Smartphone’s and tablets as well.
And then, as the headline suggests, there’s a hybrid approach. This approach combines the best of both worlds, offering gamification techniques used in applications that harness video game technology.
But can this be applied to training – specifically serious tasks, such as maintenance training? Yes. Here’s how:
1. On a PC or tablet, the user enters virtual aircraft/helicopter (enabled by video game technology)
2. SHOW the user what to do, allow him to actually DO it and practice, and give immediate FEEDBACK to make it stick.
3. As successful operation or maintenance procedures are completed, give a reward or incentive, such as:
a) Sending a notification to his instructor on his skill level achievement.
b) Providing special recognition at the end of class for top performers in front of peers – ‘Maintenance Maverick!’ and so on.
c) Showing the user something unique as achievements are unlocked, like mistakes commonly made by others.
The potential is limitless; the engagement and retention – exceptional.