the use of game play mechanics for non-game applications (also known as “funware”) particularly consumer-oriented web and mobile sites, in order to encourage people to adopt the applications. It also strives to encourage users to engage in desired behaviors in connection with the applications
Gamification utilizes social media, levels, points, virtual currency, leaderboards and a myriad of other techniques to enhance user engagement with brands. It caters to our human needs to “level up” and “earn points” either for bragging rights or real money. It’s a selfish act really on the side of the user but your brand stands to benefit.
There are four gamification providers leading the space with competitive challengers entering the fray all the time.
Big Door. This startup was funded by Foundry Group under the Distribution theme. A nifty site that has an awesome widget builder for the non-programmers among us. You will notice on our crowdfunding site Startup Addict that we chose Big Door out of the other gamification sites on the market simply because it’s easy and free. We are running a few test trials with their cut & paste footer widget while we integrate the Big Door API further to reward both entrepreneurs and Investors on our site with points, badges and real world prizes called the big deal. Big Door also just inked a gamification deal yesterday with Major league Baseball.
Badgeville was a TechCrunch Disrupt audience choice award winnner and has several prominent sites and blogs in play like The Next Web, Bluefly and TechCrunch. The unique proposition with Badgeville is the white label social rewards & analytics offered. Description of of Badgeville in their words:
Badgeville is a white label Social Rewards & Analytics Platform for web and mobile publishers. Our customers come from a wide variety of verticals including retail, entertainment, publishing, education, enterprise and more.
Gamify dubbed as the universal Gamification Platform. The game engine for the world wide web. According to Gamify its’ value proposition is the following:
We are building the offical gamification platform that provides game mechanics as a service for any web-enabled systems. It is robust, flexible and expandable to power a wide variety of applications and services in fields such as the web, mobile, e-commerce, entertainment, education, work, social good and more. You can interact with the API and Dashboard yourself or with the help of a community of Gamify Experts.
Bunchball builds lasting relationships and drives business value with its’ gamification product Nitro. Like Badgeville Bunchball offers a white label product. Businesses using the product are NBC, Comcast, Syfy and Hasbro to name a few. Bunchball states the Nitro platform is:
Nitro’s flexible architecture enables our customer’s engineering teams to get up and running quickly, while our powerful administration tools empower the site production and marketing teams with real-time control over online user behavior.
Gamification is certainly here to stay and the growth will be exponential. It fits extremely well with mobile and social media. Foursquare is probably the best case study of what gamification, mobile and social media can do when mixed together in a user friendly application.