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The inclusion of gamification in software applications is growing rapidly around the world. By creating a game around accomplishing goals, and giving gamified rewards for milestones reached during the process of accomplishing that goal, individuals and organizations are experiencing more motivation, higher engagement, increased productivity, and greater happiness.
Gamification is a software trend that is here to stay. Blockchain technology has the potential to drastically improve the results gamification already offers by making each user’s experience more unique and memorable.
In this article we will look at what gamification is, how it’s used, and why blockchain is positioned to offer significant value to gamified software platforms through the use of cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFT’s).
What is Gamification?
Gamification is the inclusion of the social/reward aspects of games into software applications.
The term was coined by a British programmer and inventor named Nick Pelling in 2002, but did not gain mainstream attention until about 2010 when app developers began incorporating gamification principles more frequently into their applications.
The idea of gamification first became popular in the fitness industry for weight-loss. Notable gamified fitness applications include:
- Atari Fit
- Nike + Running
- Map My Fitness
After gamification was helping millions of people around the world fight back the obesity epidemic and start living healthier lives, the corporate world began to notice.
Gamification in the Corporate World
Beyond weight-loss and the fitness industry, gamification is used within corporations primarily for training purposes. Here are some facts about how employees view gamification in the corporate world:
- Most employees are open and have a positive view about gamification
- 97% of employees above the age of 45 believe it will improve their work
- 87% of employees believe they are more productive when gamification is present
- 85% of employees spend more time on gamified software applications compared to applications without any gamification
So, with all this support for including gamification into daily routines at home and at work, what elements of software actually make it “gamified”?
Elements of Gamification
The elements of gamification generally all fall into one of several categories: narrative/story, challenges, levels, instant feedback, scores, badges, rewards, collaborative tasks, and leaderboards.
Each element of gamification can be clearly identified by users and produces a specific result/reward when reached; the most obvious example being a digital badge which is earned after an achievement is reached such as passing a quiz, hitting a sales target, or participating in a set amount of corporate activities.
Gamification & Blockchain
Blockchain is the perfect technology for gamification. It prevents dishonesty, creates verifiable accomplishments, and can create unique gamification elements that are not otherwise possible on traditional software applications. Gamification using blockchain technology happens through the creation of NFT’s and the recording of gamified elements on the blockchain itself.
What is an NFT?
NFT’s, or non-fungible tokens, are unique representations of digital creations made possible through blockchain technology. NFT’s are non-fungible because they cannot be re-created, duplicated, or altered after they are made.
NFT’s can be tracked and traced from user to user the same way Bitcoin can be because they are publicly recorded on the blockchain network. The most popular platform for creating NFT’s is Ethereum, but NFT’s can also be created on other platforms like Algorand.
Gamification using NFT’s
Gamification using NFT’s improves traditional gamification through personalization and honest record keeping. It prevents cheating by allowing the gamification elements to be written using smart contracts, allows for 100% unique gamification elements, and enables participants to create and earn one-of-a-kind rewards for their participation; such as an avatar created just for them made by their favourite Fortnite player, digital art from their favourite video content creator, or an employee of the month badge issued by their employer.
Video Game Gamification
Another example of blockchain and NFT use for gamification is creating games with the use of personalized avatars. These avatars can be dressed with NFT items purchased with tokens issued to users on the platform who play or watch the game. Tokens may be earned for watching, playing, being an active user, trading NFT avatar items, any other possible interaction between users and other users, or by users reaching playable milestones within the game itself.
Video Content Gamification
For example, a platform for video content can create gamification elements for their users to increase user engagement and user experience through NFT’s. The platform may issue an NFT badge for the user with the most or least XXX; most views, best like-to-dislike ratio, highest rated, most reviewed, most comments, most awards, etc. Content creators may also choose to create their own NFT content to reward their followers for support, raise money for future content creation projects, or work with other content creators and companies looking to promote their businesses.
Gamified Video-on-Demand with Xfinite
Mzaalo, a decentralized application (dApp) offering a gamified video-on-demand platform, is leveraging blockchain technology to bring gamification to video content consumption, advertising, and content creation.
Mzaalo is able to use the Xfinite platform to create an immersive user experience rewarding users for watching and creating content. The platform offers an interactive advertisement experience, and gives content creators full visibility of their content consumption and engagement rates.
Gamification for Mzaalo Users and Content Creators
The more users consume and engage with content on Mzaalo, the more they are rewarded with digital tokens. The tokens can then be used to purchase digital products, physical products, and experiences offered by Mzaalo creators.
Mzaalo creators can use tokens they earn from their fans to open e-stores, buy advertising services, launch campaigns for loyal users, and mint their own NFT’s to sell to their fans.
The more users and creators engage with each other on the platform, the more tokens they earn, and the more personalized their content creation and consumption experiences become. Fans can purchase one-of-a-kind NFT’s from their favourite creators using the tokens they earned from watching, sharing, liking, and commenting on content across the platform.