Can Gamification Make You a Better Person?

No matter who you are, it’s safe to say that there’s something about your life you’d like to improve. Whether it’s learning a new skill, saving more money or improving your health, one thing always rings true…the road that leads to achieving your goal is often a long and boring one. That’s why, in an effort to lessen the monotony, more and more people are turning to a new trend called “gamification”. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, just think of the Foursquare model of check-ins and badges applied to the more important areas of your life. In this article, we take a look at a few companies that are using gamification to help you become a better person.

Living a Healthier Lifestyle

Who doesn’t want to be healthier and look better?  It’s really a no brainer. However, anyone who’s battled knows sticking to a diet and fitness regimen can be a grind.  Fortunately, there is probably no industry better suited for gamification than Health & Fitness.  Companies like Badgeville are helping the diet and fitness industry add a playful aspect to living a healthy lifestyle.   By harnessing the power of something called Quanified Self movement, these programs allow people to track their health through logging workouts and food intake, as well as through sensors that track specific health patterns and activity.  Users can compete with others or themselves, and positive behavior is rewarded through a badge system and for achieving personalized health goals.

Learning More Efficiently

Certainly knowledge itself is its own reward, but there is a certain amount of discipline required to achieving educational goals. To combat this, web based education companies like Code Academy and Course Hero.com have added  gaming elements to keep students focused and on task. EduTech startup Course Hero recently launched its Courses Program, which offers classes in variety of disciplines including entrepreneurship, business, and web programming in a variety of languages and also employees a gaming layer to provide extra incentives. In addition to traditional gaming rewards like badges, real world rewards are also a possibility. Students who complete the Entrepreneurship path can enter a business plan competition whose winner will get to pitch ideas to Course Hero investor and SV Angel, Ron Conway.

Increasing Work Productivity

Can games make workers more productive? Apparently some people believe yes. Salesforce.com recently acquired Rypple in a bid to add gamification to their mix of enterprise cloud support and training. Rypple, a web-based social management platform replaces the traditional performance review with a collaborative approach by using social goals, continuous feedback and meaningful recognition. based Rypple on 50+ years of behavioral science, focusing on what really keeps people passionate about their work. Interactions are designed to amplify what great business leaders have always done, provide one-on-one coaching to help people achieve their goals ensure public recognition for great work, whenever it happens encourage real-time, continuous feedback By applying the Rypple method, employee productivity is are rewarded  social, mobile, and transparent workplace.  Our mission is to create delightful software that helps people advance their careers, teams achieve their goals faster, and companies retain their top performers.

Mastering Personal Finance

The drudgery of personal financial management will be a thing of the past if Payoff.com has anything to say about it. Billed as “a new approach to having fun with your finances”, the company enables people to achieve specific goals like paying off credit card debt or saving for a vacation by using a gaming platform.  The process is pretty straightforward.  Users start by sharing dreams and setting goals. With each dream there’s the ability to tag Facebook friends, places, companies and keywords. To help you achieve faster results, Payoff offers handpicked tools and blog posts to help you along the way and supplies motivational tools like badges and even cash prizes to keep you on track.

With analysts predicting that gamification is soon to become a multi-billion dollar industry, getting to a better you is just a game away.

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