"Hey Guys, Let's Do Gamification" and Other Horrible Ideas - PointClick

“Hey Guys, Let’s Do Gamification” and Other Horrible Ideas

Have you logged onto Facebook recently? Oh, you check yours obsessively? Yeah, us too. So, you’ve probably noticed that every time you log onto Facebook you’ve received about a billion invitations to play some new game that offers incredible deals and helps you achieve badges which will reveal the mysteries of the universe to a select few.

It’s getting annoying, right? Gamification is one of the latest marketing trends to sweep across the face of the planet, and we’re still not sure how we feel about it. On the one hand, we believe that gamification of a brand can help companies connect with consumers. It’s a great way to get personal information that will help develop leads and turn players into paying customers.

We also get that gamification is important for brands that want to develop more personal relationships with customers. See, the modern customer doesn’t like being treated like a statistic. He wants to be treated like a person. When you game-ify your brand, you can customize a consumer’s experience and provide him with access to the content, deals, promotions, etc. that he wants.

We get all that.

But we want you to stop using gamification. Right now. We don’t want you to stop because we think it’s a bad idea. We want you to stop because, unless you have an advanced degree in game design and graphics, you’re going to do more harm than good.

Social media games are all over the place. Two percent of these games are awesome, and you’re really likely to find us wasting hours on them each day. The rest of the ninety-eight percent, well, they’re pretty horrible. Why are they so horrible?

It has nothing to do with the content. It really doesn’t even have anything to do with the game play. It doesn’t have to do with the brands, the promotions being offered, the dumb achievements that require us to share the game with ten billion Facebook friends, or even the silly challenges that we take way too seriously,

These games are horrible because they look AWFUL. Visually, most gamification marketing strategies are gag-worthy. Because designing a game takes a serious amount of specifically developed skill, brands that are cranking out these Facebook games are not investing in the graphic design, layout, and overall appearance of the “games.”

The end result? We’re playing gamification apps that make our eyes hurt.

Here’s the solution. We’re not going to sit here and tell you that gamification is ineffective or a waste of your time. But please stop designing your own games. If you want to tap in to the gamification strategies of established, beautiful social media games, be our guest.

When Mr. BossGuy says, “Hey! I just heard about gamification! Who’s all over that?” at your next board meeting, though, we hope that you’ll do us a favor and take a stand.

Sincerely, The World.