Last Updated: January 25, 2022.
Gamification is a term that’s become more significant in recent years. The strict definition of gamification is the practice of adding game elements into non-gaming scenarios to increase engagement.
For example, the Starbucks app features a rewards program where certain actions (e.g. buying a coffee) earn you points. As you earn points, you increase your level and unlock new rewards, much like a video game.
Nike+ and Fitbit are similar in this regard. You can upload your fitness results and compete against other people. You can also complete challenges and earn trophies. Again, something that’s not a game has been turned into one via the process of gamification.
Little Touches Can Make a Big Difference
What’s happened over the last two decades, as companies have entered the digital space, is a flow of ideas out of gaming and into other industries. That’s conditioned consumers to expect and enjoy gamification features.
What it’s also done is spark the creative flames of gaming developers. Although the term “gamification of gaming” is a misnomer, it’s a good way of describing the way games are evolving. In essence, developers are adding new touches to their products.
These little extras are, in many ways, similar to the gamification features used in retail, fitness, and many other industries.
Online slots are a perfect example of this. Slots are games in their own right. There’s an element of chance, the games are fun and there’s an objective. However, there are ways to take things to a different level.
That’s where the concept of gamification or re-gamification comes in. As you can see in this list of games, new ideas have been introduced in recent years. For example, sticky wilds have taken an original concept and enhanced it.
So, instead of a wild appearing, substituting for other symbols are disappearing on the next spin, they now have the power to stick around in games such as Dead or Alive and Easter Island.
Giving Players More Reasons to Play
The fact wilds can remain in place for multiple spins gives players another reason to stick around. It’s like the trophies used in the Nike+ Run Club app. Players feel as though they’re building towards a bigger goal.
Taking this a step further, some online slots have levels.
For example, players can collect symbols in Dr Toonz and move to a new level that unlocks additional features.
This idea is taken directly from video gaming and helps make slots more engaging. Therefore, it’s the gamification of a game. Then, if we cross over to video games, loot boxes are an idea borrowed from casino companies.
Players can purchase loot boxes and receive a random prize. This is a form of gambling. However, these optional extras add another layer of interest and excitement in video games such as Madden NFL.
Again, this is an example of developers enhancing their products with something from another part of the gaming industry. Describing this as gamification might be a stretch, but the premise holds.
Developers are looking outside of their normal remit and adding new elements to their games. This is creating a new generation of content that’s more engaging and entertaining. It’s creating a new generation of gamified games!