Guest Column: Manish Agarwal on Basic Principles of Gamification

23 Sep,2013

By Manish Agarwal


Gamification, the new argot that has been making headlines lately, is not the same as game development; it’s not about making console or mobile games for mere entertainment. As the best in the business describe it, Gamification is the use of game mechanics and game design techniques in non-game contexts and is a powerful tool being used by brands globally to engage with their stakeholders.


Gamification has helped marketers get their users engaged in desired behaviours by taking benefit of humans’ psychological tendency to connect with game techniques. Since the term is a recent buzzword in India, it remains largely unlearnt by the same marketers. Here are a few basic principles to Gamification that I think can go a long way in strategising for your next Gamification effort.


Defined Objective: You got to determine the primary objective. What is the desired action out of the effort? If you think its entertainment, you are not a marketer but a gaming company. You will have to invest a few days and brainstorm on this; try and involve the team that will be eventually gamifying your service.


Make It Measurable: You have a boss somewhere who trusts in you but is concerned about the RoI too. You will have to prove to him that the gamification effort has really helped; ensure you are able to measure and map the performance. A combination of techniques can help – include a call to action that can be measured, evaluate the KPIs before and after the implementation, have trials with focus groups and so on. We are a digitally connect world, exchange notes with marketers across the globe on relevant forums if you wish to.


Repeated Feedback: Feedback is crucial. Repeated feedback is unavoidable. As Charles Coonradt explains, “Increasing the frequency of feedback improves the quality and quantity of performance. When feedback is illustrated on charts and graphs, the impact is greater.” Feedback will help you find answers to some of the questions that have been sitting in your head unattended.


It’s Not About Rewards, It’s About a Sense of Achievement: The most powerful rewards are intrinsic not extrinsic. Personalise the reward mechanism. Incorporate a mechanism that allows the user to show his status (a personalised message on his social media page, a direct congratulatory message, a leaderboard etc.) It makes a difference on an individual level.


Don’t Stop: Gamification effort is never a one-time assignment, it’s a process. It requires to be practised regularly, with an improved shot each time. Keep some budget aside for this every quarter.  What is more important is that you rethink about your objective (point #1) each time you want to gamify!


Manish Agarwal is CEO, Reliance Entertainment Digital




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One response to “Guest Column: Manish Agarwal on Basic Principles of Gamification”

  1. Himanshu Agarwal says:

    Thanks Manish for the interesting read.

    Gamification is also widely used by eLearning companies to in their CBTs/WBTs to drive learning among adult participants. It also widely used to generate business scenarios in industries such as Telecom.

    It will be interesting to read how Zapak and Jump games use their strength in game development to cater the enterprise market.

    As an afterthought, how about developing a game for radio stations to simulate the e-auction of spectrum for the Third Phase of Private FM reforms?