Gamification Mechanic Monday: To avatar or not to avatar
Avatars are often a game mechanic to allow personalisation in a game, you can choose it’s gender in some cases and adapt it’s appearance, from skin and hair colour to dress code typically. When it comes to business, I often receive the question in business should we allow avatars.
I would allow it and then see what happens. In very creative businesses often have the greatest creatures as avatars, in more traditional environments you mainly have images that are very similar to the person in real life. Here on my blog i have the standard gravatars and in online communities I encourage the person’s own picture to be uploaded. One thing I would discourage however is slogans or logo’s.
When it comes to avatars in the virtual world 2nd life what tended to happen at its peak popularity is that most people created an image that resembled themselves only better, with the bad bit edited out and improved. It meant slightly slimmer or more rounded, different hair colour or styles etc.
In business most of us will want to be recognised as ourselves. Social media is a clear case in point, I wouldn’t accept friend or contact requests from anyone with a question mark, a slogan or a logo. However if there is an image and there are people I know in common, then there is a higher likelihood of connecting. When you have met people in the past or recently at meetings, images trigger the memory and will definitely increase the likelihood of a connection.
Link it to your corporate culture and remember that people buy from people, they know like and trust. A smiling face pictured from the front is what most of use saw in the early days of our existence with a mum or dad or relative looking in and hoping you would recognise them. It is still in neuroscience research a trigger that makes people more receptive to engage. So share that smiling image.