Gamification Mechanic Monday: Sound

Gamification Mechanic Monday: Sound

Sound in games is often a considered part of the packaging, but when it is used to indicated pending danger, win or lose scenario’s or effectively your only feedback at a point in the game, then it also becomes a game mechanic. Sound is extremely powerful as an anchor, to make people recognise situations that they should be aware of.

Movies play with sound especially when the suspense is meant to be raised, they will utilise a recognisable faster beating sound to assist in the build up of what happens on screen. To make a movie more creepy you may just hear creaking sounds or footsteps with very limited visuals. In some multi player online games this can be the same.

By using a specific sound, you create a point of recognition which is associated with an emotion. Celebration sounds in games or loss sounds in games are clearly identifiable.

In training when you use an upbeat sound as people enter a room for the first time, you stimulate people to engage safely with one another, because their voice is not the only thing they hear. The same for conversation exercises, turn on some background music, I always choose upbeat because that is the nature of the training I am used to giving, but depending on the topic you can adapt it. For individual reflection time, you may want to choose something more relaxing. Some trainers even go a step further and set a come-back song to help people return for breaks and they have their own get into speaker mode introduction song. Next time you get invited to a big name speaker event, just listen out for the speaker songs, especially the motivational types will use it to best effect.

I also use sound to shift the energy in a room. If you have seen me speak you have very likely been subject to “I am Happy” and a bit of stand-up interaction to get the body moving. What I find most of us are not suited to sitting and listening for hours on end, so at multi-speaker events it’s key to set yourself up for a good session by engaging the audience. At the gamification world congress earlier this year I was speaker 20 I think and not long before a break was due, to have any chance of the audience paying any attention of what I was saying at that point, I knew I had to shift the energy upwards. The best way to do it, is to have everyone stand up and move to an upbeat catchy tune. From my end it definitely worked and the nice added bonus is that is memorable also. See for yourself if this sounds like a group who has just been listening to 20 speakers and is not enjoying themselves?

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Music has often been used by athletes to encourage performance motivation. Again it is finding those pieces of music that get you in the right mood to give it your best shot. I have a few playlists for specific purposes such as motivation, productivity, running, relaxation etc.

In neurolinguistic programming (NLP) sounds are used to create associations with specific processes which people  can continue to use long after the first process has taken place.

Where are you utilising sound and for what purpose? Or where should you for what purpose

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