Gamification stuff we love: Share the meal

Gamification stuff we love: Share the meal

Gamification for good is something close to my heart, so when a friend pointed out the United Nations Share The Meal app, I had to investigate it a bit further. The premise is simple, you download the app called ShareTheMeal and for $0.50 or £0.35 you can feed a hungry child for a day in a country where support is needed. When you download the app, the introduction tells you that smartphone users outnumber hungry children by 20:1.

The organisation picks a goal number and gives you the backstory of why they need help in this area and the progress towards reaching their goal is shown with a simple progress bar. You can see the image with a clear appeal to join in with the crowd and gift meals together and a very easy button in a very prevalent position to go ahead with your donation. You can give food for 1 day all the way up to a whole year, again with a simple press of one selection button. At the moment the goal is to help pregnant women in Syria to have enough fresh food to have a healthy baby.

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When your donation has gone through, you receive an image of the child who is on the receiving end of your donation. I donated food today to Reem, who fled from rural Homs to the city, she is expecting a baby boy any day. You have the option to look for updates on the project and encourage your friends on social media to do the same. When you then click back to the main screen, you physically see the count go up by one meal and when you scroll down a bit it tells you how many meals you have shared. In your profile you can see how many meals you have shared on your progress towards making the next level of difference. It also asks you to invite friends to join in and share your activity on social media.

The app is definitely aiming to play on crowd contribution and the graphics and user-experience definitely encourage further action in a friendly and personable way. The main motivation is to appeal to make a difference together for a cause greater than us, also often called epic meaning. It then empowers you to do this and the gamification mechanics such as feedback loops with progression bars and contribution re-inforce it together with the social inviting and sharing to make an even greater impact. The female social sharing force definitely was at play for me on this one, because one lady showed me and I then picked it up from there and I am now sharing it with.

Will you share the meal too?

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