Gamification Mechanic Monday: Buddy
In a few projects I have been involved in we have recommended buddy systems, where you partner up with one other person to help each other in staying motivated. The key for this gamification mechanic to work is to have a mutual goal or a specific role for each of the buddies. For example in fitness apps you may have a friend which accompanies you to the gym and you both spur each other on to complete exercises and work out harder and to stay going on a regular basis. As a coach I have often taken the role of accountability partner where someone said they would deliver and then reported back to me, with feedback from my end to acknowledge their effort or lack of it.
It was interesting to see that in Pokemon go the buddy mechanic also appeared for you to take a Pokemon that you want to level up on walks. Walking grows the strength of the Pokemon, so once again reinforcing the gamified walking approach. With rare Pokemon also being harder to level up and earn enough candy for, this is another way to encourage players to keep walking. Especially when the point systems are less than motivational and the frequency of new things goes down over time and hence loses its attraction.
I have used the buddy system in learning environments, corporate well-being (teams also work well as buddy groups), fitness and coaching related gamification. Where have you added a buddy system?