Researching benefits of gamification

Together with a client we are embarking on research to verify if our gamified learning solution is actually more effective than the non-gamified learning resources. In my quest to prepare for this research I reached out to a number of academics in this space in the US, which surprisingly lead to some rather direct variations of ‘please get lost’. Only not expressed in such words.

My list of connections hasn’t been exhausted yet and some of the UK based academia have been much more friendly and at least willing to engage in conversation. It is one thing for academics to criticise that our field hasn’t been researched enough but then in the same sentence refuse to work with practitioners who actually are willing to engage in research, I find dumbfounding.

We will still go ahead with our project regardless of academic input. It is both in the interest of our work and that of our client too. What we are looking to get input on, is research methodology for short term research and what variables to test for.

The obvious items we want to discover is whether the learner indeed retains more information with gamification. We would like to find out which of the game mechanics we used actually stood out and made a difference to the learner as expressed by the learner.

Due to time constraints the sample may be small for now and very targeted at our clients target audience. It also means we may need to keep the testing relatively limited.

So a question to all my readers, what would you test and want to find out from research on the effectiveness of a gamified learning solution?

Gamification benefits the 2nd screen

Gamification stuff we love: Gamification benefits the 2nd screen

The second screen in television terms is the screen a lot of us are holding whilst watching TV, whether that is a tablet device, mobile phone or laptop. For some time the broadcast media industry has been looking at ways to engage from first to second screen, but in fact with gamification the reverse is also possible. Popular TV-shows have an active following on social media and often allow viewers to contribute.

Take this one level further and have people engage with your second screen only content, contribute to it and shape the way a story flows. Betting on the best ending for Game of Thrones or how story lines should unfold. Watching a TV chef create a fabulous dish and at the same time invite viewers to rate how easy it is to replicate and show off their versions of the same. Allow viewers to comment and interact with the actual tv-show. Second screen brings an extra advertising dimension also, which a lot of commercial channels thrive on for their funding, and for the viewers winning branded prizes can also be a positive reward.

Hooptap provided the gamified second screen experience for the Spanish version of Masterchef. They created a tv-show app, which allowed viewers to find out secret cooking tricks, learn more about the chefs through fun games, guess ingredients of a recipe, win fun badges etc. Their findings were that 93% of viewers who downloaded the app engaged played games with it. In fact in comparison to Twitter the dedicated app achieved 81% more engagement whilst the show was live. A moderated question function in the app helped generate discussion and suggestions.

From a branding perspective, viewers could interact with the brands on the show and sponsoring the show in several games, with the opportunity to win prizes every day throughout the period the show was on television. You were challenged to find secret ingredients in a virtual supermarket, you had quizzes and other games about brands and the show. So for the channel creative reach for their advertisers was increased and brand engagement can only have increased with this.

We have already gotten used to TV-shows looking for our votes, which shows such as X-Factor and Strictly Come Dancing have become very popular for. Each of these shows also drives a lot of social media chatter and different views and opinions. I know I definitely have given a few views on them with friends, so the market is there to explore this further and create the second screen experience more. I think personally there is an opportunity to let second screen influence first screen even further. It would mean possible multiple endings and storylines, which is costly to produce.  All this may be a bit pie in the sky thinking, because it would require production and marketing which are often very separate and not always in the same company to work closely together. It good be a great opportunity for production houses to think a step further and create for this purpose rather than just have the one finished item.

In any case I am a big fan of gamification on the second screen.

Where have you seen great interaction on the second screen?