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How Blockchain Is Building the Next Wave of Business App Gamification

With gamification, business owners can supercharge their workplace, building engagement among employers and customers alike.
How Blockchain Is Building the Next Wave of Business App Gamification
Image credit: Courtesy of Pay Per Growth
By Pay Per Growth

For business teams, in-app gamification is a fast-growing part of the work day. And with good reason; gamification offers a wide range of benefits for both the player and the business. Now, blockchain technology is poised to take gamification to the next level, thanks to a major disruption in how players can build value into their “play.”

The trend for gamification in the workplace isn’t going away any time soon; companies are realizing that it’s a valid way to supercharge their workplace, building engagement among employers and customers alike.

For example, the German enterprise company SAP launched a gamification initiative in 2013. The aim was to encourage employees to provide feedback, contribute content and build their authority as influencers on the SAP Community Network (SCN).

“The results were staggering,” Aaron Orendorff explains. “After just one month, SCN saw community feedback rise by 96 percent, overall activity by 400 percent, and point generation -- [an indication of quantity of contributions and engagement around content, according to a company source] -- by 2,210 percent.”

Gamification is hot for the simple reason that it works. Let’s look at some of the tangible benefits of business gamification, and how the next evolution is going to come from a new model based on blockchain and cryptocurrency.

How businesses are using gamification for a range of benefits.

Companies of all types are leveraging some specific uses of gamification that marry the advantages of employee engagement with specific outcomes.

Kindred Healthcare, a company that operates a number of healthcare centers across the U.S., wanted to create an employee wellness program that would meet the needs of a diverse staff. The company partnered with Limeade to create an engagement platform to help their employees take charge of improving their health through gaming.

“My favorite challenge is 'Move Across America,'” said Andrea Romisher, Kindred’s VP of benefits. “We formed teams, and our folks posted pictures on Instagram and Facebook, showing how they were taking steps across America. And we have some real heroes out there.”

The science behind the success of gamification.

This kind of shared success model works well, according to British tech philosopher and author Tom Chatfield, because of the deep impact that games have our brains.

“I’m in awe of their power to motivate, to compel us, to transfix us, like really nothing else we’ve invented has quite done before,” Chatfield said in his TedTalk on how video games engage the brain.

Gamification is, at its core, all about the reward. Participating in game-like play encourages a sense of autonomy and value, which triggers a rush of dopamine in the reward center in our brains. It feels good, and we want to keep doing more of that. Tap into that, and it can be funneled directly toward company goals.

“Business executives are looking for a stronger commitment from employees, customers, partners (suppliers, subcontractors, etc.),” says Yann Rousselot-Pailley, CEO at Montreal-based consultants 2PS in his LinkedIn post.  According to Rousselot-Pailley, by applying mechanisms derived from video games, companies can build this kind of engagement through recognition, reward and trust in new ways.

“Although there are still many questions to answer, the current studies agree on two elements to create a link: reward and generate trust.”

Engagement = Recognition + Reward + Trust

Decentralized gamification as the next evolution.

Gamification’s reward potential is unquestionable. And thanks to blockchain technology, they are poised to move toward even more reward and trust -- what Rousselot-Pailley believes are essential ingredients.  A recent conference in London, sponsored by 2Ps, focused on gamification and blockchain, and how decentralized gaming apps are reinventing organizations.

“Gamification, blockchain, and cryptocurrencies are, for me and my team, the technological foundation of a profound social change,” says Rousselot-Pailley. The idea is that by moving gaming to a decentralized block-chain based platform, the reward and trust is amplified:

Engagement = Gamification + Crypto-currencies + Blockchain

The key advantage to using blockchain for gamification is that it exists on a decentralized platform, allowing for peer-to-peer interaction and cross-game cooperation. The idea of a decentralized marketplace makes sense on many levels, and for a huge range of industries.

DMarket has developed the first in-game trading platform using blockchain technology and smart contracts, effectively synchronizing hundreds of thousands of gaming databases to enable an equitable trading platform, across virtually any linked game.

“Game universes are not connected to each other, which means there is no safe and easy way to trade between them, and no reliable way to approve these trades,” explains DMarket’s founder and CEO Volodymyr Panchenko. “It was not technologically possible to build a bridge between the dozens of game engines, independent and global game developers, and the mobile and console worlds.”

DMarket’s idea is to create a simple way for game developers to plug into the marketplace, letting players trade or exchange in-game goods originating from any gaming platform.

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And because the platform is based on blockchain technology using a DMarket Coin, gamers will be able to not only trade amongst gaming platforms, but turn their cryptocurrency into real world assets.

“Users (players as well as developers) will be able to leverage their own achievements and time spent, either for a better gaming experience or for profit,” Panchenko continues. 

The benefit for a decentralized platform like this is clear. Players can trade earned assets to advance their game personas in other games, earning cryptocurrency in the process. Those assets can them be used to buy other products and services in a safe and trusted environment. So the reward in amplified by the nature of the platform itself.

Gamification at the next level.

The human brain is ultimately wired to enjoy games, and to reap the rewards. By combining the concept of gamification with the added trust and security of blockchain and decentralized platforms, the potential is poised to be amplified -- and incentivized -- in entirely new ways. Gamification will continue to growth in the business world, and the benefits are poised to be amplified more than ever as technology ads the key ingredients of reward and trust to the equation.

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