Game On: Will Gamification Occur In Print?

Written by:
Joel Basa
eMarketing Manager
Xerox Corporation
Gamification. It has revolutionized the web and mobile apps. Here are a few recent examples from my own life. As a newer user of foursquare, I’m proud to say I’m on the verge of becoming the “Mayor” of the Gil Hatch Center (applause please!). I use a Smartphone GPS app called “Waze” that gives me “points and prizes” for simply driving with the app open.  I’m sure you’ve seen many business applications are starting to apply gaming concepts to their business, so I ask: Why not print?
Gamification: Quick Definition
According to David Carr is, “gamification simply means applying some of the same techniques that game designers use to engage and motivate users to other sorts of applications.” Are there ways to incorporate the gaming dynamics into printed media? I’m sure somebody has started applying gaming dynamics to their print business but I just haven’t found an instance of it quite yet.
How about print?
Do you have examples of businesses that are “motivating and engaging” their customers through gaming dynamics? I could see a Print Service Provider with a Web to Print implementation motivating their customer by creating a point system with a leaderboard. Let says, “Earn 100 points when you create a photo book, 3 points for every greeting card, and 1 point for every business card.” Your customers could “unlock” awards and be given badges. Create the ability for users to vote on the best “Photos of the week” being printed and award additional points to the winner! Their awards, badges and point could be posted to Twitter, Facebook or any other social channel.
A Different Mindset…Not New Technology
As Gabe Zichermann in his recent interview with David Carr says, “I think it’s probably more like 75% to 25%, psychology to technology.” Technologies now exist to make gamification possible. The real challenge is creating the psychology of engagement in a customer experience with your print operation. It’s a different mindset than traditional marketing initiatives.
Game On
I’m sure you can think of other creative ideas to “gamify” your print operations so tell you what, post a comment with your idea on the gamification of print, and it’ll earn you 50 points. Tweet your idea with hashtag #PrintGame and each tweet earns you 5 points. Comment on our Facebook wall and earn 10 points. Winner will receive 3 copies of the “Social Media Field Guide” produced by PIA. Let’s give it a shot….Game ON!

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