[e-book] Debunking the Gamification myths – part 7/10

Learn how gamification can really help you engage and motivate your audience.

– Myth 1 : Gamification will not work on my target group –


This is maybe the biggest counter argument we hear while talking about Gamification. It can also be called the Gen Y myth. It implies that Gamification is somehow childish and would only work on younger people who “like that sort of stuff.”

It is also the falsest one. The same people think that only nerdy socially awkward teenagers play video games. The average player is now over 30, most likely a woman who plays on her smartphone or on Facebook. As it grew larger, the video games industry learnt how to engage different types of users, and so should you.

Gamification comes in all flavors and is not a one-fits-all approach. We have said it before but it does not hurt to repeat it: it is key to understand the demographics you are addressing. It is true that not all people will respond to the same triggers in the same way, but it is even more true that everybody has a button you can press, and that is what Gamification is about.

Let’s take an example to conclude and finish to kill this myth: credit cards. There is nothing fundamentally fun with credit cards, they are just a useful way to pay for almost anything. So how to make you pay more for your credit card? It is pretty simple: just change the names AND the color. Call it a Visa Premier or Gold Mastercard and design it so that anyone can instantly recognize the difference with a regular card when it comes out of your wallet. You have just introduced some Gamification in your design and turned a payment tool into a social status symbol.

credit cards

Credit cards, a great example of a Gamification technique that works on everyone.

And that is why people want to have one. They don’t care about the insurance or the increased payment limits. Actually 90% of the people who own this type in cards do not need it at all. Still they pay the price for what it represents to them and others. Even better: as a consequence of the massification of these Gold/Premier cards, the small elite to which these cards were reserved to has sought an upgrade to differentiate itself and now owns Platinum or Infinite cards. And again, most of them have no use for the services that come with it. We are talking about a little piece of colored plastic here. But it is all about status.

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