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Recreating companies

through games


Ysmar Vianna
Maurcio Vianna
Bruno Medina
Samara Tanaka

Gamification, Inc.
Recreating companies through games

Gamification, Inc.
Recreating companies through games
Ysmar Vianna
Maurcio Vianna
Bruno Medina
Samara Tanaka

Copyright 2014 MJV Tecnologia Ltda.

All rights reserved.
Unauthorized reproduction of this publication, in whole or in
part, constitutes copyright violation.
Fagner Lima
Paulo Sergio Guimares
Glucia Machado
Glaucia Holzmann
Kyle Lazzell
Visual Design
Thiago Lacaz
Visual Thinking
Joo Rocha

Print Management USA
Dados Internacionais de Catalogao na Publicao (cip)
Gamification, Inc.: Recreating companies through games /
Bruno Medina [et al.]. 1. ed. Rio de Janeiro:
mjv Press, 2013, 164 pp., 16 x 23 cm, isbn 978-85-65424-08-0
1. Jogos para computador Aspectos sociais. I. Medina, Bruno.
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Introduction 9


First things first, what's gamification? 13

A couple of things you should know about games 23
Gamification, Inc. 37
Gamification & Companies: made for each other 49
Lets get down to work! 79
Looking forward! Whats to come in the future? 109

Credentials 113

I'm very pleased to be writing about MJV Press release, dedicated

to the use of game mechanics in the business context. This book
is written by an IT consulting team whom apply games to their
customers work processes in an innovating and pioneering
way. In 2011, Gartner predicted that by 2015 more than 50% of
innovation managing organizations will insert game methods to
their processes and procedures, and more than 70% of the 2,000
largest companies in the world will be using, at least, one gaming
application in their business. "Gamification" is the term in English,
which defines the tendency to apply these mechanics to situations
that are not just pure entertainment such as: innovation, marketing,
training, employee performance, health and social changes - says
Brian Burke, one of our collaborators.
The objective of game application into business context is: to
obtain a high level of employee commitment, to facilitate the introduction of changes in the organization and stimulate innovation.
According to Gartners analysts, games help achieve higher
employee engagement through:
Speeding up performance assessment cycles, causing employees
to faster adapt to changes needed in the organization;
Clarification inherent the objectives and rules of games, removing
ambiguity and uncertainties in work procedures;
Submitting a more persuasive narrative to performed tasks, while
generating more engagement;
Breaking down large tasks into shorter ones that can be achieved in
short term, keeping employees engaged throughout the project.
In this book, you will find many examples applying these principles in Brazilian cases, and a practical methodology for immediate
application to business context. Gartner has been following the
process of implementing games in companies worldwide, and
is convinced about the emergence of a professional community
dedicated to this purpose as well as in Brazil.
Enjoy reading!
Mrcio Krug
Gartner Brazil - President


Gamification means the use of game aspects in activities other than

just pure entertainment. The elements of this approach and its cases
are the subject of this book. We aim to portray a contemporary vision
of this new use of technology in companies environment, regardless
of its size, in order to support the objectives of their development.
From this point of view, the use of games as part of work inserts a
social component to the corporations operations, consistent with the
current use of technology out of the professional context.
Games are a modern model of peoples self-organization to achieve a goal. Companies operational structure and models have been
the same since the 19th Century, based on hierarchy, bureaucracy and
specialization of labor in order to scale and achieve efficient results.
This model requires clearly defined roles and responsibilities, accurate procedures and management based on leadership and control,
like in military organizations. However, in the modern world, these
models restrain individual capability, the way tasks are demanded and
the commitment with professional goals. Information Technology has
created the possibility to organize work in a different way through
social aspects and games are the platform that best fits as a tool for
this new trend.
The common social platforms in the modern world allow people to
interact, but theyre not sufficient enough to achieve the purpose of
organizing work. When using games, social platforms are amplified,
allowing specialized content to be shared, powered by the context
of use and by the communities around it. It's possible to change
companies tasks by introducing the social dimension of work from
games that bring motivation, engagement, and personal satisfaction.
Gradually, work platforms, such as softwares and websites, besides their
own business models, have been changed by the introduction of games
mechanisms, creating new science, which we will hear a lot about in the
upcoming years.
MJV is pleased to participate in this transformation as a pioneer in
viewing the corporate use of games. This book has been prepared by a

team that includes experts in many different areas, as a result of years

of experience with practical application on this new work platform. We
sincerely hope to contribute to the rapid new development in this sector.
Ysmar Vianna
Maurcio Vianna
Regardless the size or geographic location in today's world, organizations are invariably ruled by the symbiotic relationship between
the constant market variation and the consequent attempt to
overcome them through structured procedures along the way. The
most visible side of this inglorious battle is known as organizational
culture. Roughly speaking, we can say that the culture of a company
merges with its historic peculiarities, as well as the people who
helped write it.
To keep themselves profitable and overcome daily problems,
companies usually need to challenge essential paradigms to its
work flow which can determine not only the rhythm of the daily
operations but also the directions for the coming years. Considering
an extremely volatile scenario, as a result of fierce competition on
conquering consumers who are even more aware of their needs, it is
quite impossible to maintain a corporate strategy that is not aligned
with the constant search for innovation. Its in this context that
Gamification is inserted.
When it comes down to it, the more experienced readers ask
themselves: Did I understand this correctly? So, the suggestion here
is to use games to solve my business issues? The answer is "yes".
For those who didnt consider this answer absurd and decided to
give the authors a vote of confidence, we sincerely appreciate it and
can see that we are not alone.
In a report published in 2012, the Gartner Group announced that by
2015 about 50% of all global innovation process will be "gamified". In
2016, according to the study, the Gamification market will be around
$2.8 billion. Need more numbers? In the approach delivered by
American MTV with the Y Generation (people born from 1980 to 2000)
half of respondents state that people their age see real life as a video
game [1]. This group now represents 25% of the economically active
population worldwide. This means that a quarter of the wealth of the
planet is generated by people who grew up jumping on mushrooms,
fighting monsters to save princesses, taking bolides in surrealistic
circuits and exchanging coins for extra lives. More than just being

familiar in the language of games, these former children, that today

occupy prominent positions in large companies, certainly do not see
the deadlocks imposed to their careers in the same ways as those
who designed the procedures, which they need to undergo to overcome professional obstacles. From this apparent inconsistency comes
the certainty of an invisible gap between beliefs and expectations, regarding organizations and a considerable portion of their employees.
So, the challenge this book intends to face is set: considering
the mechanisms originated by games, in contrast with current
organizational procedures, as well as the way they influence the
daily routine of the people involved, gamification can be used by
companies to engage, socialize, motivate, teach and retain
their contributors and customers in an efficient way.
In addition to this purpose, we should consider a second question, equally or more relevant than the first one: what aspects from
the world of games, could be translated into the reality of organizations, in order to bring them closer to this new way of thinking which
the assimilation seems essential to understand the world today?

Bruno Medina
Samara Tanaka

[1] Shore, Nick. Millennials Are Playing With

You Hbr Blog Network,
12 December, 2011.


First things first, what's Gamification?

Gamification is the use of game mechanics oriented to solving

practical issues or to engage specific groups or audiences. By
increasing frequency, these sets of techniques have been applied by
several companies and entities from many segments as alternatives to
traditional approaches, especially to encourage people to adopt certain behaviors, to get to know new technology, speed up their learning
and training processes, and turning some tedious or repetitive tasks
into pleasant ones. In recent years, game designers worldwide have
dedicated their efforts to apply gaming principles in different areas
such as health, education, public policies, and sports or to increase
The term Gamification was first used in 2002 by Nick Pelling,
British computer programmer and researcher. The term became
popular a mare 8 years later, in a TED speech presented by Jane
McGonigal, an American world-renowned game designer and author
of Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can
Change the World. Janes argument grabbed the world's attention
with the perception that if we sum up all hours players dedicated to
World of Warcraft (traditional online game that has been running since
2001), 5.93 million years could have been spent on solving problems
in a virtual world. Indeed, the number seems absurd, but it is actually
correct: in the entire history of mankind on planet Earth, from the
manifestation of our earliest primate human ancestors up till now, has
developed itself in a shorter period of time than the total sum of hours
that was spent in the fantastic world of Azeroth by its faithful admirers
up until 2010.
Its worth thinking about the results that could be obtained, for
example, if the same effort was applied to solve real world issues such
as, the eradication of extreme poverty, global warming, mobility in big
cities or research for healing a severe disease.
Fact, in 2011 Washington Universitys researchers were on the news
because of the game Foldit, a crowdsourcing [2] game instructed
to gather group effort from thousands of anonymous participants,

motivated by the challenge in trying to understand how specific

proteins could be used against Aids. The activity attracted 46,000
participants - the majority without any connection in the medical area
- which in just 10 days solved a puzzle that took scientists 15 years with
no success. This kind of initiative is referred to as Serious Games.
The gamification development comes from a somewhat obvious
finding: human beings are strongly attracted to games. Over the
centuries, most all known civilizations have been associated in a
competition very important to social structuring of the community
which they belonged to. Besides the most predictable examples, such
as Greeks (Ancient Olympic Games), Romans (gladiator duels, chariot
races) and Aztecs (Mesoamerican Ball Game), there is still a surprising
amount of evidence [3] that supports these facts that occurred about
3,000 years ago in Lydia, a region located in ancient Minor Asia. In
the times of climatic adversities, Atys, king at the time, established
an unusual practice of food rationing: to intercalate game days
when eating wasnt allowed and no game days - when eating was
allowed. This policy lasted 18 years and it started by chance, from the
perception that: when involved in long hours of competitions group
members simply lost their interest in food. Continuing on in the
same theme, renowned game designer Chris Crawford [4] described
an interesting theory about evolution, the act of playing inserted in the
species evolution context. By observing, for example, the way crocodiles or other reptiles hunt, one can notice that in these animals this
action is made by an extremely simple mechanism consisting of three
well-defined milestones: first of all they choose a place to hide, then
they wait for the prey of their interest and only then they attack. The
procedure is considered locomotors learning, since there is almost no
brain activity involved. Mammals, on the other hand, have developed
a more sophisticated method, sequenced in five steps: they prowl
searching for their prey and, once they find it, they keep lurking, trying
to get as close as possible. When they get close enough to ponce, they
attack, which invariably involves the preys chase and subsequent capture. Note that this way of hunting demands more brain activity than
the one used by reptiles because it involves some sort of strategy, the
same required by these animals to prevail upon their prey, even when
bigger than themselves. And how did mammals learn this? They learned it through the exercise of playing. On herbivores, the relationship
between playing and surviving occurs in a more visible way: because
running is the best defense against predators, when they are not
fighting for their lives, they are having fun jumping and kicking which
can even scare wolves, for example running off through the field. For
ancestral humans, one of the main ways of getting food was basically

[2] Crowdsourcing:
Model of collaborative
production that put
many people together,
personally or virtually, to
mitigate impasses, create content or develop
[3] mcgonigal, 2012
[4] Lecture conducted in
Cologne Game
Lab, 2011.Source:
[5] huizinga, 2001
[6] mastrocola, 2012

consisted of throwing objects towards their targets. Maybe thats

why we still love throwing objects: stones in water, spears, hammers,
basketballs, volleyballs, footballs etc.
Due to this, its natural that not just games but the act of playing
has been, for a long time, topic for many academic discussions.
During the 30s, a Dutch historian named Johan Huizinga, in his book
Homo Ludens, [5] brought a significant contribution to related researches when stated the need of understanding the game beyond
the entertainment aspect. By his theory, Huizinga shows how the
act of playing is inserted in several social relationships, such as
politics, work, poetry, and even nature. From the authors concept,
games are considered artifacts that build dialogical and dialectical
relationships with the subjects through its singular and distinct
ways of interaction. Therefore, the act of playing has a meaning
beyond entertainment. It presents its importance as a cultural
element when: the game is more than a physiologic phenomenon or
a psychological reflection. [6] It goes beyond physical or biological
activity. Its a significant function. There is something in the game
which transcends the immediate needs of life and gives meaning to
the action. Every game means something.
But how exactly can games help the understanding or even the
adaptation to changes in daily life? Also, for instance, what is the significant contribution to the business world, given that as a legitimate
cultural element, games contribute to our cognitive, emotional and
social development?
Perhaps the first step towards understanding the phenomenon
that games represent may be related to the famous Theory of
Hierarchy of Needs, developed in 1943 by the American psychologist
Abraham Maslow.
According to the study, human needs can be grouped in pyramid
levels suggesting that the journey to self-fulfillment of any individual
is only as successful as when the achievement of their desires
occurs in an ascending order, starting from the most basic desires
to the most complex ones. At the baseline of the pyramid are the
physiological demands, such as eating, breathing and drinking water;
followed by the demands related to security, love, self esteem and,
finally, personal fulfillment, having a sense of morality, being creative
and being spontaneous in relationships.
According to the suggested logic, the act of playing would be
obviously related to the top of the pyramid, since it is considered as
a desirable activity but not essential to survival. The point here is: the
more individuals, societies and life itself become complex, the more
the need for even more complex mechanisms becomes to experience



ability to solve
problems, absence
of prejudice, facts
self-esteem, self-confidence, sense
of achievement, respect to others, be
respected by others
friendship, family, sexual intimacy
security towards the body, job, subsistence, morality,


family nucleus, health, prosperity

breathing, feeding, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis, excretion

the feeling of satisfaction in every day life. In our work or in personal

relationships, the rules are often hazy; undefined goals, and the way
to achieve them - unknown. Actions do not receive feedback, and
rewards may take more time. Therefore, it is comprehensive that we
have created games, as they satiate in a simpler, faster, clearer and
more efficient way of constant search to conquer or achieve objectives.
At the end of 70s, Bernard Suits, in his acclaimed book
The Grasshopper: Games, Life and Utopia, defined the matter
properly: A game is a voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary
obstacles. Like in the game of life, winning and losing are quite
subjective concepts; unnecessary obstacles assume the role of
providing us some certainty among many assumptions. The relation
and association between the games mechanisms with human
behavior will be deeper explored when the players profiles and the
motivations that sensitize them are presented.
Although games are an inevitable starting point to understand
gamification as a methodology, it is worth saying something that will
be fundamental to absorb this books content in a more profitable
and assertive way: although it is one of the most celebrated themes
of the moment gamification as a concept has been systematically misinterpreted. It is wrong to think that it is science that focuses
on the act of creating games, but yet a methodology through which


game mechanisms are applied to solve problems or impasses in

other contexts. Wikipedia definition:
gamification: use of game thinking and game mechanics in
several contexts with the objective of improving participation and
generating engagement and commitment from potential users.
In general, gamification application indicates situations that
involve creation or adaptation of users experience to a particular
product, service or process; the intention to awake positive emotions, explore personal skills or engage virtual or physical rewards
to complete tasks. Other than Serious Games, and according to
its more acclaimed definition, to submit to a gamification process
doesnt mean to participate in a game, but yet take over its most
efficient aspects (aesthetic, mechanics and dynamics) to emulate
benefits that are usually reached by it.
According to Yu-kai Chou, [7] probably the most respected gamification guru nowadays, the biggest contribution this methodology
can offer to society would be human-centered design, in spite of
design focused in function.
According to his theory, most of the known production systems
are oriented to facilitate tasks performance in the shortest time
possible. The simple fact that people who perform these jobs have
feelings, insecurities and opinions about what is expected of them,
or about how they should achieve their professional goals, already
represents a shortcut to activate their self-motivations. This way of
thinking about the organizational model can, for instance, lead to a
cultural change in a department, or a voluntary acceptance of a new
corporate process.
Also according to Chou, this is the reason for choosing the term
"gamification", since, over the past four decades, the most notable
brains in the gaming industry have been busy understanding how to
motivate and engage people from the perspective of human behavior
analysis. However, its wrong to think that gamifying a process is
just like reproducing a recipe. People generally do not behave as lab
mice, which submit themselves without questioning and working for
a piece of cheese.
Applying a well-succeeded gamification strategy is directly
related to understanding the context where the user is inserted, and
what their extrinsic (incited by the external environment) and intrinsic
(self-motivated) expectations and constraints.
It is also noteworthy that we only get engaged in long term with
[7] Source: yukaichou.com games that make sense, emphasizing the importance of creating

of Americans do not
feel motivated by
their work
us$ 350 bi injury [8]

active players

time to build
3 weeks
playing Angry Birds
7 days playing
Call of Duty

0-2 children already

arguments and weave feasible narratives, i.e., related to the reality of

the target audience.
But, what about Candy Crush? The story of a candy factory that
could not be more foolish and unrealistic, and yet its played by
millions of people every day, the reader may think. We must note
that games like Candy Crush, Draw Something or SongPop, are a
few that became extremely popular in a very short period of time and
are nothing more than entertainment for their users while they wait
for the subway or at the dentist. Unlike games designed strictly for
entertainment, gamification uses game mechanisms to modify or
develop new behaviors.
Nevertheless, this is never an easy goal to achieve. Investigating
our routine and searching for new methods to apply gamification for
many different purposes, each of us could create a list of initiatives that
nobody cares about. You just need to think that, in theory, any game
has game elements, but this doesnt turn them into great games.
Paraphrasing Mario Herger, another gamification guru, gamifying a bad application only causes it to become an even worse
one. [9] As the methodology achieves popularity, it is not difficult to
predict a scenario in which scores, leader boards and wide badge
distribution will be omnipresent, even being little or not effective at
all, considering the real goals that were initially intended.
Even before considering gamification as a possible approach to
the problem needing to be solved, its necessary to keep in mind
three questions, that if properly answered, often largely increases
the chances of projects to succeed. The questions are: [10]
1. Why would a gamification strategy benefit the users?
2. What are the business purposes behind this gamification strategy?
3. How will game mechanisms enable users to reach the
business purposes?
Next, we will present some examples from various areas, to measure the potential benefits that could be achieved by gamification.
Duolingo is a collaborative online platform that combines free
language learning and a crowdsourcing-based translation service.
The system was designed so that, by studying a particular language,
the student, even without being fully aware, helps translating

websites and online documents. Beginners start the course translating simple sentences and, according to their progress, they receive
more complex texts, and so on. The platform users are then asked
to rank their colleagues translations, giving valuable feedback on
understanding and learning from the work theyve done.
While evolving their knowledge, the students receive points
by the completion of specific tasks, and some of them include
time constraints or are mandatory to get to a new phase. Wrong
answers results in losing points and livesas well as delaying the
games progress. Since the system is adaptive, each student has
a learning experience thats absolutely customized to their needs,
once the challenges are set according to their performance. Its
interesting to observe how efficient the model is, considering that,
despite Duolingo users are technically working without compensation, they dont seem to mind.
Financing Sector
Rabobank [11]
According to prevailing logic, words like Bank and entertainment are not to be used in the same sentence, at least before
Rabobank German financing institution acting in 48 countries,
with assets up to 770 billion, adopted gamification as a tool to
boost their business. The first step on this journey was to use Serious Games to promote business on TV shows or to potential clients
(actions geared towards 8-16 y/o audiences), but the project that
really stood out from this strategy was chosen by the bank that was
related to mortgage requests. The way the process was structured,
a proponent needed to submit about 30 documents to the bank
[8] Source: gallup.com/
before getting access to the money. The intention of the projects
poll/150383/majority-developers was that the client could submit them online, without the
-american-workers-not-- need to deliver any paperwork to the agency.
By introducing the practice of providing feedback for each upload,
[9] herger, 2013
released amounts were more precisely defined and brought
[10] Adapted from: enmuch
less risk to the institution. The loan requesters were clearer
the process milestones, which reduced anxiety levels and
[11] For more inconsequently the need for more interaction with banks staff. While
formation access
customers witnessed this process as a type of competition for effienterprise-gamification.
ciency and quality of the data provided, its time length was reduced
and became more assertive. The conclusion is that currently, 80%
finanzwesen/144of mortgage requests are made through online system, significantly
-rabobank-how-areducing the banks process cost.


Health / well-being
SuperBetter [12]
Developed by Jane McGonigals personal experience (years ago, the
game designer had an accident that caused a serious concussion,
which abruptly interrupted her career and endangered her life),
this is a tool created to help severe patients to progress, improving
their clinical conditions. Doctors, Psychologists, Scientists and
researchers were involved for almost two years on the games design,
with the main objective to strengthen the physical and emotional
condition of patients, by means of resilience. Keeping fit, changing
ones diet and including exercise are already hard tasks for people
in good health conditions. Imagine for those whom are somehow
Therefore, when starting the game, users need to establish a goal
and determine how to achieve it. By completing tasks and inspiring
others with their progress, the player gains points in different areas
of their profiles, such as mental, emotional, social etc. Its possible
to submit themselves to specific guides that determine tasks like:
walking around the block and dancing to your favorite song or even
defeat "villains", for more than one hour, sitting on a chair or driving
short routes that could be completed on foot. In any case where the
player may need help, they can ask for support from their Facebook
friends, or even get connected to other players from SuperBetter.
Therefore, the battle against severe diseases should turn into an
exciting competition where quality of life is the most valuable Prize.
Woot.com [13]
O Woot.com is a retail website which shows a quite peculiar business model: Only one daily offer available in a limited amount. The
goods are updated at midnight sharp, meaning that: if customers
really want to buy the websites items, they need to submit to its
difficult rules. Because each product has limited availability and
its availability is unknown until the moment the offer is posted;
its evident that these factors enforce the potential purchasers
After all, they know that staying up late on a workday can result in
a big disappointment or the possibility of purchasing the item they
always longed for, at an unbeatable price.
After submitting to the process for a few nights, most visitors
change their real interest for the offered product to the sensation of

finally purchasing anything. In this case, the purpose is to over value

the offer and get its advantage from the customers impulsive nature
to close the deal. Apparently, for some Woot.com clients, what really
matters is to win the "competition" no matter what.

Game with a Purpose [14]
This website uses crowdsourcing and gamification to engage Internet
users to train computers to answer researches in a more accurate
manner. One of the available games is called Esp Game: two people
look at one picture on their screens and type as many words as possible to describe the image. Once the provided descriptions by both
players match, they earn points and go to the next level. The matched
definitions turn into tags that help players categorize pictures to
facilitate future research processes.
By observing these cases, and the way gamification can be applied as a structured process to achieve specific goals, we continue
on to the next chapter where we will dive further into the essential
aspects for using game mechanics properly. So, before getting
down to work, we feel it is necessary to go back to the beginning, to
understand exactly what makes a game, a good game.

[12] For more information access

[13] For more information access
[14] For more information access http://www.



A couple of things you should
know about games

The Three Faces of Games

Everyone is able to identify a game when in contact with one, even
those with minimal knowledge. However, a much more complicated
task would be elucidating the broad concept capable of translating all
the diversity suggested by the term. After all, what is common between the traditional OnePeg and the latest shooter game released on
digital platforms? When we need to comprehend more clearly what
exactly characterizes a game, its necessary to contextualize it according to our life. This means to reflect upon how the act of playing and
how games represent a way to play, by the meaning of experiencing or
simulating circumstances that are more or less tangible.
Playing is therefore an unstructured and spontaneous activity, a
fundamental condition on peoples development of their learning
processes and investigations related to the world and society. Even
though this activity oversteps boundaries of pure entertainment, as
mentioned in the previous chapter, its genesis includes the playfulness concept. From this principle, its fundamental to pay attention
to the interaction possibilities proposed by games and its possible
application to our daily life, as they are currently presented through
multiple genres and interfaces. Among the main existing categories,
we may mention analogical, digital and pervasive games.

analogical games
History shows that the first known game formats emerged around
the year 3500 BC, but are still present in the classic board games
(chess, backgammon, checkers, etc.) and other classics like Monopoly, The game of Life and Clue. Other examples to consider are:


Board Games like Pick-up-Sticks, and RPG Games;

Card Games like Poker, Uno, and Trading Card Games (collectable
card games) like Magic the Gathering Pokmon and Yu-gi-Oh;
Dice Games like Craps;
Pencil-and-paper games like Crosswords and Tic-Tac-Toe;
Sports games like basketball and soccer;
Group Dynamics and Training Games.
digital games
In order to get the proper comprehension of this game category, a
previous contextualization is required mainly due to the importance
gained from the last three decades, from the time videogames consoles became home appliances. In case evidence is not sufficient,
proving the exponential growth of the gaming industry, which in
2009 the total revenue in the United States exceeded $ 20 billion,
surpassing even the powerful movie industry. According to Gartner,
Inc., the video game market is forecasted to reach $111 billion by
2015, driven by strong mobile gaming and video game console and
software sales [15]. The explanation to this phenomenon might be
related to technological advent, a factor that is leveraging the market
improvement nowadays representing averagely a third of the
total expenditures of entertainment by offering enough platform
diversity and formats to cover all players profiles.
In addition, its closely related to Internet growing and also to
social networks popularity, especially Facebook and its large range
of gamming apps, as well as the increasing number of users who
play on smartphones, devices used by the vast majority of players.
Besides electronic games, we must also consider an important
subdivision in this category: the simulators. Ever more faithful to its
proposed aims, these devices are used when the intention is to offer
a high quality experience of graphic and sensory similarity reducing
the chances of accidents or operational costs.

pervasive games
As electronic games evolve, so does the discussion revolving around
the creation of artifacts that can enable more realistic and interactive interfaces, not only to meet the needs of demanding consumers
that are eager for new technology, but also to transcend the experience provided by the excessively virtualized relationship between
player and device. From this point of view, the pervasive concept
has guided launchings like Microsofts Kinect, and Oculus Rift from
Oculus vr, among other consoles designed to physically engage

the player, forcing them, for example, to abandon their comfortable

armchair in order to sweat when wielding a real racket that controls
a virtual ball in a lifelike tennis match. By definition, pervasive games
are those in which there is at least one type of interaction that takes
place in the physical universe, in this case, with another person, with
a particular object or in a specific place. When mixing typical electronic games challenges (enigmas, missions) with tools for mobile
communication (smartphones, wireless networks) these games can
determine how to accomplish challenges. Participants will have to
take photos and send them to others or meet unknown people in a
coffee shop to hand them an object that will serve as a key to unlock
new levels; or maybe the "match" will occur from 9am to 6pm on
an outlined perimeter in a citys neighborhood where they will have
to identify players in a busy crowd and tell them a code in order to
form a team. The pervasive technology enables "games to be ran
on heterogeneous devices, likely to be available seven days a week,
24 hours a day. [16] Note that this interaction must be necessarily
tied to a tenuous relationship between game and reality, however,
without acting intrusive to the player. The offshoots of pervasive
games are the ARGs (Alternate Reality Games), widely used in
promotional activities, stimulating the consumers relationship with
brands and products in a playful activity.

What characterizes a game as a game?

[15] https://www.
[16] vsquez; andrea,
2009, p. 26.
[17] mcgonigal, 2012

Anything that can be considered a game has a set of indivisible elements that most of the time is not explicitly structured. Age, gender
and specific inclination are a few examples. However, when different
addressed rules are put aside, "all games share four defining traits:
goals, rules, a feedback system, and voluntary participation."[17]
The goal justifies activities performed by players and the element
by which game participants focus on achieving designated purposes.
The goal may be shown as victory upon a competitor, the
conclusion of all challenges from a videogame (also known as beat
the game) or promote a characters excellence in an online game
where there is no end. Goal and objective should not be confused
because the first transcends the idea of completing a task, unlike
the second. So, we can emphasize that the goal is not always
reached and may only serve as a purpose constantly pursued by the
player giving him a sense of direction during the game.
The second element to consider is the rules. When combined,
these rules compose a set of dispositions that condition the games


realization in order to promote the balance between possible

challenges without being easy enough to discourage its resolution.
Rules adjust players complexity level when facing the activity being
developed, enabling creativity and encouraging strategic thinking.
In some games, the players themselves are responsible for subverting the pre-set rules, which configures as a dynamic associated in
the act of playing.
Therefore, rules have the function to define the way the player
will behave or how they will arrange his or her actions to meet the
games challenges. The third characteristic common in games is the
feedback system. The main function is to inform players how their
relation with the various aspects that regulate their interaction to the
activity is. It is also up to this system to improve motivation, keeping
the players constantly aware of the achieved progress related to
themselves and the goal, in some explicit manner.
The fourth and, decisively, last feature shown is voluntary participation. In any type of game, digital or not, its necessary to have
consensus among all proposed conditions and the player. In other
words, the acceptance of the goals, rules and feedback model is
necessary in order to enable the common conditions for games that
involve multiple players. Under this perspective, games only exist
when the player is able to engage with these elements as they were
proposed. Therefore, this is the sought out goal when deciding to
apply certain games mechanic to a specific purpose.
Other aspects such as interactivity, graphic support, narrative,
rewards, competitiveness, virtual environments or the concept of
victory, among others, are common features to many games, but are
not defining. These are oriented to build a closer relationship with
the four previously listed characteristics, i.e., ways to consolidate
and strengthen the stated elements.
Motivation, the magic word
Undoubtedly, one of the main factors that justify why games and
gamification have aroused interest is the perception of the attractiveness they have upon us, as well as the possibility of generating

[18] Diablo 3 Death:

Teen Dies After Playing
Game For 40 Hours
Straight, The Huffington
Post. 19 July 2002.
[19] Man chooses
WoW over Childbirth.
Eurogamer.net. 29
January 2007. <http://
[20] fleith; alencar,
2010, p. 209-230.
[21] guimares,
2001, p. 37-57.

engagement and dedication to other purposes, like in a corporate

context. This perception is often reinforced by phrases that can
sound quite familiar especially to those with teenage children
such as This kid is addicted to videogames or My son is so hooked
on this game that he doesnt hear a word I say.
More corroborating evidence of this behavior pattern caused the
death of a Taiwanese teenager in 2012, after reportedly having spent
more than 40 consecutive hours playing Diablo III [18], or the North
American who left his wife in labour at the hospital [19] because he
could not resist the temptation to fall back in his saga in World of
Similar cases, unfortunately, are not rare, mainly in Asia, where
there are specialized clinics to treat people addicted to electronic
games. Facing these facts, the same question always comes to mind:
after all, why are games so attractive to human beings? The answer is:
because they bring satisfaction.
The pleasant achievement of an activity is one of the most
important elements to activate our creativity. The players dedication
and subsequent pleasure achieved on performed tasks during the
game should be a key factor to obtain positive emotion. However, we
observe that motivation is a neuralgic point in discussing creative
activity, and respectively, the study of gamification. From this case,
we notice that it is related to a behavioral process, which leads one to
act in favor of meeting certain demands. In this context, it is assumed
that there are two cutouts corresponding to the definitions of intrinsic
and extrinsic motivation.
Intrinsic motivation can be defined as the one in which the player
is engaged in an activity by his own desire, i.e., "because he
perceives it as interesting, engaging, challenging and enjoyable.
[20] Therefore, "an intrinsically motivated individual looks for novelty,
entertainment, curiosity satisfaction, opportunity to practice new
skills or gain control over something. [21]
Extrinsic motivation, in turn, suggests that the relationship
between the player and the developed activity comes from the desire
of achieving certain external reward, such as material goods or even
recognition by success.
Therefore, if the motivation concept is applied to the scope of
games mechanisms, it could be defined through one persons living
experiences that are articulated in new internal and external signification perspectives that are purposed to these processes through
creativity stimulation, free thinking, and providing well-being.


Several factors coexist when taking into account the development

of a game and their motivation strategies. Broadly, these features
seek to achieve the four great motivator axis: competition, learning,
escaping reality and social interaction. Some of these factors
are described below, as well as the most common types of players, in
order to present how the mentioned motivation axis are correlated.
age, generation and gender
These are the three most significant factors, when the objective is to
define a really engaging game strategy. This is because, in general, the
mere consideration of such aspects already provides enough subsidies
for the creation and setting of a narrative, since with them, it becomes
possible to carry out the identification of major hypotheses, as the probable time of dedication, level of interest in the topic or the supposed
platform domain on which the game will be available.
What attracts each genre in games [22]
spatial/three-dimensional puzzles
trial and error

dialog and verbal puzzles
learning by example
real world situations

Age-related games [23]


Toy attraction


Awake of interest in games


The age of reason: becoming very interested in game playing


The age of obsession


Plenty of free time to play and strong gender differences


Playing less than when teenagers, but have different preferences


Focused in professional/family issues, less time to play


Family oriented, casual game players


Plenty of free time, games become socializing activity


Researches [24] show, that a male audience has more tendencies

to engage to competition driven games. Women prefer casual games
they can play on smartphones or from social networks, with interaction and experience sharing with other players.
culture and social roles
When thinking about ways of motivation, cultural factor is also an
element to be considered. Social-economic aspects, preferences for
individual or collective activities, cooperative or competitive profiles,
possibility of customizing game characters among others, are also
important supporting axis to help awaken the interest in games.
Understanding the real world scenario that the players are inserted in
is fundamental to conceive dynamics represented in the virtual world.
Lets consider a corporate game example: employees who are more
communicative, or who like to express themselves by writing, may, in
the game context, devote themselves to create discussion forums, blogs, and manuals, not only narrowing their relationship with the activity
but also encouraging other colleagues to join the proposal as well.

[22-23] Adapted from

schell, 2008
[24] Sources: blog.
and en.wikipedia.org/

skill level
Creating a difficulty system to the presented challenges during the
course of a game may be a complex task, mainly when the intention
is to adjust it to the interest of the target audience. This happens
because there can be different complexity levels in the same game,
whether from distinct difficulty challenges or even from building
a demand system that makes a common challenge a somewhat
complicated one. To be motivating, a game should enable players
to feel constantly stimulated, but this feat is only possible when an
adequate evaluation of their skills is carried out when facing the
tasks they need to comply. From levels, tutorials, practical examples,
training modes, among other strategies, a game should enable both
beginners and experts to have levels of interaction that shows them
difficulties that are compatible with their ability to perform them.
Thus, knowing and tracking a scenario from the target audience,
whether through the features already mentioned, as well as others,
additional and more specific - is fundamental to create a well-tied
system relation between challenge and ability.
A system that combines such factors, in addition to expanding
the scope of target audience - since it attracts people with different
levels of accuracy to perform tasks enables a big step on establishing an effective engaging environment, directly motivating and
therefore, a successful game.
Mario Herger, in his book Gamification at Work Designing

Engaging Business Software, [25] proves that it is fundamental to

clearly define the players initial expertise level, as well as planning
how it will evolve when interacting with the proposed dynamic,
keeping them constantly motivated. Among game designers, there
is a notorious rule that defines that good games are those with easy
first steps, but hard to become an expert.



master, creation of
challenges and teachings
to other players

routine and habits

construction in the game

new participant
on the game

Players, the protagonists of the show

Now that some of the main components of the game universe are
known, its time to get a little closer to the real protagonists of the
show: the players.
After all, games, gamification, and even this book, only exist from
the conviction that, within each of us, in a more or less obvious way,
theres a player, avid for facing challenges. However, this is not enough to believe that putting two people around a dice or a ball would
solve it all. Despite our natural attraction for strategy or competition
dynamics, as mentioned in the previous chapter, we become engaged only in games that make sense from a particular point of view.
This could be a possible explanation to the fact that Dominoes, Rugby,
Mario Bros., Crosswords or Bocce Ball, despite their distinct activities,
share only one common definition. By following the proposed
thinking, the games diversity just reflects the plurality of recognizable
profiles among the players themselves.
From a study conducted in 1996 by Richard Bartle, entitled Hearts,
Clubs, Diamonds, Spades: Players Who Suit MUDs [26], now it is being
considered that the wide range of profiles could be summarized into
four broad groups of players, according to the following scheme:









This kind of player gets into competition motivated only to defeat the
competitors. No matter what the reward is, they just want to be the
best. During the game, they adopt an aggressive behavior, and their
interventions are noted as more incisive and focused in granting their
condition as leaders. They have extremely competitive profiles and,
despite having relationships with other players, their interaction always
occurs in an intensive manner, with the imposition that desire prevails
over cooperation. They instigate other players by bragging about their
triumphs, or even jeopardize them directly if they get in the way of their
goals in a game. Tests conducted by Gamer dna [27] shows that this
profile represents less than 1% of players.
These players appreciate the constant feeling of victory; even if the
objective to be achieved is not so significant. Their main motivation
is to carry out all the activities presented in the game, by a dedicated immersion in the games universe. They dont care about social
relationships, but establish themselves in a competitive friendly
manner, even if they are not ahead on the scoreboard. Standing out
from opponents through their own achievements better identifies
the Achievers. They represent up to 10% of total players.
The third group includes those players interested in discovering the
whole games possibilities and why. By being curious, they can get
engaged in studies or develop skills that help them solve specific
challenges. In their view, other players also add positively to the
experience, but are not considered essential. As a differentiation
factor, they value the communitys recognition level of knowledge
shown, with two parallel motivations: to escape from reality and

mainly, learning from the activity. For this profile, the most important
is the journey, not the conquest. Like Achievers, the Explorers also
represent about 10% of total players.
The fourth and final group of the most significant players profiles is
the socializers. As the names suggests, socializers are those whom
see games as an opportunity for social interaction. More important
than achieving the proposed goals or complete assigned tasks, is the
occasion of the game itself and its potential to stimulate social links
that interest them. Socializers tend to prefer cooperative games that
require united work and collaborative personalities. According to the
survey, they represent about 80% of all existing players. Does this
make Facebook success a little easier to understand?
Rewards (The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow)
We have mentioned many aspects that help to define players profiles
and determine their needs and motivation. The next key element to
build a good game mechanic is the right design of a reward system.
In general, rewards represent the main reason of players motivation
to persist in a game until its completion, or even to keep them playing,
when the proposal does not include the ending concept. To reach
this goal, when creating a game, its necessary to consider the needs
of developing frequent feedback models, because they are one of
the most efficient paths to assure the engaging continuity during
the activity. Therefore it is required to be clear about the necessary
balance between reward accuracy and the difficulty level of the
actions, with the risk of either making them too easy or impossible
to be accomplished. Among several actions that can be mentioned
as reward formats commonly found in games, five deserve special
attention: status, access, influence, freebies, and gifting.
Status is the most explicit type of reward attribution and can
be found in leaderboards, badge distribution or by measuring the
players themselves. The latter is probably the most significant for those involved in a game, considering it comes from public recognition
from other participants.
Access is a strong ally in effective reward systems construction.
After all, enabling access to strategic content, insiders information,
specific skills, among others, is a very promising way to keep players
connected to their purposes. The setback is often used as punishment for rule breaking.


[25] herger, 2013

[26] bartle, 1996
[27] Source: gamerdna.

Continuing on with the feedback systems, there is an influence

given through direct or indirect game interference; direct influence is
offered when its desirable that the player feels, somehow, in control
of the game. This may occur by exclusive access or possibility of
intervention in certain rules or activity, with the purpose of validating an
achieved goal, for example. This option can be used when cooperative
construction of the system is intended or when evaluating participants
interests by observing their manifestations. Indirect influence is
perceived when a player intercedes, voluntarily or not, in other players
decision or destiny, by the influence achieved in the system.
Finally, there are freebies and gifting. Freebies are one of the
simplest reward method possible, like: benefits, items, tips, extra
life etc. It could be described as positive feedback on a small scale
of higher frequency. Gifting, in turn, works as a way of increasing
social interaction in a game, based on the exchange of gifts among
players and the consequent establishment of strong and engaged
communities. Also in relation to freebies, its necessary to be aware of
their availability, considering the rewards unpredictability enhances
its relevance within the system. This model predicts that the same
task can generate more or less valuable assets, where as, in specific
situations, great prizes are offered. In a broader sense, the players
satisfaction would be in the totality of the collection and even in the
random character of its acquisition.
It is worth mentioning the fact that the reward aspects composing
this segment were detailed in descending order of perceived importance, where "status" is the most relevant, and "freebies" are the
less relevant. A practical example of this statement is the marketing
actions that have become common among credit card companies,
especially when they want to get closer to their targets. The notion
of status assigned from exclusive shows, VIP areas, and advanced
ticketing acquisition, notify the clients that they belong to an exclusive
group, and their loyalty to the brand is reciprocated with exclusive
rewards, i.e., they are not available to others, independently for their
purchasing power.
Going against this trend, companies from other industries prefer to
distribute plastic bottles, pens, key chains and mugs containing logos
or catchy phrases to their most assiduous supporters. When rewarded
this way, consumers tend to think that the quality of the relationship
established by the company is compatible with the low value freebies
produced in thousands and distributed to anyone. Note a very interesting fact, the less efficient strategy - that leads to higher costs - is
favorable by most companies.


Monitoring and measurements:

Are we on the right path?
As it is common throughout any new dynamic or technology
implementing process, it is also considered very important in
gamification design to assess the partial results as soon as possible,
in order to enable process adjustments in early stages. In this
context, monitoring the adherence to the developed dynamic gives
fundamental inputs to review the strategy when the game is still not
established to the target audience. Adjusting missions, monitoring
players motivation and measuring their results are the three key
initiatives to an assertive evaluation of the success level reached by
the proposition.
Regarding missions creation, Mario Herger defines the smart
model (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Bound),
which is understood that the chances of adherence to missions
depends on how specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and
time-bound they are.
Concerning motivation monitoring, its recommended to
previously plan the players exhaustion regarding established goals.
It is understandable even expected that at the moment when the
dynamic is inserted, the interest and curiosity levels are evidenced
in a higher level than during the game. Therefore, the attempt to
predict possible routes and fill them with exclusive elements likely
to interfere with the course of the narrative is worth trying. As an
example, we can mention an initial tool set or commands available
in the beginning of the activity and accessible to all; and one other,
a very special one, which can only be incorporated from the development of abilities that are associable to the games main objectives.
Regarding metric creation, it is suggested to include aspects such
as degrees of engagement, time spent on the activity and ROI
achieved, among others.
Now that you know the structural elements of the game, we
can move forward by understanding how they can be employed to
maximize benefits and solve impasses in the corporate context.



Gamification, Inc.

Despite being one of the main bases upon which all different kinds of
corporations are structured nowadays, history shows that throughout
many centuries the strategy concept was strictly linked to the
military environment. It was necessary to deal with an extensive path
of successive economics crises and patrimony irreparable losses,
until basic objectives and goals, determined in long-term, started
to take place in the mind of ancestors managers who were directly
responsible for the paradigm change that made them, up to then, see
on their business flexibility the main component of success reached.
Only in the mid19th Century and the consequent conformation of the
first mass markets that required clear definitions about scale and
scope business planning started to be considered and planned.
The trend was consolidated a little later, during World War II, when
the dismantlement of the economy imposed the need for better
resources while it was dimensioning due to the general goods scarcity.
From the days leading up to the 20th Century, the belief in the traditional model prevailed, contrasting the balance between the companys
strength and weakness with the opportunities and external threats as
a secure measure to reach the best results continuously. Though this
definition is considered valid in the current context, where changes
seem to occur in a more and more dynamic and less predictable
manner, even the most Cartesian managers shall agree that the statement may sound naive with what really needs to be done to achieve a
prominent position in such a competitive scenario.
Its possible to state that most organizations leading the markets
today assign prosperity achieved to the existence of a formula that
combines processes, relationships and values, private and non-transferable. The success obtained by this method may become
the propeller on a positive cycle, suggesting the maintenance and
refinement of such practices as the most likely way of expanding the
achieved benefits.


Not infrequently however, a path of dreams reveals itself as a dead

end, mainly due to the substitution of the thinking that enabled the
initial positive results by the desire of status quo maintenance. According to the four big indicators of the Active Inertia theory, developed
by Donald N. Sull, [28] the success setback in corporate environment
is due mainly to four aspects: strategic framework that becomes
vision concealers, procedures that become routine, relationships that
becomes stagnate and bound each other in shackles and values that
become dogma.

strategic framework

vision concealers

Even a shallow review of the elements already mentioned above,

would show that the corporate stiffening is the most visible part of
the attempt to extend winning tactics indefinitely; keeping focus
on the constant search for innovation. After all, if in one hand
establishing processes to frame problems corroborates to a more
efficient diagnosis, then on the other hand, it leads to the mistake
of thinking that such obstacles are the soul necessities. Likewise,
really well established processes generate operational predictability,
provide comfort and safety for those involved and extra time to perform more tasks. However, one has to recognize that it intimidates
the consideration of new alternatives for possible deadlocks and
crystallizes solutions that are not always the best.
Similar thinking could be applied to relationships between
employees, service providers and customers. When consolidated in
an overly rigid manner they turn into barriers, for example, to focus
on bolder strategies to conquer other markets or developing new
products. At last, when it comes to corporate values, it is always
desirable for them to be a solid landmark for how employees see
themselves and the place they spend most of their time; it is also
required to keep constant surveillance to avoid them being seen as
unusual practices, validated only by repetition.
Getting closer to the referred model shows that the difficulty
in establishing a management process that lasts, and that can be
sufficiently prominent for innovation, is far from being resolved in a
systematic way, leaving it up to each company to find the balance between these variables, according to their possibilities and ambitions.
Currently, there is a lot of talk of horizontalization of organizations

as a possible solution to this issue, even though this is not an easy

option for large structures.
In these cases, more than just a challenge presents itself while re-designing management levels, it seems that the managers mindset,
which is accustomed to being closely in control of their areas, is the
main obstacle in the adoption of new practices.
Although the advantages of the vertical model are recognized, every
day it is more and more clearly imposed to companies the importance
of reducing stages between decision making and its consequent implementation. This will only produce the desirable effects when teams
and managers are truly aligned with the objectives to be achieved.

The strength of a (bad) habit

[28] Donald N. Sull is

assistant professor of
strategic management
and international
at London Business

Many of the tasks performed daily in companies reflect habits

that, along the years, were acquired by employees, like procedural
routines that started being followed with the purpose of freezing
measures that were once regarded as the best way to proceed
under a particular practice. There is no doubt that habits are an
important way to attenuate the amount of brain processing, making
it more efficient. This mechanism constitutes as a loop, just waiting
for a cue to happen; when it occurs, the correspondent routine is
accessed, creating a fast reward, that may be physical or emotional.
A consolidated habit requires less decision-making, facts that may
have positive or negative consequences.
Apparently, acquired habits never disappear, being susceptible
to activation when receiving a cue. It is clear that some routines are
necessary, and that without habits, our brain could collapse due
to a large amount of decisions that require constant processing.
What occurs when the habits are simply not efficient? When a habit
overlaps important decisions, actions are automatically performed


without due deliberation and questioning. Within an organization,

how can we not lose efficiency when creating a proper environment
for the appearance of innovative ideas?





In his book The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg [29] describes an

experience occurred in Alcoa as an example of a corporation being
transformed by the determination of a single collective goal; in
this case, the improvement of the companys security.
According to the author, the definition of "keystone habits"
corresponds to those that, when modified, have the ability to trigger
important changes. For example, physical exercise: usually, when someone begins to worry about their own body, the condition implies
additional behavioral changes such as adopting a healthier diet or
demonstrating greater productivity at work.
Small victories like these cause an effect on people, making them
believe that bigger victories can be conquered; putting them into
action to identify other potential victory sources in their lives. At Alcoa,
the change of habit related to Security has triggered many new
habits, resulting in productivity and efficient improvements. The goal,
designated by the companys President, was for him to be notified in
24 hours about relevant losses. To make this possible, the communication processes and accident prevention systems needed to be revised
in order to provide access to those not represented in the current
structure due to the hierarchical position theyve occupied.


Productive Entertainment

[29] duhigg, 2012

[30] Source: cio.com/

What exactly does this discussion have to do with the core theme
of this book? Apparently everything; just think, there is such a large
amount of evidence pointing out the urgency to rethink current
production models in order to motivate and retain employees that are
overwhelmed by many distractions; enhancing collaboration, streamline dated processes that are inconsistent to the speed of events, or
even promoting the information exchange to be objective, transparent
and noiseless. As per the context presented, gamification comes
as a set of mechanisms and tools able not only to provide tangible
alternatives to deal with the issues, but somehow to suggest a new way
of viewing labor relationships.
A short time ago, if someone in a meeting suggested, to gamify
the corporations procedures, he would probably get dirty looks. This
is because the prevailing idea, at that time was that games were only
for fun, like any other function related to the entertainment concept.
Today however, there are many organizations that have considered
adopting games mechanics as feasible strategy to engage customers or
employees, mainly due to the perception that this set of methods have
been shown effective as a tool to impact markets, boost sales, bring more
assertiveness in recruiting and help products and service development.
Lets take the relationship sometimes troubled and volatile with the
client as an example. Along with this specific audience, gamification
has been considered an alternative to present new products to potential
consumers. Just like the free trial model, you can allow users to test products represented in game format, and thus sensitize them regarding
a future offer, reducing their time for market assimilation. Similarly, the
methodology translates into an efficient way to create connection to a
certain brand, or even raise their interest in a particular product.
The insurance sector is certainly a good example. [30] By using games,
organizations can educate their customers about the risks, how to better
manage their personal finances and invest wisely, or even educate them
about the importance of having a private retirement plan, with the possibility of converting it into discounts on purchasing products and services.
The same logic could be applied to the encouragement of better driving
practices, vehicles maintenance and even healthcare actions that could
link the clients well-being perception to the insurance company, besides
potentially reducing the accident rate recorded.
Other important aspects we should mention are the possibility
of using gamification with the purpose of retaining clients. Games
that are able to reflect concerns, questions or aspirations that can
be translated into a good way, not only to get feedback to help


companies develop products and services more assertively, but also

create, throughout time, a reliable relationship that will blossom into
loyalty. It is worth remembering that it is common to most gamified
platforms to ask users to provide an e-mail address or Facebook login,
enabling companies to have access to specific information about their
customers likes and habits. In the suggested model, each person is
associated with clicks, points, badges and achievements, generating
input for Big Data. Despite the fact that costumers are, almost always,
main targets of gamification initiatives when applied to corporate
context, they are not the only actors in the process that, when feeling
motivated and engaged, can exert positive influence to businesses.
In general, collaborative employees, regardless of their hierarchical
positions within the institutions, may also have their contributions
leveraged from the use of game mechanics. One important example
is the hiring process. This experience can be gamified as a reward
distribution to possible job applicants that can experience this process
in a fun, tangible way, discarding the natural anxiety caused by the
accomplishment of many predicted milestones.
Similarly, gamification can be used as a way to recognize employees
that were more engaged in performing their tasks, serving the purpose
of causing awareness throughout the organization upon the importance of identifying and capturing talent.
Another possible application that is worth mentioning is retaining
good employees. We dont need to mention that this is essential to
any organization. After all, it is directly related to create a positive and
inspirational corporate culture. In this case, gamification can be a good
strategy to incentive collaboration among departments or, for instance,
the internal improvement of products.
Those who become more regular in relation to the suggestions
given can be recognized by digital platforms, guided not only to track
the ongoing activities, but also to indicate new contribution opportunities, promoting intrinsic motivation through public recognition.
Such platforms can also be consolidated as tools to consult and
register activities, including supporting the decision making about job
promotions and salary increase. This way, it becomes quite evident that
Human Resources is undoubtedly one of the most benefited areas by
the application of gamification.
To participate in training, qualifications or other initiatives of
similar nature, for example, are not on companies employees priority
lists, especially when you cannot see the relationship between the
suggested practice and its direct application in the professional routine
clearly. Therefore, encouraging people to spend a couple of their busy
hours on something else is a real challenge that, on the other hand,

may be smoothed by designating collective missions or by creating a

mechanism of reward and individual recognition for completed tasks.
This format can also be effective when applied with the purpose of
improving the commitment of filling out forms and reports. Nobody
likes to fill out records, registers or document processes in detail,
especially when this task competes with more urgent or useful ones
Since it is impossible to totally eliminate bureaucracy, why not turn it
into fun? The idea of making similar initiatives tangible, or even allowing them to assume playful shapes through game elements, could
cause positive competition and create spontaneous engagement on
performing repetitive or less mind stimulating tasks.
It is common, in large corporations, to observe a general feeling
of frustration that comes from not understanding what it takes to
ascend professionally. Some employees may become bothered by their
colleagues evolution, since goals and rewards may vary from case to
case - and, therefore, may give the impression of being partial - or just
because they do not hold the ability to transfer the actions applied by
others to their own careers.
In the presented context, the use of gamification may be precious,
for example, on suggesting departments to define specific clear
missions and criteria to grow within the company. Let us take a top
member of the sales team as a reference, traveling a week across the
country, attending six pre-scheduled meetings, getting three others
during the trip and in the following week, delivering five proposals as
direct result of their professional skill. If the performance of this salesman were exposed in some way to other colleagues, it would serve to
parameterize the objectives of the area, or even to inspire the younger
ones who have natural identification with games and similar tools. [31]
Games x Work [32]

[31] Source:
[32] herger, 2013

In the game

At work


Repetitive, but fun

Repetitive and boring



Once a year


Well defined

Vague or contradictory

Personal evolution

Clear and tangible






Proper to immediate needs

Overused and still




Not so visible or invisible




Subjective criteria









From mid high to low


Always present

Rarely present




Me, me and me: Understand the Y Generation

Arrogant, lazy, uninterested, spoiled, apathetic, narcissistic, living
with their parents; undoubtedly a list of adjectives that makes any
mother dig a hole in the ground to hide herself in shame, right? After
all, what does the future reserve for young people like this, who
live with their noses stuck in their smartphones, snooping into the
lives of others and dreaming about accomplishment without any
effort? Answer: recreate the society we are living in. In May 2013, the
controversial matter was the cover story of Time magazine, titled
"The Me Me Me Generation". The suggestive term was carved by
Joel Stein, author of the article, as a more figurative way to refer to
the generation that, in the United States has been called Millennials,
covering everyone who was born between 1980 and 2000. In order
to prevent attacks from those who see some exaggeration with
the profile, describing the 21st century as the first young adult
generation, Stein made sure to support their claims of the figures
accurately: according to studies published at the time, more people
between 18 and 29 live with their parents than with spouses.
The incidence of personality disorders related to narcissism is
currently about three times higher in 20-30 y/o people than previously recorded in the same age group during the 1970s.
As if these were not already potential incendiary data, Stein, age


[33] Source: mindflash.


41, decided to climb another step toward becoming a true Judas for
those who grew up watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Saint
Seiya and Pokmon on TV.
In the magazine's website, besides a digital version of the
article, you can watch a video (in a jocose tone) that recorded the
journalists attempt to spend an entire day living as a typical representative of the Y Generation.
His first challenge was to sleep with his smartphone beside the
bed and check it as soon as he opens his eyes. And thats not all.
The "competition" also involved sending 30 SMS messages in 24
hours (at least one of them with sexual content), keep a conversation
going on all day long through a chat window, use two electronic
devices simultaneously, publish multiple photos of himself on
Instagram, answer the question "what are you thinking?" at least five
times on Facebook and, finally, prohibited from using any landline
Provocations aside, among the aspects that particularly
distinguish the Y Generation from preceding ones; one of the most
significant concerns is the relationship they nurture with technology.
Remember that we are referring to those people who literally left
their cribs to integrate a world where cell phones, video games and
even internet were already widespread. Regarding specifically to
games, a study conducted in 2012 by Nottingham Trent University
showed that some Millennials manifest the desire of pushing the
fast forward button during boring classes and even showed a
tendency of trying to apply the tricks used in the FIFA Soccer video
game when playing in real fields. [33] This being said, there is not
much to say about the game role in their routine and as well as, in
their professional lives as employees, they are demanding. The lack
of personal recognition interferes with their production capacity and
their commitment to the work subject.
They show a particular appreciation for multitasking, flexible
work hours and textual communication, rather than oral. They are
optimistic about the future; they demonstrate high environmental
consciousness and are proud of engaging in social causes; besides
just money, they look for professional growth linked with well-being.
Considering that the companies have more and more employees
with the mentioned characteristics, sooner or later they will be
asked to apply or at least consider gamification into their work
process conception, at the risk of irreversibly divesting themselves
from the way of thinking of those who, in practice, represent the
arms, legs, heart and mind of any corporation.
Next, we disclose some game aspects that increase benefits,
when applied to corporate context.

instant feedback
In games, all performed actions receive feedback. By catching an
apple, for instance, the player increases his or her health bar; when
collecting 100 coins or more the player receives an extra life, and
so on. Positive feedback reinforces good behavior, while negative
feedback allows more efficient behavioral adjustments.
In corporations, instant feedback can help reduce panic during the
dreaded annual reviews, accelerating the professional growth and
learning process.
Just like in real life, where jobs, clothes and skills show who we are,
in the games universe, badges are the way to show what we like and
what were good at. By creating and distributing badges, businesses
can have access to free and very powerful resources that stimulate
techniques and specific skill development; enabling its employees
not only to stand out and be recognized by their talents, but also to
show other colleagues how capable they really are.
tangible goals
In a game, there is always a main objective ex. (how to save the
princess) and some secondary objectives ex. (how to pass to the
next stage or collect hidden items). In business, setting tangible
goals creates a sense of steady progress, reducing the perception
of difficult and long-term tasks. Instead of considering a six-month
project, with long-term benefits, why not break it into three smaller
goals that delivery every two months?
competitiveness and contribution
Humans are competitive by nature, there is competition in every
context including professional. Most companies are aware of this
fact; however they use practices that soon stop being stimulating.
In other cases, competition is occasional or informal, failing to fulfill
the function it was truly meant for. The introduction of game mechanics helps to make competition scalable and automated, which
produces, as a direct result, maintenance of good performance in a
linear way, as long as goals and objectives are constantly reviewed.
It is noteworthy that, in the same way that they encourage competition, games also reveal themselves as an effective stimulus to
collaborative work.
The best way to take advantage of this aspect is from proposing
collective challenges aiming, for example, to reduce procedural
bureaucracy or even redefining goals to be achieved by the

department. With clear missions and appropriate stimuli, a group of

people can organize themselves towards a single goal, increasing
the results that could be achieved by working alone.

learning by doing
A fundamental difference between games and work is that games
teach us the stepping stones, not with a manual, but from practice.
Farmville is an example. It is considered a simple game, popular
among kids, but there are different obstacles such as cropping, pets,
money, and gifts you can offer to friends.
Perhaps if, in this context, things were thrown from a shovel
without any explanation, many players could get bored because of
the initial difficulty in understanding how it works and the purpose of
each element. The games success is linked to the fact that its creators are concerned about teaching, step by step, to their potential
players on how to become an expert in this universe, enabling them
to get the best of it.
Lets be honest, who nowadays is patient enough to read an entire
manual? People can spend hours playing, but they hardly spend a
single hour training for it. Therefore, its fundamentally accurate that
companies teach their employees what they need to know, but in a
less imposing and more theoretical way yet more participative. [34]

[34] Source:



Gamification & companies:
made for each other

This chapter is devoted to the narrative of practical experiences while

using gamification methods to solve traditional business issues
in large organizations. Youll have a clearer understanding of how
the proposed methodology is applicable for difficult and common
challenges for most companies.
Cultural Change
Case: Gamification in Change Management

[35] German
company, leading the
Business Management
Software Industry.

Change Management processes is notoriously one of the most

complex challenges faced by large corporations today. Ancient
Protocols, validated by time, work as engines from a gigantic system
that, once disassembled, may never match its parts again. But the
pressure exerted by mindsets and market changes sentences the
need of direction change, even if it determines questioning what is
most valuable to a company: its culture. MJVs Technology & Innovation team had a delicate mission ahead of them when leading the
implementation of the SAP [35] module to a construction company
with more than five thousand employees. The project lasted twelve
weeks. Its purpose was to sensitize the companies employees in
relation to the system replacement they would be submitted to,
besides arousing motivation and engagement in order to reach, with
no major mishaps, adjustments in the work model they were used
to; therefore avoiding, from a humanistic and creative approach,
the known inconveniences inherent to this type of implementation.
Through gamification methods it was possible to go beyond
traditional training and communication initiatives, multiplying values
by influencing mindsets more efficiently and bringing a significant
difference to the project.

transforming findings into ideas

After the completion of dozens of interviews, identifying representative profiles from the companys employees, and a detailed analysis
of their opinions and yearnings regarding the company and the
management change process a list of questions, synthesizing the
main difficulties the change management team would face, was
formed. They are:
Concern that SAP would prevent or at least, complicate - a
series of practices considered essential for the maintenance of the
company's major contracts.
Awareness that benefits offered to preferred customers entailed
an operational onus that has never been accounted for.
Collective perception that SAP implementation would directly
interfere in common procedures vital for the companys operation.
Impression that individual cultures of each companys division, if
confronted, could imply a SAP design that, when trying to please
everyone it would please no one at all.
Feeling that the recent mergers and branches proliferation in the
last years, were opposed to the concept of family business in
which older employees were used to, and for whom the company's
growth was still unknown.
Expression of quite disparate expectations regarding benefits and
damages consequent from the Change Management process.
Preconceived negative image of SAP, considered to be a very strict
and overly controlled system.
Concern that SAP could promote a business operational freeze, resulting in the loss of its most differential marketing factor: flexibility.
transforming ideas into action
From the projects core themes identification, which are
essential to the Change Management process, it was necessary to

present relevant findings for the employees, meeting the purpose

of developing measurements that could help them during SAPs
implementation process. Preliminary analysis of macro themes
originated from research indicated the need of caution regarding
the kind of approach, since the defined categories covered topics
that would be difficult to introduce, some of which indicating the
need of reviewing behaviors and ideologies that would no longer be
tolerated after the systems transition.
The biggest MJVs team concern was how to spread the large
amount of interesting aspects without transforming them into a
tedious and arbitrary cluster of behavior lessons, directed to restrain
and constrain those who would not fit in the future operational
model. The search for the most optimizing work results made the
people responsible for the project consider some approaching
options; however, none of them seemed adequate enough to the
scope in question. At this point, the challenge was clear: it was
necessary to create a set of practical tools to allow simulation of
problematic situations, investigate opinions and behaviors, raise
discussion, deliver knowledge in an unusual manner and communicate effectively through the Change Management process in which
the company would be submitted to.
engagement, membership and fun
In the specific case of this construction company, given the possible
organizational issues resulting from SAPs implementation, to consider gamification as a possible approach showed numerous benefits
starting from the fact that the Serious Games concept fit perfectly
to the projects particularities. By stimulating SAPs disclosure and
its intended application in the companys context, the game would
directly influence positive and conscious adherence to the new ERP
and the changes that would come with it. In addition, to encourage
such aspects, virility and social mobilization would be promoted
determining that when commenting on the game - a totally unusual
activity, considering the context in which they would be inserted participants would grab other employees attention, increasing the
people involved in the initiative.
Therefore, the desired engagement would occur, once the game
would stimulate the devotion to assigned tasks, allowing the construction of relationships between the organization and its employees.
By contributing to the resolution of issues raised during the project,
gamification methods would encourage the creation of a collective
commitment with SAPs implementation. The solutions developed
during this project, presented below, were structured by key points

identified in the projects immersion stage, in order to create a playful

and conducive environment.
game logic structuring
On the set of games developed in order to support the implementation of SAP in a company, is firstly considered the challenge
element, or the need and willingness to overcome obstacles to
move ahead in the games experience. Then, the importance of
stimulating curiosity, was highlighted food for imagination and
a determinant factor to retain the players attention. The proposed
dynamics also contemplate the need to provide meaning and
value to users and to the construction company and ultimately
enable the creation and strengthening of social bonds,
essential to the integration of the company's employees and the
consequent success of the project.
games of change
The series of games to be presented has been developed to generate engagement and motivate participation in the process, as well as
approach the sensitive topics emerged during immersion and likely
to represent a bottleneck in the implementation and acceptance of
the new SAPs ERP. Games of Change were conceptualized in order
to be part of a set, but can be played separately, so as to interfere as
little as possible in the organizations operational routine. Following,
we describe each games features, specific objectives, the rational
factor behind the concept presented and the participation rules.

Construction Operation
challenge: facing tasks of assuming a contractor employees
position in this exciting one day journey in the company. When a real
problem appears, do you know how to solve it?


objective: the Construction Operation invites the player to be in

the place of other professional, to live under an unknown point of
view: the experience of any critical situations of daily work, considering procedures and habits sometimes contradictory.
how to play: on the monitors screen, a proposed challenging
work situation similar to that experienced in day to day business,
from three professionals perspectives: administrative assistant, office manager and plant supervisor. By choosing one of the suggested
positions, the player needs to think and act according to his option,
choosing one between two alternatives to move forward in the
game. The storys development depends on the choices made by
the player, being his or her main objective to complete the assigned
task without violating operational rules established by the company.
why does it work?
This game was designed in order to address in a playful manner,
delicate and incisive themes, related to cultural aspects of the
company in question, as well as negative and extremely harmful
habits resulted from former operational gaps. By taking another
professionals place and exercising functions that were not usual,
the companys employee had the opportunity to undergo the
inherent difficulties from each step of the process, and decide how
to proceed to discover a more adequate understanding of proposed
situations, without bearing the consequences it should have in real
life. Therefore, it was an efficient tool to promote SAPs arrival in the
company, and serve the purpose of educating or changing inadequate mental models without creating embarrassment or coercion.


challenge: when the cards are on the table, your opinion is
the starting point in a discussion upon the challenges of SAPs
objective: Expectra was designed to directly and cooperatively
stimulate a discussion about many questions that made SAPs implementation a new challenge to the ones involved in the process.
how to play:
Numbers of players from 2 to 4.
Participants first define who will be the games speaker. The
elected is responsible for reading the problematic situations to the
group as shown on the 20 numbered cards.
From the reading of each problematic situation, the participant
places a card on the table corresponding to their opinion on the
subject. The cards that each player has in hand shows numbers
from 1 to 100. For example: Regarding SAP, I dont think it will have
adjusting problems (adaptation). How much do you agree with this
opinion, taken from an interview? In this case, if the player agrees
with the statement, he should put a card on the table with a value
near 100. In case he disagrees, he should put a card on the table
with a value near 1.
When all players have put their cards on the table, the group
should discuss the final figures, to understand the reason why
each participant chose a particular card.
After the discussion, the group is once again invited to show their
cards to rate their opinion about the proposed themes, and in
this second turn, having the opportunity to change or confirm
the prior choice.


At the end of the second opinion round about the same theme,
the speaker sums the card figures shown, and the total should
be inserted to the score chart in the corresponding place of the
problematic situation cards number.
The same procedure is conducted to all problematic situation
cards, so that, at the end of the game, there will be a total score
figure from that group, as a result of the sum of individual numbers
obtained by each problematic situation card proposed.
The winning group is the one with the sum of points that is closer
to the total determined by the Change Management committee.
The contest result is announced to the participants by email, as
soon as all scores are counted.
why does it work?
The idea of proposing a deck of cards as a platform to encourage
debate on SAPs implementation was justified by the fact that this
type of game is commonly associated with relaxation and informal
chat, the opposite of what could have occurred: a heated and
unproductive discussion. The designed game is based - with some
changes - in the rules of Planning Poker, one of the Scrum project
management methodology tools. One of them corresponded to
problem situation cards, developed to portray the existing contrast
opinions within the company upon the benefits and losses caused
by system change. More than meeting expectations and stimulating
discussions for the topic, this game allowed participants to learn
about SAP through each other, enabling knowledge multiplication in
an agile and fun way.


SAP Marathon
challenge: join your colleagues and participate in this entertaining contest, which aims to complete tasks, score points and share
knowledge about SAP!
objective: to engage employees into SAPs implementation
process and create change through promotion agents.
how to play: SAP Marathon has been structured to unfold over a
week of activities, regardless the branchs location or division.
With the objective of combining educational and recreational
aspects of playful factors, SAP Marathon has been characterized as
a contest where participants companys employees - are engaged
to perform a series of missions. These missions should be carried
out by groups with up to three members, promoting integration and
debate and encouraging team spirit. Teams should register in advance, within a previously determined deadline. Once the teams are
set, the SAP marathon starts and will be implemented in the course
of five days, mainly from Monday through Friday. Activities have
been conceived upon two of the projects macro-themes: Learning
about SAP and Promoting SAP in the Company.
Theme 1: Learning about SAP
Within this theme, activities have been proposed to lead employees
to get informed about what SAP is and to share their findings with
the community they belong to, bringing out a more educational and
cooperative aspect. Each day of the week corresponds to an activity,
only revealed on the day it occurs. Every activity being performed
has a specific score, and the sum of points determines a final rating
as well as the winners.


Theme 2: promoting SAP

Considering the referred theme, activities are proposed to bring
visibility to SAPs project within the company, by stimulating
cooperation and entertainment. On the contrary of the actions from
Theme 1, the activities will be released simultaneously on a Monday,
in order to give time to the teams to perform tasks. To complement
theme 1, each activity has a specific score, and the sum of points
determined the final rating as well as the winners.
why does it work?
As important as adapting the companys procedures to SAPs operation, it is also important to promote knowledge about the Change
Management process in progress, since the successful system
implementation is related to the ability of employees to absorb the
proposed new model. From this point of view, it is necessary to
develop a dynamic specifically focused to promoting the project,
which should allow the involvement of as many people as possible
and that had the potential to become viral.
More than this, by proposing SAPs marathon, the objective is also
to turn members into change agents, creating the best conditions
for them to multiply the knowledge acquired from performed
missions, engaging colleagues who were not aware of the games or
even of SAPs implementation.

challenge: become an expert while unrevealing SAPs secrets and
peculiarities; a game in which strategy definition is fundamental.
objective: the Sapient has the main purpose of introducing SAPs
environment to employees and enable them to get familiar to the
new platform.


how to play: the games rules are closely related to the content
defined during the project planning phase. It is a game about
strategy and reasoning based on SAPs operational manual.
why does it work?
This game fulfills the important role of allowing SAPs users to obtain
a prior understanding - at the same time as rational and intuitive of
the functions that they would need to deal with on a daily exercise
of their activities. Instead of accessing key information from the
conventional method, which consists of reading robust handouts
(sometimes extremely didactic, but not very functional), the Sapient
participants have the opportunity to obtain a similar result, but in
a much more interesting and fun way. In practice, this game represented the Gamification of the SAPs User Manual, a new approach
to transform bored readers into engaged players. The Sapients
concept is based on establishing a relationship between the content
and its receptor, causing the receiver, for example, to understand the
reason of a particular system aspect, rather than just memorizing it.

When thinking about Games of Change as a widely publicized
event, the possibility of creating a real bond in favor of changes was
designed, and also to establish the event as a transition ritual for a
new order within the company.
The goal of Games of Change launching events became the
presentation and disclosure of SAP itself, introducing Change
Management to employees who were not directly involved in the
project. MJVs team proposal to this Construction Company was
to make Games of Change into an itinerant event, able to move, according to needs, among all active areas of the company regardless
of its geographic position. This format reinforced the popular and
flexible feature of the project, making it a viable alternative to obtain
more significant results than those achieved with traditional models
of Change Management.


Case: Call Center Gamification
As noted earlier in this book, the contemporary society, in the context
of globalization, has become more and more complex in many different
aspects among which corporate procedures and work relationships are
included. Mainly in companies with larger structures, evidence shows
that the velocity of change in interactions and communication modes,
between employees and the institution, have not urgently followed the
practices and specific wishes from each professional sector which,
added to private aspects from the companys routine and culture, can
end up causing frustration for both parties.
With this perspective, MJV Technology & Innovation had the opportunity to perform an extremely pioneering project aimed at improving work
conditions in the Call Center of a major Brazilian insurance company
to reduce the high rates of the sectors turnover as well as increasing
assertiveness and quality of service provided by agents. It should be
noted that the context in which they inserted the mentioned project is
quite compatible with the aforementioned gap that occurs between
large companies and their employees, since, by being directly involved
in communicating with customers, the area in question corresponds to
the most visible part of these corporations. In practice, this means that
the world's largest companies trust their public reputation to a group of
extremely young professionals who are often unmotivated, underpaid
and working under constant pressure.
Therefore, to understand the diversity of challenges in the project, the
need to develop a set of practices aimed at building a more stimulating
environment for agents, where they could feel more valued by the
important work that they do and more predisposed to constantly improve as professionals, was observed. To reach this result, given the affinity
of objectives and potential identification with the target audience, MJVs
team decided to address the proposed challenge using Gamification


mechanisms. It is noteworthy that such a choice was also related to

the perusal of new demands when building unique solutions for the
paradigm challenges mentioned above, especially if considering that
most agents belong to a generation that has such close familiarity with
the universe of games, which alone would greatly increase the chances
of the proposals success.
It is important to clarify that the Gamification approach to the
project has always been linked to another thats contemplated by MJV
while carrying out innovation projects and its called Design Thinking.
Through its set of methods and procedures organized into four iterative
steps - Immersion, Ideation, Prototyping and Implementation - the
multidisciplinary team formed by the company structured and executed
the project. Therefore, there were repositioning stages for visualizing the
situation, context mapping and exploration, data compiling and analysis,
co-creation sessions, idea experimentation and testing, and finally
solution implementation.
Regarding CoolCenters (name given to the developed platform)
experience, the approach of Gamification started from an immersion in the particular context of the insurers major professional
groups from the Costumer Relationship Center, composed of two
different teams: one of their employees and another from outsourced services. For this, several rounds of interviews were conducted,
as well as participant observation and shadowing [36], among other
Design Thinking immersive methods, in order to understand the
real needs of those involved. It was also noted from immersion, the
importance of knowing the available metrics and indicators for
managing the operation.
Therefore, besides the analysis of the tools that were used by agents,
new indicators for promoting the criteria and preexisting functionalities
were created. Generative sessions with managers were also carried out
to design new tools and their respective validations after the prototyping
stage. Besides the activities already mentioned, a focus group with the
agents was created so they could have the opportunity to validate the
platform that would be developed for them.
After the ideas improvement phase, three prototypes were implemented considering tangibilization, evaluation and selection of the
proposed solutions. Such prototypes consisted of a quiz -, a mechanism
for prioritizing doubts and the implementation of an instant challenge
routine. The first was structured in formulating questions about the
agents working context awarding those who obtained more correct
answers in the shortest time.
The second regarded the agents main doubts during the service,
which was done only through phone calls made to supervisors, not being

possible for example, a preview of where they should act with priority.
While proposing a redistribution of the logistics, the intention was
to minimize the time spent waiting for help during the service, allowing
more experienced agents to score when responding to doubts from their
colleagues. Finally, regarding instant challenges, attempts were made
to measure the impact of instant campaigns in short term at the
insurers Costumer Relationship Center, through the distribution of small
prizes in case of success.
productivity and self-esteem
Given the context observed by MJVs team over the six weeks of
immersion held in the Costumer Relationship Center, the projects
initial hypothesis - to introduce game mechanics in the service
operation was irrefutably confirmed. When approaching the daily
lives of the agents, it was not difficult to draw parallels between
the process that they were already inserted in and the universe of
games, especially when recognizing the benefits that can be achieved by legitimizing and expanding the potential of practices that,
somehow, have always been in progress. Keep in mind the work
methods in use already involved time constraints, predetermined
goals and evaluations based on points scored, which are just three
aspects that closely approach it to the rules in which players submit
to in any game.

[36] Shadowing:
Learning by observation.
Immersion method used
in Design Thinking, which consists of observing
real life situations carefully for a set amount of
time to understand how
people behave within
a given context. This
method can help you
figure out the reality of
what people actually
do, as opposed to what
they say they do.

Why gamify the service in a Call Center?

Because it establishes a system of constant and tangible rewards, which turns into greater dedication and consequently into
better results.
Because the platform encourages knowledge sharing, reducing
training costs.
Because more than bureaucratically achieving goals, each customer well served represents an opportunity to earn points.
Because the acquired points scored and the fact that remaining
in the company turns into benefits, awards and especially status
before their colleagues.
Because the game is the best way to gain visibility and, in practice,
it translates itself as an efficient Human Resources tool, oriented
to identify the agents who present the greatest commitment to
their work.
Because to stop working in the Call Center would not just be quitting a job, but leaving a game unfinished as well as all the status
and benefits won over months.
Because the generation in which the agents are a part of

cause gaming mechanisms to be very familiar to them and even

translates into a language they understand. So, why not extend
affinityinto the work place?
Therefore, the desired engagement occurred, since the game
stimulated dedication to the assigned tasks, allowing long-lasting
relationships between the institution and its employees. By contributing in retaining talents, the incentive to greater engage with the
subject, the provision of a more user friendly interface to perform
the service, the establishment of a more motivating and challenging
professional environment and the establishment of a channel to
stand up and be recognized, the Gamification proposal represented
the determination of new parameters for the Call Centers segment,
both nationally and internationally.
Conceptually, instead of just proposing a dynamic game that
interested the agents, MJV's team went beyond the initial scope
of the project and chose to create a dashboard [37] that brought
everything together all on one screen, all the tools that were used
during the operation, most of which improved functionality and
visualization. Therefore, besides encouraging agents to develop new
behaviors, such as proactivity and cooperation, the proposed solution served to speed up and ease procedures, contributing to the
improvement of the service provided by the insurer to its customers.
To further elaborate, CoolCenter transformed the performance of
work in the CRC to a more pleasurable and stimulating task, starting
with the fact that its interface is friendlier than those previously used,
as well as the fact that it has eliminated the necessity of maintaining
several browser tabs open, among many other benefits.
The following is a brief description of the main aspects of the
developed tool.



managers challenge: Mechanism that allows the supervisor

to launch a flash campaign into the agent's terminal in order to
reach in a short period of time, specific goals in the service's critical
moments. This functionality was designed due to a team's insight
about the inconsistencies in Costumer Relationship Centers, where
a very intense and dynamic operation is observed in contrast to
incentive campaigns that are extended over long periods of time
(fifteen days to one month).
help button: By clicking on this button, the agent can describe
in 140 characters doubts that appeared during the service. The
doubt becomes part of a list, displayed not only to the supervisor as
per "elite" attendants (those who have reached 100% in quality in the
previous three months), which score in the game when they can satisfactorily resolve colleagues issues. The idea is to allow doubts to gain
greater visibility and therefore be solved in less time and reducing
errors recurrence. The solution becomes even more interesting due
to two reasons: encouraging agents to belong to an elite group - not
only by the status to be acquired but also by the extra chance to score
in the game - the Help Button relieves the supervisor's responsibility


to resolve impasses in the service, freeing them to designate more

strategic functions.
quiz: Multiple-choice questions created by the Quality and Training
Areas, which evaluate the agent's knowledge of specific subjects, especially the most recent and not yet assimilated ones. Despite being
a simple-minded solution, its importance is justified by the fact that it
shortens time and reduces costs while training agents, as it is already
incorporated into the platform. Furthermore, the testing process
changes the working subject into desirable content, since answering
them correctly can even represent a way to ascend professionally.
adherence view tab: A tool to provide visibility to agents on
specific adherence data as their daily attendance table, the absent
days and their behavior towards the breaks taken throughout the
week. Normally this information could be accompanied by paper
worksheets, which were kept by supervisors, but in this case, as the
data is being generated and displayed in real time on the system,
there is greater awareness of the agent in relation to their professional conduct. Taking, for example, absenteeism, which is one of the
main offences in this sector, the eve absence impacts the player's
score on the very next day, increasing the chances that the action will
not be repeated.
day-off advert: Tools functionality that allows viewing the process of exchanging days off among employees in order to facilitate
the operation and reduce the supervisors work. The access to this
area is restricted to agents who have no absences during the month,
which in practice, serves as an absence reducer.

[37] Dashboard: The

term dashboard is used
to indicate an "indicator
panel", such as an indicator panel from a car
(speedometer indicator,
engine speed, engine
temperature indicator,
oil level indicator etc.).

agent's profile: Area to identify the game's participant and

provide useful information to other players. Its design was oriented
to simulate the interface of a true social network in order to, not only
dissociate it from the concept of a production tool, but also to make
the professional environment more pleasant. In the "Status" field
the agent has the possibility to make their mood public or write a
headline passage describing how their shift is going. The idea is
to convey the feeling that the company is interested in the state of
mind of its employees, and even anticipate the demonstration of
potential discomforts or decreased productivity.
badges: They qualify and award the agent for their skills and are
linked to their profile for everyone to see. They are distributed
throughout the competition in recognition of achievements. It works
as an excellent way to encourage the development of specific skills
desirable to the company.

game ranking: Section designed to provide general information

about the challenge. It works like a leaderboard. In this area, each
agent can track their own performance in comparison to the leaders
of the challenge and have access to their entire history of records
and scores throughout the competition.
The use of the tools promotes a considerable improvement in
the quality of service provided by the insurers agents, given its
characteristics of flexible and expandable training methods and redefining the information hierarchy. Besides that, the game can bring
engagement to the agents professional activity and self-esteem
from public recognition.

Planning/Comunication Strategic
Case: Gamified Strategic Planning
Whenever the topic of strategic planning is contemplated, the same
concern appears: how an alignment in macro level, which is the result
of the understandings of the brightest minds in a company, unfolds
into a series of practical measures likely to be carried out by employees who dont know much about the business besides what they can
see over their desks. The situation for multinationals is extremely
delicate due to the organizations that often have thousands of employees with particular cultural aspects, acting in almost antagonistic
markets; however, none of these companies are free from the need to
pursue strategic definitions to guide their actions globally.
Here lies the challenge faced by MJVs team in this project: to
gamify the strategic planning of a worldwide insurance organization.
With the intention of developing a game method that will meet
the goal of communicating and aligning specific missions among
departments that should develop better synergy, the initial scope
became the companys operation in Brazil. The proposition was
to create a collaborative game with the main purpose of achieving

collective goals (set by areas/departments) that could be associated

by a certain vision determined by the organizations global strategic
planning. This means that, each player had to perform tasks and
earn points individually to help their area/department which they
belonged to by winning a total of points needed to ensure the
groups correspondent engine fit in the "Master System". The
Master System was similar to a grandfathers clock, installed at the
entrance of the company's branch in So Paulo, and the systems
best work only occurred when all the engines (each from a separate
area/department) were positioned in the right places. This situation
configures the end of the game.
entering the game
To start playing, the employee had to create a profile in the games virtual platform. On their computer screens, they checked the objectives
and targets set by their area/department. These goals had to be met,
individually and collectively, within the period stipulated by the game,
which was thirty days. With the platform, besides various statistics,
players obtained specific information not only about their involvement
in the game but also about other players. Through this platform it
was also possible to watch videos explaining the games rules, get
strategic tips or even plan collective tasks with colleagues.
choosing tasks
To help your team achieve the goals set for the group, one player has
to win points individually. He or she could:
a) Apply to receive tasks related to the companys strategic
b) Submit to challenges that tested their knowledge about these
strategic objectives.
c) Choose to replicate other employees knowledge gained
through the game.
With each of the above categories there were difficult levels
established and different scores. The tasks were inserted gradually
each week, preventing some more engaged participants to distance
themselves from other players, reducing the sensation of competitiveness in the game.
earning points
By choosing to perform tasks related to the companys strategic
objectives, the player received badges (public recognition stamps) on
his profile known as "Troubleshooter "; when testing his knowledge


about the company's vision for the future, badges of "Visionary";

when sharing wisdom with other employees, he got badges known
as "Knowledge Builder". The individual score was still assigned even
though groups conducted the tasks. Effective participation in the
game determined the achievement of individual and collective tasks
from different natures, which consequently demanded different skills,
some of them requiring interaction with other areas/departments.
To enable the area/department to conquer their engine which
is the main objective of the game each member of the group
needed to perform five individual tasks, two collective ones and one
interdepartmental, chosen by self-defined criteria. It is noteworthy
that the managers of the areas/departments could see in real time,
from the platform, each employees performance in the game as
well as those who more effectively contributed for the achievement
of the objectives in the group. The creation of the complementary
goals or even to allow the demand for results that occurred due to
the initiative of the team itself was completely up to the manager.
additional benefits
By completing all the tasks assigned to them, players were granted
access to Special Tasks, which, when completed, granted additional
bonus scores. Players who performed the minimum number of
distinct tasks among themselves (e.g., two missions, three challenges,
one tip sharing) also received extra points. Employees who reached
the highest individual scores in each of the three possible tasks
(mission, challenge and tip sharing) were invited to join an elite squad,
in which they dealt with the most strategic topics for the company.
how the game ends
In practice, the game ended when all areas/departments got their
engines, allowing the Master System to fully function. To get to this
point, all players should complete the assigned tasks: individual,
collective and interdepartmental. However, there was the possibility
of getting awards derived from the main game objective, for
example, rewarding the department that got its first engine or which
demonstrated better engagement and proactivity. The final installation of the Master System coincided with a major event, highlighting
the achieved goals by players and how they could be transferred to
a daily business routine. Possibly the main obstacle posed to by the
team during the project was to translate important generic goals
to the organization however, with difficult assimilation and implementation by its members - in tangible missions that could unfold
various hierarchical levels. The flexibility of smaller goals aligned to

large guidelines, generated empathy between staff and business

objectives, particularly giving them a sense that the benefits could
be achieved without total cooperation. By determining individual
and collective missions achievement, the game suggested an interesting balance between personal and team commitment, providing
a favorable environment to collaboration and an almost viral sharing
of this engagement. The metaphor proposed by the Master System
was an ingenious way to create a collective view of achievements
for each designated area, which tends to exert a positive sense of
competition capable of accelerating certain processes.

Software Development/Project Management

Case: Accelerating
Managing software development is often a tricky task, considering
even the most experienced professionals may be surprised by the
amount of obstacles and unforeseen events that sometimes needs
to be overcome along the way. One way to attenuate this risk is by
adopting agile methods, a model conceived in order to quickly absorb
changes in planning, whether they come from increasing customer
interaction - who participates actively in the project and anticipates
necessary adjustments - or even from results obtained from tests
of minimally viable products. Although representing a breakthrough
compared to the traditional model of development - given its more
dynamic character - the agile methods assume greater team integration as well as the implementation of more efficient communication
mechanisms and visualization tasks. Stimulated by thinking of how to
attend this important demand, MJVs team organized a brainstorming
session that brought together developers, IT managers and designers
in order to list the possibilities for the tangibilization of a process.
From the perception of the importance of playfulness as a facilitator of
communication and identification of requirements - which sometimes
are not explicit in the early development - it was agreed that it was

necessary to develop a tool capable of providing those features in any

projects development, regardless of their particularities. To better
understand the market for applying agile software development
methods, MJVs team met with three Scrum coaches who offered
courses on the subject and who were coaching in companies of
different sizes. The tool that, by analogy seemed more faithful in contemplating the demands of such a project was a board game followed
by conducting a market survey to identify their different types, the
languages used and what artifices were employed to engage the
players. Regarding the definition of probable games tasks, the agile
development process itself was analyzed, considering its phases and
its key moments of interaction with the customers. For the game to
become more efficient, it was also necessary to think of a storyline, so
the idea of comparing the development of software to climbing came
up, since both activities have the need for chain steps, changing plans
and dealing with the unforeseen circumstances in order to achieve the
objective. With the first prototype of the game in hand, MJVs team
met with some "potential" clients in order to assess the responsiveness of the tool that was being developed. The language used was one
of the most pertinent observations made about the first model. There
was the impression that the board reminded them of an overly playful
universe, which could bring some resistance, especially from the more
conservative customers. However, many other collected opinions
were essential for reaching a final version of the product in the two
weeks time established for the project.


From the tests conducted, the assumption was that through playful
activities, the team members would be more likely to become
involved in determining the real business needs, resulting in a richer
specification and reducing any risks to the project. In this context,
two "products" being developed were defined: the first was called
"streamlining", and consisted of a board game focused on prospection and oriented to provide transparency to the process, allowing
the client to feel comfortable while expressing their real worries and
concerns with the project. Defining the scope, monitoring groups
performance, sizing efforts and controlling chronogram were some
of the tasks that could be performed in a less complicated and more
fun way with the presented solution.
The second corresponded to a playful dashboard, focused on
easing projects monitoring, configured as an interface of easy to
understand yet still able to stimulate interaction among managers,
developers and customers, considering the following aspects:
Weekly display global monitoring graphics.
Include a team "stress meter".
Provide an evaluation opportunity that enables the client to interact
with the staff.

Introduce the concept of measuring sustainable actions.

Provide a deadline monitor instrument.
From another point of view, the game also provided a relaxed
environment and the narrowing of relationships between the parties.
The desired intent was to assist the client with understanding his own
needs; and for the developers team to have a clear strategy that could
be used while creating the project. The following is a brief description
of the games created, their specific goals and which project milestones they were designed for.
objective: understand the success perception the client has for
the project.
proposed activity: think you're already continuously using the
product you ordered. Describe the products features you are satisfied with (richer, safer, smarter or any other proper adjective). The
game objective is to refine the stories (requirements specifications
for developing each specific projects task).
Ophthalmological Test
objective: prioritize stories (projects backlog [38]).
proposed activity: write down each story on a card and mix
them on a table. Choose two of them randomly and compare: which
one is more important? Set a level of priority and paste the most
relevant card on the wall, positioning the other story right below.
Repeat the same comparison as often as needed.
Planning Poker
objective: scale the complexity level of the stories.
proposed activity: having the stories list in hand, give one set of
cards to each team member. Participants start playing by selecting
the story that represents the value 5. Then they must select another
so that each player exposes the card that corresponds to the development complexity which, in their opinion, demands that activity.
If the numbers are very discrepant, players must justify their votes.
After the explanation, the story is voted again until the team reaches
a consensus. The game ends when all the stories have received
complexity attribution.


Market Stories
objective: to define the projects budget.
proposed activity: show participants the stories list together
with their development cost then distribute coins of different
values for them to choose in which of them they want to "invest" the
budget. It is interesting to have "expensive" stories so that teams
members have the chance to discuss with each other and join
forces to invest.
Exploratory navigation
objective: to approve the interfaces navigation.
proposed activity: select a story and try to accomplish it by
browsing the interfaces, which must be sketched on sheets of paper
placed on a table. If you identify inadequate or faulty elements,
include on the sketch suggestions for changing. Repeat the activity
with all stories.
why does it work?
The design of a board that suggests an evolutionary journey that joins
activities to ease the completion of specific tasks related to software
development. That achieved an important demand, which seemed
neglected in agile projects: the tangibilization of a process. However,
the suggestion of a playful dashboard destined to generate better
visualization of the steps and allow more participation from the costumer, proved to be the best complement to the purpose of making a
more collaborative task with fewer errors due to lack of communication. From the two simple tools suggested, a bunch of paper stuck on
the wall and a handful of unproductive discussions, this can turn into a
more organized, creative, and why not, fun process.

[38] Backlog: Refers to a

log (historical summary)
of working overflow,
in a period of time.
Backlog is a kind of
"client orders sheets
collection related to
undone products
Gross mode, backlog is
a stock of orders waiting
to be responded.

Case: Brazil 2022
If there is any certainty in a group of two hundred CEOs with the most
influential Brazilian companies is that this is not an easy crowd to engage. Inserted in a decision making routine, almost always concomitant and of vital importance for the companies that command mainly,
lack of time, these professionals became used to understanding
their surrounding scenarios through executive reports or even the
endorsement of their faithful advisors. Taking this into consideration,
what are the real chances of grabbing the attention of these people for
an all-day event, turning them into avid players, willing to contribute to
building a collective vision for the future of the country? To meet this
expectation, MJV, with the assistance of a consulting [39] company
specialized in prospective scenarios, developed Brazil 2022, a pervasive game applied during Brazil Summit 2011: Order and Progress? An
event organized by the British magazine The Economist in 2011 in
So Paulo with the objective of promoting dialogue in the possible
paths of the country's economic future until the bicentennial of its
What would Brazil be like in 2022? What obstacles could prevent
its growth over the next decade and how to overcome them while
achieving the increasingly desired economic strength? Due to
these and other questions, a guided game was created to stimulate
participants to gather the ten cards that composed one of four
macroeconomic scenarios that they considered the most likely to
consolidate within the deadline.


brazil 2022 the game

At the events entrance, potential players received a kit consisting of
an invitation - with basic operating instructions for the activity - four
activated cards, each one corresponding to a group scenario (Back
in the 1970s, Chinese Capitalism in a Brazilian Method, A shock for
orthodox capitalism, A new economic retraction) and a blank card
to be filled by guidelines. All kits summed 42 points. So, despite
numerous possible combinations of the cards, all players started
the competition evenly. There was a blank card in the games booth
so that the cards could be exchanged according to each player's
interest. Though they chose their favorite scenario, they didnt know
the value of the card they received, which could vary. In the booth
through a video monitor, fictional news about the economy in the
coming years were shown, which interfered in the probability of
dominance of one or the other different scenarios.

[39] Macroplan
Prospective Strategy
and Management

how to play: The policy was, each card represented the players
company thats invested in the scenario; however, besides the four
cards received at the beginning of the event , it was possible to obtain
others through direct exchange with other players (according to
exchange rules stipulation) in the games booth. An additional way to
earn cards was linked to completing a chart in which players guesses
were gathered on specific aspects of the economy (external context,
external insertion, economic adjustments, economic growth, investments, leadership in investments, States presence, productive park
innovation, Environment and Deforestation, gdp per capita). For each
group of three opinions recorded in the chart, the player received
three cards with random values (ranging 3-42 points) corresponding
to their favorite scenario. In the second stage of the game (after the
events second coffee-break), players could also interact with NPCs
(non-player characters), or staff members who performed the function of introducing new cards with new scores, making investments


and exchanges even more dynamic. These special collaborators were

also responsible for collecting the players impressions, indicating the
appreciation of one or another scenario, which impacted directly in
the choice of cards by other players.
At the end of the day, all the players were asked to count their
points in the games booth. The scenario cards pointed out by the
majority as the most likely to materialize had their score amplified by
25% in comparison to the other cards, being the winner defined by
the higher score obtained. After submitting to the playful experience
provided by the game, participants had the opportunity to know the
statistical data generated by the activity, compiled with the purpose of
showing the evolution of the opinions in accordance with fluctuations
occurred during the game.
why does it work?
By creating a game from a deck of cards that contained information
backed up by experts in macroeconomics, the main objective for
the project was achieved: to involve businessmen, heads of the
most powerful Brazilian organizations into a dynamic atmosphere,
not only capable of awakening their curiosity, but also to transmit
a proposition of practical value, applicable to their professional
contexts. Furthermore, Brazil 2022, served as a tool for probing
into an extremely selected group about the economic future of the
country, which generated, as a legacy, a solid database likely to even
be referred to when discussing the topic. In the month following its
accomplishment, the game earned an online version, hosted in the
digital edition of the newspaper O Estado de So Paulo.



Lets get down to work!

How to get started?

Now that the gamification concepts are understood, some doubts
may still remain with how to make the methodology tangible through solid actions within a company. This chapter aims to objectively
present practical tools and suggest a Step-by-Step implementation,
giving an alternative approach to solving businesses problems. The
Step-by-Step method doesnt need to be followed in the proposed
order, but this order was meant to serve as support in the first gamification implementations. Heres our description for this process:
Step 1: Understanding the issue and the context

[40] A thorough
overview of the Design
Thinking techniques
presented in this book
can be found in the
book DesignThinking:
Business Innovation,
by Vianna et al., 2012.

Usually, the most appropriate way to start a gamification project is

by understanding which problem you're trying to solve, as well as
the context in which it is inserted. It is very likely that, at an early
stage the origins of the problem are not clear: to assist in the scenario mapping and users understanding, techniques derived from
Design Thinking [40] can be used to identify the impasse, as well as
its causes and effects. There are three fundamental aspects that
must be considered at this stage: company culture, business
goals, and most importantly understanding the users.
The companys culture has great influence on how players will
interact and react to the gamification initiatives. In order to achieve
effective behavioral change one must first understand it well. Different
cultures may be more or less open to new ideas, have rigid or flexible
duties, be oriented to cooperation or competitiveness and have
formal or informal environments among other characteristics. Try to
identify, at the beginning of the project, which are the main aspects of
the companys culture, making sure that they will be considered in the
following stages.


Gamification initiatives should also be aligned with the

companys business goals they must serve as support for other
ongoing actions.
If the initiative is affecting other areas, it is important to have an
understanding of their goals and specific business objectives
while avoiding the incidence of conflict.
To achieve an effective behavioral change, it is necessary to
understand diverse human aspects of the people involved in the
problem and the way they face them in their daily routine. The way
users absorb new knowledge, the emotional characteristics related
to work, their aesthetic perception of the world and cultural issues;
are some of the elements that need to be studied very carefully to
create a good gamification experience. Remember that gamification
initiatives are designed for people and it is extremely important to
understand them fully in order to create exciting and relevant games.
By means of the following techniques, you will understand which
type of behavior needs to be changed.
techniques to ease the definition of issues
The information necessary for understanding the three initial
questions suggested by the Step-by-Step process can be obtained
through interviews, observation and the application of specific tools
for the synthesis of these findings.
This is the most intuitive technique. Talk to people who need to have
their behavior changed and try to understand the motivation behind
the attitudes they express. Interviews can happen informally so that
employees do not feel pressured at work. Hierarchical differences
often compromise results, not only from interviews but also from
several other research techniques, so it is recommended to seek a
neutral person within the organizational structure to obtain this data.
Some tips that may be helpful:
Ask open-ended questions (avoid Yes or No questions.)
Do not induce responses
Allow respondents to speak - do not interrupt, unless it's really
important. Moments of silence can be precious in order to allow
deeper topics come up. To end the discomfort of silence people
eventually talk abot things they wouldnt mention otherwise.
Ask them to tell you stories about past situations. This helps you understand and illustrate more precisely what issues affect the person.
Frequently ask why, try to deeply understand peoples motivations.

Try to record in detail everything you hear and see. Records can be
made through notes, drawing, photos and videos, and will assist you
during analysis.
Another common way to extract information is through questionnaires, which can be done via online tools, paper or through a
mediator asking questions. However, its necessary to be aware that
an online questionnaire usually brings more superficial information
than an interview in person, the first one being the most suitable for
quantitative research and the second for qualitative research.
5 whys
A good technique to acquire comprehension about the issues origin
is called 5 Whys. The approach consists of asking one question,
getting an answer and asking the second question using the given
answer. For example:
q: Why were the sales goals not achieved?
a: Because we couldnt motivate our sales team.
q: Why couldnt you motivate your sales team?
a: Because the supervisors didnt agree with the sales goals policy.
q: Why didnt the supervisors agree with sales goals policy?
And so on.
Usually, by asking why five times, you arrive at the crucial point:
the essence of the problem.

Another recommended technique is observation, which may occur
in an intrusive or non-intrusive manner. Through this technique, its
possible do get more assertive information, e.g., the observation of
what people really do, instead of considering just what they say they do.
Its common for respondents to say things just to please the researcher, or say inaccurate things because they arent fully aware of their
own actions. This is why it is so relevant to use observation techniques.
There are different ways to observe:


observing in a non-intrusive and concealed manner, i.e.,

without interfering with the actions done by the person.
observing in a controlled manner, i.e., asking the participant
to perform an action, without interfering with it.
observing in a participative manner, being actively present in the
action, to get a better perception of how the task is performed.
When observing, its important to understand both the individual
and the context that he is inserted in:
observing the individual: What do they do? How do they do it? What
theyre looking at? Which types of difficulties theyre having? What do
their facial expressions indicate?
observing the environment: What is going on? What factors
influence the observed context?
These techniques are useful when observing behaviors in a
company, as well as observing current and potential customers.
diary or cultural probing
Another way to get information is to ask the participants to take their
own notes and records. The diary is a simple way to understand
their habits and routines. The application is simple: give respondents
a notebook and ask them to describe their daily routines or specific
tasks they perform within a few days. Cultural probes are kits for
self-registration delivered to the participant during a certain period
then collected by the researcher for analysis upon completion. Kits
have various tools to stimulate participants including diaries, activity
notebooks and instructions for taking pictures or inspirational
material for collages, among others. Probes generate a large amount
of information when trying to understand the participants universe, as
well as their inspiration to generate ideas.
Make sure you thoroughly analyze the findings from the field research in order to find patterns, project challenges and opportunities
requiring action. To synthesize your findings there are some visual
tools that can help you understand and communicate what you
found in the field.


mind map
The Mind Map is a diagram conceived to organize thoughts in a visual
and textual manner, helping to view different themes, and enabling
connections between them. It is very helpful during all phases of the
design process, and can function as a guide for your project.
Start with a central theme and keep branching it through secondary
themes. From each branch, create sub-branches with related
questions or themes.
users journey
The Journey is a way of understanding the actions that the user needs to perform, and it can serve as a base of understanding how and
when gamification can be applied. Its a representation of all steps
that a user goes through before, during and after experimenting a
product or service, or while performing a task within a corporation.
Besides the actions detailing, its possible to overlook the touchpoints that make the product or service tangible, i.e., all tangible
evidence from an intangible task.
While on a one-day journey with a companys employee, there are
touchpoints that are not so evident, such as ID badges, computer
login screens, posters they see on elevators, e-mails received,
among many others.
Mapping these points helps to identify opportunities for inserting
gamification elements, communicating information or developing
motivators. When mapping, try to discover what is more important to
the user in each stage of the journey.
If your gamification initiatives are in resonance with the actual
needs of the player (user), the likelihood of adherence for the game
becomes much higher.
Contact Points
physical evidences of
the service or process
How do
users feel?


empathy map
The empathy map is a synthesis of information about the user,
where it is possible to identify what he or she says, feels and thinks.
This map is a simpler manner of supporting the understanding of
context, behaviors, concerns, and the users aspirations. To make
the map effective, use sentences that represent what users listen to
or say, or verbal constructions that represent what they see.

What thinks and feels

What hears

What sees

What does and says



stakeholders map [41]

It is a visual representation of the various people or groups acting in
the studied situation, which helps to identify relationships among
individuals/groups. First of all, try to identify the agents, i.e., which
individuals and groups who affect or are affected by the issue being
studied. Choose one person as the central focus and start adding
other agents, one at a time, always positioning them according to
their relationship with the central person. Proceed by identifying
existing conflicts and established alliances, since this map can support to creating different roles within the game, in order to positively
influence these relationships. To intensify the maps effects, try to
identify the interests and motivations of each agent, how do they
relate and interact.


Identify the relation among

the stakeholders

Identify, in the center, a person

or institution that will be the
starting point.
List and position people/
institutions who has a relation
with the starting point
Who do people group?
What relations are there
among them?
Who is closer or more distant?
Are there arguments?

After using these tools, its possible to obtain a clearer outlook of

the issues and of the behavior that need to be changed. A full tool
list is available in the book Design Thinking Business Innovation.
is the behavior to be modified a habit?
If behavior can be featured as a habit, it is necessary to identify
the cue that activates it, the establishing routine details, and the
reward offered in exchange for the change of habit. Charles Duhigg
suggests a model of habit identification: [42]
[41] Stakeholders:
term used by
Several areas
such as project
business and
Software architecture
related to
People involved,
pursuant to corporate
Governance practices
Delivered by companies.
In Design, it defines
anyone who has
an agency, i.e.,
Impacting or being
impacted by
The described context.
[42] duhigg, 2012

A. The first Step is identifying the routine: what is the repetitive

behavior that we are trying to change? This is possible through
interviews, diaries and cultural probes. Example: eating chocolate
every night.
B. To identify the cue and the reward, perform experiments: Ask
the person to - when feeling the urge to execute the routine - create a
different routine, generating a different reward. The first thoughts of
each experiment should be documented on a sheet of paper. A few
minutes later the action should be repeated in order to evaluate whether the urge remains. In the event a different reward fulfills the urge,
the cause that generated the old habit has most likely been identified.
The experiments objective is to try to understand if the urges origin
is really to eat the chocolate or if the increased level of sugar is
compensating a feeling of loneliness, for instance.

Possible solution: every time you want to eat chocolate, go for a

walk or call someone.
C. Isolate the cue: identifying the cue may not be an easy task;
therefore, try focusing on one aspect at a time, considering the
excess of information can be a difficult obstacle. There are five types
of cues: place (where the person is?); time (what time it is?); emotional
status (how they are feeling?); other people (who is around them?);
and immediately preceding the action. When the urge appears, ask
the person to write the answers from this information on a piece of
paper and evaluate the results a few days later.
D. The fourth step is having a plan and replacing the non-beneficial routine by another that brings the same reward. This can
be intensified by gamification techniques.
After applying the techniques to define the issue, make a mission
checklist [43]
[ ] gamification goals
What is the central issue that needs to be worked on?
Is the issue relevant to the company/business?
[ ] behaviors
What is the current undesirable behavior?
Why do people show this behavior?
To what behavior should it be changed into?
Why is this behavior change needed?
Who benefits from this change?
How can the player benefit from this change?
Is the behavior stimulated in an agreement over the businesss
needs and goals?
[ ] environment/context
In which context will the game be inserted in?
How this context or game is physically constituted?
Is it a noisy or busy environment?
What are the rules and limitations imposed by the environment?


[ ] platform (Defines limits, spaces even virtual of actions.

Knowing in which environment the game will take place, one may
think about which platform is more appropriate.) What is the most
appropriate platform for your game? Board game, computer game,
mobile game, physical activity? What is the interface between the
player and the game?
Step 2: Understanding who the players are
With the problem defined, it is important to further comprehend
who the players are and how their efforts could be applied to the
solution or which of their behaviors need to be changed.
Persona Personas are archetypes, fictional characters based
on the analysis of observed behaviors, and represent a variety of
needs, motivations, wishes and expectations from extreme profiles.
It is a synthesis technique that helps the design process by giving an
overview of significant users aspects that need to be considered when
developing ideas for products and services focused on experiences. It
is also a form of facilitating the alignment of users information among
all stakeholders involved in the project, supporting decision-making.
Some of the characteristics that should be included in a Persona
created for a gamification project are:
genre: as defined in Chapter 2, there are gender differences with
games. Men tend to prefer challenging games where they can
obtain a deep command. They are stimulated by competition and
can enjoy destroying things. They tend to learn by trial and error and
are attracted to spatial or 3D puzzles. Women tend to prefer games
that explore emotion, similar to reality. They are attracted to dialog
and verbal puzzles and like to learn from examples. [44]
age: as also defined in Chapter 2, different periods of life can impact
the way games are inserted into routines. Children 7-9 y/o are at the
age of reason, they can already read and therefore become more
interested in games. From 10 to 13 y/o, they move forward to the
age of obsession, when they become passionate about their interests. People from 25 to 35 y/o dedicate themselves to professional
growth, and some of them have a casual relationship with games.
Its common for people from 50 on, to be interested in games they
liked during childhood, and they tend to feel attracted by activities
with strong social appeal.
[43] Adapted from
herger, 2013
[44] schell, 2008

professional information: What do they do for work? What

is their job title? How are the dynamics of the department in which
they work? What are the challenges involved in their daily tasks?


What are their career aspirations? When applying gamification to

the corporate context, this relevant information can become crucial
to finding motivation in players.
type of player: is your player a Killer, an Achiever, Explorer or a
behavior axes: identify the relevant polarities of your project and
evaluate each persona according to the polarities. An example of
polarity can be introverted x extroverted.
generation: as explained in Chapter 3, different generations
have different behavior patterns. The Baby Boomer Generation, for
example, identifies through competition, hierarchical systems. The X
Generation is pragmatic, individualistic, and does not tolerate failure.
The Y Generation, who grew up living with video games and Internet,
needs immediate feedback, adopts more collaborative behavior and
learns by doing so.
As an activity, create a set of personas that represent various
aspects identified in the field, and assign them stories, phrases and
names to bring this archetype to life.


Name, age

Personas description
attitudes, habits, behavior

Main attributes
describe and record your accordance level


A typical quote
from the persona


[ ] "players"
Who is the player?
What are their demographic and behavioral characteristics?
What activities the player performs?
What type of player they are?
Are there other people engaged in the game (ex: supervisors)?

Step 3: Design principles and gamification strategy mission

With a clearer understanding of the problem and the players, establish the design principles for your game. These are guidelines that lead
the project, so that critical issues are not neglected.
Create a principle list from analyzing the collected data, concerning
the business objectives. This will represent the principles in which to
be aware of in all stages of the project, serving as a tool to analyze and
select generated ideas.
Examples of principles: to activate cooperation, stimulate information exchange among players; players should learn by doing.
gamification strategy mission
Considering the design principles, define the mission. It is the games
reason to be, the main objective of your gamification initiative. The
mission consolidates needs found on previous development phases
into clearly outlined actions, therefore, reachable. Defining missions
is extremely significant for the game to be successful and appealing
among players.
Try to create well specified and measurable missions instead of
suggesting generic activities such as improving sales. Try to be
more objective and specific: stimulating employees to share daily
information about best sales practices, for example.
[ ] mission
Are the design principles in agreement with the initial projects challenge?
Are the design principles aligned with the businesss goals?
Is the game mission clear, specific, achievable and measurable?


Step 4: Develop ideas for the game

Armed with the problem definition, the context in which it appears,
the understanding of business objectives, the peculiarities of the
players, and having defined a mission; the next step is to develop
ideas to determine a game format. Relevant questions are: What
story do you want to tell through the game? What will the games
theme be? What will be the game aesthetics?
Think of an existing game that can serve as a baseline for determining
the objective and mission of your gamification initiative, considering
that establishing analogies is an efficient way to generate good ideas.
The "force-fitting" technique consists of combining stimuli of different
symbolic universes to create new associations. This can be done through analogies, metaphors or random stimuli. For example, "tracking
sales target" + "Farmville" = for each sale made, a new plant is added to
the player's garden.
It is the most traditional technique for developing ideas, in which a
group meets to suggest a greater possible amount of solutions to
a given problem. While brainstorming, ideas should not be judged
or blocked, in order to establish a comfortable environment for
thought expression.
Create as many ideas as you can, then discuss them with the
group and make a pre-selection. After getting feedback from others,
try developing the idea as thoroughly as possible before proceeding
to the next step.
Some tips for developing ideas
Write down all your ideas.
Try to see the problem from different angles: conduct brainstorming sessions at unusual places, move to other rooms.
Try to develop ideas acting hypothetically as someone else: If I
were a millionaire, how would I solve the issue?
What if I were famous? What if I were a child? What if I were a
When ideas are not flowing, go home, let your brain rest and think
about it again the next day when youre well rested.
Set a theme and a game aesthetic, because these elements play
a major role in establishing a symbolic context that helps the player
to understand rules and objectives from previous knowledge.


Aesthetics is the games appearance, smell, taste and sensations.

[45] To create a good experience, the mechanics, the story and
theme elements should be considered to reinforce it. For example,
the Mario Bros. games aesthetics is of fantasy, colorful worlds that
resemble buildings and structures full of life.
The story, however, is a series of events unfolding within the
game and needs to be reinforced with mechanics. Following Mario
Bros example, the games story is about saving the princess and
the journey the short mustached man faces to accomplish his
mission. All these elements must be combined so that the objective
of providing a consistent experience to the player is achieved.
[ ] theme
Which theme represents the games objectives?
Does the metaphor make sense for the players and the games
[ ] story
Does the story have the potential to engage players?
[ ] aesthetics
Which aesthetic do you want to focus on for the game?
Does the aesthetic reinforce and consolidate the story?
Step 5: Definition of the game and its mechanics
At this time, the activity mechanics are ready to begin the designing process.
Every game should have a clear definition regarding its goals
and duration. The game may end when a player achieves an
objective, it can last for a certain amount of time or it can be
infinite. One way to keep players' interest for longer periods of time
is with the creation of cycles or editions, as game makers do when
releasing new versions from time to time. In a game with a cumulative score, incoming players may feel discouraged to compare
their progress with what was achieved by the leaders. In this case,
cycles that reset scores help bring in new players.
Another way to keep engagement is thinking of the games dramatic arc. This is a device derived from literary and cinematic arts, which
helps the player think in an engaging experience from start to finish.
[45] schell, 2008



BoomWowWowWOWBOOMAhhh... [46]
Besides being a giant onomatopoeia, "Boom-Wow-Wow-WOW-BOOM-Ahhh ..." is a theory that, if properly assimilated, can forever
change the perception that you, the reader, have of your own life. It
must be clarified that this audacious assumption is not mystical
or religion based, since such a theory is only an ingenious attempt
to transmit to the world the backbone of one of the most popular
dramatic arches in the history of art and not coincidentally, serves
as an explanation of what is behind the events that will probably be
the most memorable of any persons existence.
So, in a script of a play, at lunch on Sunday afternoon, in a
professional trajectory, on a trip with the family, or even in a video
game, you can be sure, whatever the circumstance, if they have the
vocation to become minimally significant experiences in the ordinary course of our routine, the "Boom-Wow-Wow-WOW-BOOM-Ahhh
...", will show up, in a relatively obvious way. To simplify, in practice,
each expression represents a type of emotion, at a given intensity,
which, when chained together, supposedly would capture the peak
of interest and human involvement. Still very complicated? Maybe
it will be better illustrated by a very familiar example: the classic
James Bond movie.
1ST Boom: note that all James Bond movies always start with a
chasing scene, sometimes the continuation from a previous TV Show
episode. This sequence grabs the audiences attention, and at the
same time, confirms that its worth it to keep seated, because the
best is yet to come. It is the first spark of the script, or rather the first
"Boom" of the movie. After facing fierce danger, 007 goes back to his
sweet routine in London and visits the laboratory where all the awesome gadgets are being created [47] guns shoes, wristwatches with
devices to climb walls etc.) and he will use them against his enemies
in the next hour and a half.

1st wow: the triviality of daily life in the British capital is suddenly
interrupted by a new mission that will put him back in action, this time
untying the knots of the screenplay that will lead this particular movie.
Before he knows it, Bond is involved in a frantic chase scene through
the streets of Paris, not so unpredictable, but something that can
make the viewer stop chewing his popcorn for a moment, look at the
person beside him and say: wow.
2ND Wow: The fact is that just one "Wow" doesnt make a summer
blockbuster; the sequence that makes it worth paying for the ticket
and that justifies another movie in the saga has just started. Now
the "Wow" needs to be a little louder, to be heard from the back row
of the theater. What if Bond were being chased by ten KGB agents
on top of the railroad cars of a train at dangerously high speeds on
the Siberian railroad?
3RD WOW: to avoid breaking the established electrifying rhythm and
potentially cause a collective "WOW" to the audience, the formula is
to engage 007 to an even more sinister threat, an even more exotic
and unfamiliar place, like a motorboat chase across flaming rice
plantations in Southeast Asia, while having his voodoo doll pierced
by the local sorcerer who was hired by the countrys dictator.

[46] Freely inspired by

Adam Lawrence,
co-founder of WorkPlayExperience,
German Consultancy
On service innovation,
That uses theater methods in their projects.
[47] Gadget: is an
equipment (device)
With an specific
purpose, practice and
Daily useful. It is usual to
Call Gadgets, the
portable Electronic
devices such as
PDAs, cellphones,
smartphones MP3
players, among others.

2ND BOOM: ok, if the movie was a roller-coaster, we would now be

on the highest spot before the big drop that puts butterflies in our
stomachs. In the script, its time to feed the critics, those that, hopefully, the audience will want to share with their friends, the scene
that consumed half of the movies yearly budget: Bond takes from
the inside of an alligator's mandible, the leg of an enemy soldier
and uses it to stop the propellers of his motorboat, which explodes
producing such an intense fire ball that it ends up also inflaming the
dictators helicopter, who had ordered Bonds death and who was
watching the chase from the above.
Ahhhh: but what now, what else could possibly be thought of
to overcome so much adrenaline? Is this the way the movie really
ends? With everyone thinking that James Bond is a demigod
endowed with unparalleled sagacity and so therefore his story is
completely implausible and disconnected from audiences reality?
Of course not! The very instant the British agent sails off the
coast of Greece celebrating the amazing victory, he realizes that
his Hungarian girlfriend is actually a double agent, and that he is
the victim of an ambush: the champagne is poisoned! Ahhh, he
also makes a mistake, he is like any one of us, thinks the relieved
audience. Apparently, evil still remains unpunished, at least until

the next movie. So, if the above example was not didactic enough,
evidence of "Boom-Wow-Wow-WOW-BOOM-Ahhh ..." can even be
found in the way the experience is thought by the audience of Magic
Kingdom, Disney's premier theme park.
In this case, the problem that was identified was that each visitor
goes through their own journey and there is a likely chance that the
visitor leaves the forgotten attractions that never has a line, for the
entire day, which could contribute to a negative perception of the
whole experience.
What did Disney marketers do about it? Created the Electrical
Parade (super illuminated parade that occurs on the Main Street and
stops all the parks attractions) and fireworks, just to make sure that
everyone would go home after a legitimate "BOOM" followed by an
"Ahhh ...".
Need more examples? How about the core rituals of the Catholic
Church? Birth, baptism, first communion, confirmation, marriage,
extreme unction: "Boom-Wow-Wow-WOW-BOOM-Ahhh ...". And
how about the traditional relationship journey? Flirting, first kiss, dating, engagement, marriage, sex, although the order of these steps
may vary. Now I think that at the very least it must have been easier
to understand why you cannot eat dessert before the meal, watch
Return of the Jedi before The Empire Strikes Back, learn to skate
before riding a bike, listen to the Beatles before the Rolling Stones...
According to the participants profile and the context, try to define
what players interaction frequency are with the platform.
If the dynamic conducted inside a company is running smoothly,
the player can have more interactions a week, once a day, or even
many times a day. The frequency needs to be well-defined to keep
engagement without making the game boring, and without disturbing all other activities performed by the player.
Mechanics are designed to clarify to the player what objectives
should be pursued and what happens after performing each
action. Although there is no definite classification, there are several
mechanics that can be used for a game. Objects are all things that
can be seen or handled: characters, records, scores. Each object
has attributes (object characteristics or what an object can perform,
such as "maximum speed") and states (variable momentary characteristics, such as "current speed"). Actions correspond to what the
players do, and always involve consequences. Rules lead the game
from how it should be played to how the player should behave.


Mechanics list [48]

Achievements (for example, badges, score, rewards)
Comments, followers, ratings
Dynamic commitment: the player needs to go back to a specific
time to perform certain action (for example, Farmville)
To avoid punishment (the player needs to perform the action to
avoid being punished)
Happy productivity (participating in a game is such a pleasant
activity that it makes people happier when playing than when
doing nothing)
Disincentives (lose points as punishment to stimulate behavior
Significant results (epic meaning): motivation from the perception
that the effort applied is to achieve something important, significant
Modifiers: items influencing other actions (e.g., multiply points in
the next action)
Dynamic progression: progress bar
Reward Programming: wins reward X, when action Y is performed,
within Z period of time
Viral mechanic: game element that requires many players (for
example: Farmville [49]: you become more popular if you have more
people playing with you)

[48] Source: techcrunch.

[49] FarmVille is a
farming simulation
social network game
developed by Zynga in
[50] radoff, 2011

List of motivators considered fun [50]

Recognizing patterns
Finding random treasures
Achieving a sense of completion
Gaining recognition for achievements
Creating order out of chaos
Customizing virtual worlds
Gathering knowledge
Organizing groups of people
Noting insider references
Being the center of attention
Experiencing beauty and culture
Exchanging gifts
Imagining yourself as a character (hero, villain, wise old man, rebel,

magician, ruler)
Pretending to live in a magical place
Listening to a story
Predicting the future
Psychoanalyzing (understanding others motivation)
Mastering a skill
Exacting justice and revenge
Triumph over conflict
Experiencing the Freakish or bizarre behavior
Being silly
Being scared
Strengthening a familys relationship
Improving ones health
Imagining a connection with the past
Explore a world
Improving society
[ ] game duration
What are the games duration rules?
How is the players experience curve?
[ ] interaction frequency
How often will the player interact with the platform?
[ ] game mechanic
What are the mechanics that lead the game?
Are the mechanics engaging for the players?
Do the mechanics help reach the games initial objectives?
[ ] scoring
Is the score balanced? Is it fair?
What do players feel when they lose?
[ ] rewards
Are there any rewards in the game?
Are there risks that the rewards are destroying intrinsic interests?


Step 6: Low, Medium and/or High Fidelity Test

Prototypings objective is to validate the idea that has ben developed, as well as to obtain input to improve it. A prototype is anything
tangible that allows you to incorporate learning. By doing so, the
team that produces the game learns about it when simulating
concepts and actions with future users, a process that involves, as a
consequence, input to improve the proposal. This is the concept of
iteration: continuous improvement of an idea for it to develop according to the users needs, before more time and money are invested.
Therefore, prototypes help to reduce the projects uncertainties and
the risks essential to its implementation.
These tests do not necessarily need to occur only when the
game is completely designed; they can be conducted at an earlier
time, in order to validate the concept. There are different ways to
make a prototype: high or low fidelity (object similarity accuracy
and real interactions) and contextuality (public similarity accuracy
and real interaction contexts). It usually starts with low-fidelity and
low-contextuality prototypes and as the game is improved and
iterated, the prototypes fidelity can increase. There is no pre-set
or recommended duration in the prototyping phase, since each
project presents different complexities and questions that need to
be clarified in different moments.

It is a sequential representation of a story or action, performed visually. Several techniques can be used, such as drawing, photography
or collages. Storyboards are useful to enable the viewing of the
game's narrative, or the experience the user will have when playing.
paper prototyping
Representations of graphic or product interfaces made on paper.
It may have different fidelity levels, since the sketch of a freehand wireframe [51] to the printed drawing of an interface with all its details,
colors and final proportions. These schemes are both to enable
designers to visualize and optimize their work in a tangible way
and to conduct interaction tests with users, simulating a functional
interface. It is a low cost prototype, and serves very well as a first
validation of the score mechanics.


volumetric modeling
Volumetric representations of the interface or game, which vary in
levels of fidelity according to the stipulated purpose, can be built
with simple materials (paper, cardboard, modeling clay etc.), or
more elaborated - composed of various materials and painted to
simulate the color and finishing of the product that will be manufactured - are useful to test the mechanics without the high cost of
To test the games dynamics, it is possible to simulate its functions
by using low fidelity prototypes. As an example, prototype software
developed by MJV was created to assist sales teams to adapt their
sales pitch according to the clients profile and track transactions. An
analogical game board was used to represent the systems dashboard. For every sale, new information was manually added to the
dashboard. To check the Quiz feature (questions that automatically
appear in the system with the objective of training), a member of the
innovation team simply printed the questions on a sheet of paper and
tested them with the sales team. Each correct answer granted an
element on the board. Thus, it was possible to test the concept, the
interactions, the feedback and the games scores.


Prototyping Tips
Conduct tests quickly and early in the process
Initially, do not think about improving the prototype quality: any
tangibilization attempt will likely help you clarify issues and improve the concept
Do not stick to ideas: if during the prototyping phase better solutions appear, do not hesitate on embracing them.

Prototyping serves to evaluate all defined points so far: concept,
engagement, mechanics, aesthetics, and story, as well as getting
participants feedback upon what needs to be improved.
[ ] evaluation
Evaluate the games mechanics: Did it work with the participants?
Evaluate the score: Is the score attribution model fair?
Evaluate the games concept: Did the mechanics make sense for
the players?
Did players have fun with the game?
Step 7: Implementation and monitoring
After the games implementation, its necessary to constantly
manage and evaluate the need for implementing changes. So, it is
important to have well-established metrics to validate the players
actions, motivation and engagement.
Step 8: Measuring and evaluation
Some suggestions on measurements related to metric evaluation,
have affinity with the purposes commonly associated to corporate
games: [52]

[51] Wireframe: The

website Wireframe is
a basic visual guide
Used in Interface
Design, in order
To suggest a web
site structure and
the relationships
among its pages.
Usually, wireframes are
part of the first stages of
a website development.
[52] Adapted from
herger, 2013

Regarding engagement
Average/Median number of actions
Number of users performing actions
Number of times users return
Progression of users throughout the experience
Level of satisfaction shown by players


Regarding time spent

Players retention
Frequency of visits to the platform
Response time to proposed challenges
About the achieved ROI
Number of active participants
Productivity increase
Cost reduction
Sales figures increase
Regarding Quality
Completion of task
What can go wrong? [53]
Even after carefully planning the gamification initiative, it is possible
for something not to work out as expected. The following items assist identification of possible impasses that may appear and should
be considered during the planning stage:
Inadequacy to business goals. It is always important to emphasize: if the gamification initiative is not appropriate for the companys
objectives as a whole, or to some stakeholders involved, it may
prevent the games adherence and implementation process.
Inadequacy to the companys culture. The game inadequacy to
the companys culture can cause estrangement and low engagement of players
Lack of clarity on the players value proposition. A score
without value proposition simply will not engage players for long
periods of time.
Lack of engagement in short term. This can occur due to lack
of communication from the initiative, or even the players demand
for the adaptation time. If there is little initial engagement, try to
identify the people who are motivated and try to discover how to
turn them into disseminators for this behavior. Often, it is enough
for a small group to start engaging in the game in order to have a
cascading effect.
Lack of long-term engagement. It is likely that the game has


become monotonous, i.e., the flow between challenge and difficulty

level is not appropriate. A game needs to be challenging but
achievable, and this balance is difficult to obtain. For long lasting
games, we recommend the inclusion of cycles, renewing the subject
or resetting the score.
Games Obsolescence (lack of management). Like any product
or service, it is important to monitor and update objectives to adapt
them to new parameters that can show up. To keep the game alive,
plan to insert new cycles from time to time. Players are stimulated by
continuous change because it helps bring freshness to the games
Lack of dynamics. The game can be inserted into the players
habits when considering the dynamics, frequency of interaction and
status updates. Social networks are a good example of frequently
updated content that arouses curiosity and recurrent visits by users.
Unfair scoring. Cheating is common in games, so get used to the
idea that players will try to break the rules or seek loopholes that
grant them advantages. When the other participants perceive such
behavior, they relate it to the game mechanics permissiveness. So,
try to pre simulate all possible interactions in order to avoid jeopardizing the projects credibility.
Lack of management involvement. The support and involvement
of senior staff are fundamental for the game to succeed and to
promote changes in the corporation. To facilitate this adherence, you
can assign specific roles for managers in the game, so they perceive
themselves indispensable to the process or even allow their experience to contribute to the elimination of possible planning mistakes.
Lack of encouragement in moments of fatigue. After some
time, it is quite common for some players to experience moments of
fatigue. This can happen due to various reasons, like poorly defined
mechanics, or by external pressures, as exceptionally troubled times
in the department. Given this situation, incentive campaigns can
help reversing this condition. Some possibilities are: give visibility to
the players achievements, send stimulating emails, and schedule
meetings between players to share experiences, among others.

[53] Source: hrexaminer.


Poorly planned scoring system. The player should always believe

that progressing and reaching the top ranking position is possible. If
there are players with extremely high score, the task of reaching the
top may seem unfeasible, reducing the motivation when playing.


Tasks that do not make sense with players routine. This can
impair adherence for the game if the tasks represent an increased
amount or the duplication of work.
In addition to the Step-by-Step process, an interesting alternative
in developing corporate games, especially when you do not have
much time, is through workshops. From a collaborative and pretty
straightforward dynamic system, it becomes possible to organize
ideas and concepts that, in the following moment will serve as
resources for games development. The following is a suggested
format that has been used by MJVs Technology & Innovation team
to make the gamification process tangible with executives from
various segments.


Game Design Thinking Workshop

Expected length: 2hr | number of participants: from 8 to 15
Graphic Material used available for download at gamificationbook.com

Activity 1: Warm up
1) Perfect World
(group activity expected length: 10 minutes)
objective: to facilitate abstract thinking for problems, relativizing
possibilities of resolution.
proposal: participants describe in a few words how it works
according to their company or their department.
2) One Word Story
(group activity expected length: 10 minutes)
objective: motivate players to practice solving issues in a collaborative way.
proposal: participants stand up in a circle and tell a collective story
where each persons part continues by what was told by the predecessor. Depending on the number of participants, and how funny the
story is, going around the circle numerous times can be considered.
participant 1: Yesterday I went to the beach and I saw something that
shocked me
participant 2: Indeed, I saw a talking fish
Initial suggested theme: When arriving at the company, I met the
director, who with a scared look told me: A misfortune has just

Capture: Understanding the problem

Activity 2: What is the problem?
(individual activity expected length: 15 minutes)
required material: adhesive dots; 10 problem cards
objective: create a strategic mapping of problems that can be
approached by the game being developed.


proposal: participants are invited to write down, for five minutes,

what the key problems are (one per card) related to the area where
the game will be applied. Following, among the problems listed
by them, the more relevant one should be chosen, and pinned to
the wall. When all suggested problems are shown, everybody shall
stand up and fix the adhesive dots (two per person) from the two
problems they consider more critical.
Transformation: approaching the problem from new angles
Activity 3: Stop and Go Ideation
(group activity expected length: 10 minutes)
objective: switch moments of ideation and reflection, in order to
allow full exploitation of ideas generated by brainstorming.
required material: ideation cards (one per group)
containing a space to stick the problem removed from the wall and
space to transcribe possible solutions
proposal: after a collective evaluation, the top rated problems (one
per group) should be put aside to be used in the next step of the
Activity. The remaining problems are to be distributed to the groups
(one for each), which will be invited to conduct a brainstorming
session to solve them. Each series will have three minutes time,
followed by a one-minute silent break and reflection about what has
just been proposed. This module is repeated a total of two times. It
is recommended that the ideas shown during the activity should be
considered when designing the game.
Activity 4: Superhero
(Group activity expected length: 15 minutes)
objective: from an abstract proposition, this activity aims to expand
the horizon of possible solutions to generate narratives and more
creative concepts for the game that will be developed by the team.
required material: superheroe cards Super Man, Iron Man,
Batman, Spider Man
a) Each group receives a card with a specific superhero and needs
to list their super powers within 5 minutes,.
Online research using smartphones are welcome, once it is fundamental to begin a well-done list, considering the risk of jeopardizing
the next step.

b) Once the super heroes characteristics are defined, each group receives one of the top rated problems in activity 1, devoting 10 minutes
to determine how the superhero could use his super powers to solve
the challenge.
Pause: 10 minutes

Implementation: convert ideas into reality

Activity 5: Gamify the solution
(Group activity expected length: 30 minutes)
objective: with the supposed solution to the problem, the groups
are challenged to create a game that helps them to translate the
developed solution to practice.
required material: playing cards; challenge/actions; rules/
proposal: By fulfilling cards with definitions for the main aspects
to create a game (Who is the player?; What are their challenges/
actions?; What are the rules/limitations?), each group will develop
an itinerary for the game they intend to create. The records corresponding to each aspect are fulfilled, one by one, in agreement to the
suggested order and pause:
Card 1: The player (10 minutes)
Card 2: Challenges and Actions (10 minutes)
Card 3: Rules and Limitations (10 minutes)
Activity 6: Results Presentation
(Group activity expected length: 20 minutes)
proposal: each group will have five minutes to explain how the
game they created works.
Activity 7: Final Considerations
(collective activity expected length: 15 minutes)
objective: brainstorm among participants the perception about
the activity and understand how it can be extended in the professional routine of each one of them.


Gamification Canvas
If you dont have much time
or you are alone, its ok,
there is still one last trick
hidden up our sleeve:


Games aspects definition

Which is the most adequate
platform for the game
(board, computer, physical

Are there other people to

engage on the game (for
example, supervisors)?
What departments within
the company should
support the game?
In what way?

What criteria defines the

game s length?
How often will the player
interact with the platform?
What are the games rules?
Which activities the player
should do in the game?

Scores and rewards

How does the score
mechanics work?
What awards are offered to
the player?

Costs, difficulties, obstacles

What are the costs of implementation and maintenance foreseen
in the game?
Which difficulty and obstacles
can influence implementation or
success of the game?


Business objectives

Games environment

Players characteristics

What are the business

objectives that have to
be reached through the

What is the story/topic

of the game? How will it
engage the player?

Who is the player of

this game? (Behavior
demographics, habits and
activities he accomplishes).

Which behavior should

be modified through the

To create the games

environment, consider
the real context where the
player is inserted.

Games objectives
What is the games mission
(what achievements should
be reached by the player)?
The games mission
should be clear, specific,
reachable and measurable
and in agreement with the
business objectives.

Expected benefits
What results are expected
to be reached at the games
How would the games
results be measured?


What kind of a player is

he and how does this
shape the game (predator,
conquistador, explorer,


Looking forward! Whats to
come in the future?

Experience indicates that weaving conjectures for what's yet to

come is an often unappreciative job, but in what other way is there
to end a book then throwing ourselves in the assumptions field,
particularly when seeking answers to a possible question: after all,
what does the future hold for gamification? Although there is no
pretension in knowing, nowadays, the answer, some evidence shows that composing the current scenario of the application for this
methodology indicates possible paths that can be followed. In fact,
while the use of game mechanics gradually increases as a subject
of interest, it is natural to expect higher sophistication as a result of
the proposed use of such mechanics as well as a broader objective
scope, which can be achieved with the method.
A trend that definitely has a good chance to prevail is self-development through games. Considering the likely improvement
of Game Design as science, emergent technologies and higher
incidence of professionals working in this area, its not difficult to
foresee that in the upcoming years a proliferation of applications
designed to gamify any process of objective achievement will occur.
From augmented reality, less artificial interfaces, the remote control
by gesture or devices that recognizes emotion; it will be common,
for example, to find physical exercise programs able to "read"
the true condition of its users and recommend possibly another
sequence of activities, adapting them to the circumstances in the
same moment.
Still on the health field, it is also expected that there is an
exponential increase in the use of applied gamification to prevent
the incidence of chronic diseases or monitor higher efficiency and
practicality of the patients that require special attention.
With detailed and real-time monitoring of biometric data,
customization of metrics and rewards related to the well-being,

health professionals might be more easily involved in the care of

their patients, bringing more assertiveness for treatments or even
increasing the adherence index especially for long treatments.
There are already discussions about the possibility of applications with these features potentially reducing the need for hospitalization, considering that more precise monitoring of the patients
condition, in some circumstances, could allow them to remain at
home, making hospital beds more available for severe cases.
Maybe education could be one of the areas with bigger expectations regarding the extension of benefits that can be achieved
through gamification. In the opinion of renowned experts, it is only
a matter of time until the schools include games aspects in learning,
making the universal education curriculum more flexible towards
a better adaptation to each students individuality. To illustrate this
hypothesis, a language teaching program whose content is directly
associated with particular experiences and expectations of the
student in question may be quoted, providing classes created from
their personal interests or practical experiences they may have had
on the previous days.
In the public sphere, it is expected that the data extraction from
Big Data in higher flow and better defined purposes will provide
an extremely conducive climate to gamification, since there will
be numerous opportunities to produce metrics and performance
indicators conditioned to any interactions between citizens and governments. You can imagine, for example, a taxation model linking
tax rates to the amount of garbage generated by a person over a
year, or even to their contribution to a criminal mapping program on
their neighborhood.
We must also mention that the paradigm change is likely to occur
related to how virtual simulators are used today. The technological
advent expected for the coming years can effectively make them so
believable that the concept of experimenting could be replaced by
"experiencing", since the evidence to attest the non-veracity of the
proposed situation tends to be despicable.
Simulations, therefore, would not be limited only to reproducing
risky circumstances or promoting training, but creating factual interaction environments, with entertainment or socializing purposes,
for example.
In corporate context, we can witness a systematic transition from
marketing oriented model to game oriented model, due to
the diversification of purposes being reached within corporations,
and from its subsequent application to areas that, under the current
point of view, seem to have low familiarity with the theme. It is also

possible to obtain a look into the near future, where work and entertainment become inextricably linked, binding personal satisfaction
to productivity increase, as suggested by some studies that already
refer to this new professional reality as Playbor (play+labor) or
Weisure (work+pleasure).
The simple consideration of these terms incites the imagination
of this environmental preponderance that suggests a more symbiotic relationship between individuals and corporations, consolidating
in a management and production model without paradigms that
were brought on by the 21st century.
According to this scenario, the absolute value of a company
would not be restricted only to the sum of the monetary patrimony
of its shareholders, but it would also be an important indicator that,
despite it almost never comes out in trading proceedings, it is essential for any organizations future: Social Capital corresponding
to its employees satisfaction.
Under this aspect, which narrows the gap between personal and
professional goals, gamification would be a natural complement
to the established order, forming teams of individual development
oriented towards collective goals and managers identified as
orchestra conductors rather than lion tamers.
When rules and goals are to be perfectly achieved, the result
most frequently observed is of players engaged in seeking out
innovative solutions for the challenges they face and feel more
confident while achieving them. It is likely that the vast majority of
todays corporations are not yet ready to get into this game, but at
this stage in the book, who would dare disagree that the first ones
who know how to do it would obtain the laurels of victory? Are these
daydreams or prediction of a new era? We soon shall know.


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Diamonds, Spades: Players Who
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about the authors

Ysmar Vianna
Electrical Engineer from ITA (1966), masters in electrical engineering
and computer science from UCB - University of California at Berkeley (1969), PhD in computer science from UCB (1972). With extensive
academic career, he was a pioneer in computing in Brazil, and
participated as an instructor to Coppe / UFRJ to the first computer
facility at the University, in 1967. He created the course Informatics
UFRJ, and was Head and Director of the Department of Computer
Science at NCF / UFRJ. He coordinated innovation projects for
MJVs clients such as Coca-Cola, BR Distribuidora, Ita, Porto
Seguro, Dufry, Icatu Seguros and Government of Rio de Janeiro.
Maurcio Vianna
Computer Engineer from PUC-RJ (1990), masters in computer
science at ITT- Illinois Institute of Technology (1992) and a PHD in
computer science at ITT (1995). He has worked as a Consultant
for the Chicago Board of Trade Clearing Co. (USA) Performance
Computing Inc. (USA), Fairchild & Miller Inc. (USA), R & R Donnelley
(USA), Banco Boavista, Secretaria Municipal de Finanas do Rio de
Janeiro, Telefonia Celular Claro, Vivo and Oracle. He has participated in the development of Case (PCCase) tool in IBPI. He has several
technical papers published in international conferences IEEE and
ACM, in the object orientation and database area. He is currently
developing projects in the areas of Mobile Vas, innovation in auto
insurance / health and social systems. At MJV, he has worked with
clients such as Vivo, Zurich, Government of Minas Gerais, Claro,
Mapfre, SulAmrica Seguros and Mills.
Bruno Medina
Graduated in Marketing from PUC-RJ, he was a member of the
musical band Los Hermanos from 1997 to 2006. He has worked with
the channel Multishow developing new TV formats and has worked
with various print publications such as O Globo, Jornal do Brasil
and Trip magazine. Since 2007 he is a columnist with the Pop & Arts
section in the G1 portal. Since 2009, he has acted as an innovation
consultant for MJV, integrating projects performed for companies
like Icatu Seguros, Ita, and Mills. More recently, he became the
Head of the Gamification Initiative.

Samara Tanaka
Integrated Design Masters from Kln International School of Design
(2011), graduated in design by ESDI / Uerj (2004), worked with design
graphic design, information publishing and interaction in Tecnopop,
OEstudio, Om.art / Osklen, Flashpoint (USA). She is currently
a consultant for strategic innovation to MJV where she applies
Gamification to stimulate behavior changing in several contexts,
including companies such as Petrobras BR, Porto Seguro and Icatu
Seguros. She is an independent researcher in social innovation, a
Design Research lecturer at PUC-RJ, and has spent many sleepless
nights due to her fascination with games.
about the illustrator
Joo Rocha
Integrated Product Design Masters from TU Delft (2010), graduated
in Design from the University of Aveiro (2008). He has worked at
Guerrilla advertising for brands such as Diesel, O'Neill, Philips and
Greenpeace. With a visual facilitation, he has worked with Roche
and Adobe, and in events such as Ignite technology conferences
and lectures. After a short stay in the startups world, he moved to
Brazil, where he is currently an innovation designer for MJV, developing projects to help companies plan strategies for innovation,
having also done visual facilitation for companies like Coca-Cola
and SAP.


about mjv
With more than 17 years of experience in consulting, MJV has helped
some of the most renowned companies in the world with their technology and innovation challenges. Focusing on people and using Design
Thinking and Gamification Methods, we strive to discover smart and
actionable opportunities for businesses to grow, adapt and develop in
the face of change. With offices in Europe and America, the company
has a multidisciplinary team of over 300 employees graduated from
internationally renowned universities. Among the projects undertaken
in the Gamification area, we highlight the Change Management system
to implement SAP in a construction company and the gamification of
strategic planning for a multinational insurance company.
MJV also has a technological

area, focused on systems development, performance management BI /DW and customer relationship
management (CRM). In addition to the mentioned services, we can
also mention the startups incubator designed to identify and create
prototype models of promising business with our lean startup methods.
There is still our Mobile Integrator, connected to major Brazilian mobile
operators, bringing opportunities for companies that want to access
more than 250 million mobile phone users in the country.
These assets enable MJV to deliver end-to-end solutions to
business challenges.

9 Devonshire Square
ec2m4yf London, UK
Phone:+44 20 3586 1233
So Paulo
Rua Helena 280,
gr. 1103, Vila Olmpia
04552-050 So Paulo sp
Phone:+55 11 3045 0536
Rio de Janeiro
Av Marechal Cmara 160,
gr. 206, Centro
20020-080 Rio de Janeiro rj
Phone:+55 21 2532 6423
Mexico City
Phone: +52 1 844 1987038
San Francisco
Phone: +1 415 202 5230

General inquiries regarding all

If you are interested in Developing
Gamification Projects for your
company, contact us:
Maurcio Vianna, ceo global
Ysmar Vianna, president

For more information, please visit,


Gamification is the use of guided gaming mechanisms to

solve practical issues or to engage a specific audience. In a report
published in 2012, the Gartner Group announced that by 2015 about
50% of all global innovation processes will be gamified. In 2016,
according to the study, the Gamification market will be around
$2.8 billion. The development of this factual science comes from
a somewhat obvious finding: human beings are strongly attracted
to games. With increasing frequency, this set of techniques have
been applied by several companies as alternative tools to traditional
approaches, especially to encourage people to adopt certain
behaviors, to get to know new technologies, speed up their learning
or training procedures, and turning some tedious or repetitive tasks
into pleasant ones.
In a game, when rules and goals are clear, the most frequent result
observed is of engaged players looking for innovative solutions for
challenges. Who disagrees that this same behavior, when repeated
in a corporation, has the capacity to simply revolutionize the way
we think and execute our professional ideas? Through this book it
is possible to comprehend how Gamification has, not only helped
the biggest organizations to engage, socialize, motivate, teach and
build loyalty in an efficient way by employees and clients, as also to
become closer to a new way of thinking which its assimilation looks
essential for the understanding of the world today.
Learn more at gamificationbook.com