Twenty years ago, playing computer games surged in popularity and games such as as WarCraft 2, Quake, Duke Nukem 3D, Tomb Raider and Diablo were names on every teenager’s lips. The kids that played those games are now adults in the workplace, and interestingly, there are a number of parallels between the working environment and games where characters had to complete tasks and were rewarded for progress.
For this reason, a new trend has emerged in the work environment, one that caters to the mind-set imbued in us as children: playing games to win. Named “gamified productivity”, this trend uses game-styled interfaced that can be used on a computer or mobile device to encourage the completion of work-related tasks. This relieves boredom and engages the imagination of an employee, while appealing to their sense of fun and their competitive spirit. It also limits other distractions, such as mindless games (think Candy Crush Saga) or surfing Facebook. Research has shown that by using gamification apps, productivity can be increased by as much as 40%. Seartec takes a look at some of these apps and how they can help improve office efficiency.
Victories – an application where tasks are shown as “battles”. Completing tasks rewards you by levelling up your character and increasing your statistics. Putting tasks off is presented as surrendering. The app keeps track of your win-loss percentage and how long it takes you on average to complete a battle. The better you are the more conquests and achievements you will have.
HabitRPG – as you perform tasks and complete them you gain experience for your avatar and can level up. You also unlock pets and mounts as with popular massively online role playing games. There is even a multiplayer component where other HabitRPG players can assist you, offer advice or motivate you to reach your goals. As a means to motivate you to finish your tasks daily the game deducts points if you don’t complete your tasks.
Epic Win – an animated role playing game where your real-life accomplishments reward you with in-game points to level up your character, gain gold and improve your skills. Completing tasks allow you to move forward on a quest map with new locations and items (and rare items). You are able to share your accomplishments on social media. There is battle music as you complete your tasks and a history log of your achievements.
Challenge Accepted – generates your tasks into a Quest Log. It also has a multiplayer component such as social parties and tournament rankings. The former helps users accountable to each other while the latter fosters strong competition between players. Another unique feature is the Honour Code which discourages cheating and or abusing the to-do-lists.