The gamification of the universe or nothing less!

This article is a cover of the article with the same name that was published this month in the journal Argus , co-written with Miss Claude Ayerdi .
Will gamification (or gamification) be the buzzword of the next decade, succeeding that of “social networks” that dominated the 2000s? And we are not just talking about FarmVille’s interference in your Facebook news feed or the recognition of the geek culture of video games, but the invasion of the game in all spheres of your life. This is the theory that the ninja-in-chief Mr. Seth Priebatsch , a young lecturer who made a splash at the South by South West festival, supports (SXSW) in March 2011. According to him, the game is not entertainment, but a way to approach and conceive life, nothing less … According to Priebatsch, we spent the last decade building a relationship layer on the world and we will spend the next to add a layer of game over, finally giving it all its meaning. The social layer has been completed by the creation of Facebook and the fun layer is currently in full development.

If we accept the premise that the gamification of society will grow in the coming years, what does this imply concretely for public space, culture and information? How will librarians be affected by this trend? And above all, how can we enjoy this one? Thus, even if it is theoretically impossible to predict the extent that gamification will take, we must already make sure to know the stakes to prepare to face it in an epic duel … or to make a friend! .

Gamification: adding a fun layer to an activity
” Gamification is a process of integrating game mechanics in a non-play environment ”

Prolixement, we could say that gamification is a process of integration of game mechanics in a non-play environment in order to increase its potential of appropriation, loyalty and pleasure. For ordinary people, it would add a notion of play (like gaining experience) to an activity to turn it into a fun experience .

One of the most frequently cited examples is that of points that can be accumulated with various credit or loyalty cards like Air Miles cards . If we observe how these maps work, we realize that it corresponds to the definition proposed above. Whenever you succeed in your quest (shopping at certain exclusive sellers), you gain a number of virtual points or, in other words, experience. This reward-based game mechanic allows players to redeem points for gifts.

Are you now able to name an example of gamification in society?
If so, you earn 1 bonus point.

The example of Air Miles is rather simple, but it goes without saying that there are several other concepts of gamification more rigorous and contemporary. We find in particular its integration into the physical activity ( Wii Fit , Your Shape: Fitness Evolved , etc.), in the cognitive development ( Brain Age , Cerebral Coach , NeuroActive, etc.) or in the valorization of the culture and the education in serious games ( Forestia, Ayiti: The Cost of Life , etc.). Even more representative, many websites offer rewards in the form of virtual badges. So, FourSquare , SensCritique and Kloutnow use achievement-based mechanics, better known in the world of video games as achievements .
In public spaces: transform your business into a fun experience
Do not think that libraries, fields sometimes hostile to innovation, are immune to these gamification processes. On the contrary , they are a prominent place to experience the fun wave. Reading clubs, for example, already use some elements of gamification to motivate reading among young people.

” Halfway between knowledge, education and culture, the library is one of the best environments for setting up gamification activities ”

As an institution halfway between knowledge, education and culture, we have one of the best environments for the implementation of gamification activities. We hope to create living environments, we want to interest our users while being meaningful institutions; it’s the essence of the concept of gamification! We could integrate it into reading tournaments, cultural trips, information hunts, and so on. The possibilities are limitless!