When I say Social Gaming I don't actually mean MMOs which are very social games & are indeed on the rise, I'm talking specifically when a company tries to teach something responsible through gamification.
Gamification is one of the latest buzz words but what does it truly mean?
Gamification is the use of game design techniques, game thinking and game mechanics to enhance non-game contexts. Typically gamification applies to non-game applications and processes, in order to encourage people to adopt them, or to influence how they are used.
Some may be using this to sell you something or just have you more interacted with their ads, some however also want to have a socially responsible message tucked in there.
Here are two examples of free games which are aimed at young people but actually have a nice message behind them but it doesn't mean they are any less addictive to games trying to advertise something.
A point and click sims-like game from Barclays, that sees your character robbed in the opening minutes and left with just £4 to their name.
But a chance meeting with the illusive Mr C could possibly change your fortunes. He sets you a task and gets you on your way to running the 56 Sage Street Empire.
In a game that aims to teach fiscal responsibilities it is strangely addictive and with trying to instil a hard work pays off mentality. That sees you taking odd jobs, banking (with no surprise Barclays) to save and pay direct debits and avoid certain risks it certainly is a nice take on teaching young people how to be responsible (but would recommend anyone to just try it out).
A game actually provided by TFL, a sort of lemmings like adventure that sees you trying to lead your friends across a city. This game aims to imprint road safety into the mind of its players; you may get away with running across the odd non zebra crossing but is it worth just in case luck isn't with you? A simple yet charming game that extends TFLs previous work to reduce road based accidents; it's a shame it only has four levels but with potential prizes on offer it may have replayability for some.
It's good to see games of this nature, not just the shoot someone in the face or fly through space that they are seen to only offer (even though those are the really fun kinds) but to see gaming as the medium to teach the new generation life skills, if we'll see a Banking with Barclays Vita game however is anyone's guess.
What do you think of gamification? Seen a similar example of gamification that I've missed?
Let me know in the comments below.
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