Gamification is the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts. It can also be defined as a set of activities and processes to solve problems by using or applying the characteristics of game elements.
Gamification commonly employs game design elements to improve user engagement, organizational productivity, flow, learning, crowdsourcing, knowledge retention, employee recruitment and evaluation, ease of use, physical exercise and much more.
The majority of academic studies on gamification find it has positive effects on individuals due to increased engagement and better knowledge retention.
Gamification is a broad term but simply put, we are adding elements of game-related fun to a traditionally non-game activity.
It is highly likely you have already encountered gamification in some regard. Many apps on your phone use gamification techniques to encourage enagagement. Gamification techniques are intended to leverage people’s natural desires for socializing, learning, mastery, competition, achievement, status, self-expression, altruism, or closure, or simply their response to the framing of a situation as game or play.
Another approach to gamification is to make existing tasks feel more like games. Some techniques used in this approach include adding meaningful choice, onboarding with a tutorial, increasing challenge, and adding narrative.
These elements can be applied to a software application but also to physical activities. A good example is rewarding children with stars for completing tasks or learning. This simple example uses many of the core gamification elements to encourage participation.
There are many applications and examples of gamification in a heritage context, as well as many benefits. Natural and cultural heritage can often involve a degree of learning or engagement in a subject. Using gamification we can make the experience fun and the learning outcomes more engaging and meaningful. If we are having fun while engaging with our heritage we will ultimately have a positive association with the subject.
Using gamification in heritage it is also possible to encourage the public to actively participate in the collection and preservation of heritage. An example of this concept comes in the form of crowd-sourcing the general public to collect heritage data such as images or media. As they collect data, they are awarded badges and levels, thus encouraging further participation.
An Augmented Reality Treasure Hunt style game app for Skriduklaustur, Iceland. Developed by Locatify in cooperation with Birkir Brynjarssson as part of the CINE See The Past | Imagine The Future project.
The mobile app is part of an exhibition of the medieval monastery at Skriðu í Fljótsdalur . The game is designed to encourage education through an innovative use of augmented reality technology. Players learn about the history of the monastery through treasure hunt style and quiz games, as players search for clues and treasures using the phones camera and sensors.
The game involves customisation of your character and a scoreboard of game progress as users navigate their way through the site and exhibition.
The heritage walk was created by Donegal county museum, Ireland using Locatify’s content management system for making tours and games. No coding or advanced IT skills required!
A location based walking game where you have to discover historical sites and complete interactive challenges while competing against other players or teams.
The gamified tour encourages groups and families to walk the historic centre of Letterkenny with their smartphones. As players visit the town’s locations they complete mini, interactive challenges for points and treasures. The player or team with the most points at the end is the winner.
Creating a gamified heritage tour is more accessible than ever. Locatify offer a free content management system to create your own tours and add challenges such as quizzes and puzzles.
You can register and log in to the cms via your browser. The interface is relatively simple to use by placing pins on the map and adding the relevant information. Games can be tested in the browser as you author them and published at the press of a button.
Players access the tour via the free to use TurfHunt app available for both Android and iOS.
The Locatify platform has many applications beyond heritage such as education and tourism.