Rewiring: hand your customers the control

An interesting quora question “What is the next iteration of gamification” prompted a response. I suggest it will be “rewiring” where player-customers take control of the gamification rules of your service. Your service can become a platform for others to create their own gamified experiences perhaps to a subset of your community.

Gamification is currently focused on using mechanics to tweak individual player behavior – this is because it’s background is in relatively straight forward game design such as social games on Facebook. It’s also the right place to start when you begin gamifying your product or service.

But, the latest console and online games have evolved beyond the gameplay available in social games today, and I think it will be the mechanics used here that bring us the next generation of gamification. In the next generation the customers can change the rules themselves, leveraging your service and building their own, so I’m calling this rewiring (with a nod to Tim Allen’s “So I rewired it” (3min:20) comedy routine.)

Three trends in gaming I would pick, where rewiring is available are:

Creative Gaming – allowing players to create their own games such as tracks in ModNation Racers  or elements within games such as  ScribbleNauts to solve puzzles anyway they want.

Open Worlds – allowing players to do anything in the game world – witness the destruction engine on Red Faction Guerilla for example

Cross Device Gaming – allowing players to do different things on different devices, especially simultaneously. Using an Iphone to hold your scrabble letters while using your Ipad to hold the board.

What is Rewiring?

Rewiring involves deep change to your already gamified project by your players themselves. Rewiring may spawn a new service (just as a Facebook app sits ontop of the Facebook platform) or it may change your existing service (as a wiki editor changes a page for everyone).

Rewiring requires you to think about the way you are already gamifying your project and  fundamentally plan to for player-customers to affect it.

  • Creative gaming give partners the keys to your badge and reward program: For example, that might mean Tesco  allowing Kelloggs to piggy back their loyalty scheme and offer extra Club Card rewards for purchasing a “set of cereals”
  • Open worlds turn your home page into a user contributed wiki. For example, turning the Skittles.com home page into everything on social media that includes the keyword “skittles” (not their finest hour admittedly but for a smaller challenger brand this might have worked well)
  • Cross device experiences give super engaged customers a richer experience. For example, Bars wanting customers to stay for longer, could reward users if they Foursquare check in with both Iphone and Laptop.
If you’re wondering about rewiring then perhaps think about these questions?
  • Can you still offer exclusive rewards and content based on a badge if it was created by your customers?  How do you become a platform for others?
  • What if you open worlded your website as a wiki and then sharded it (allowed multiple simultaneous versions) based on customer type, geography or language.
  • How can you offer an enhanced experience to a customer who accesses your business from more than one device, simultaneously?

So what will rewiring mean for you? Is rewiring Gamification 2.0?

Toby Beresford

Toby is founder and CEO of Rise the success tracking network to track, publish and share success. He was the 2013 chair of Gamfed.com - the International Gamification Confederation and organises the UK Gamifiers meetup. As a gamification leader, he speaks at conferences and hosts workshops. Follow him on twitter @tobyberesford and Subscribe to this blog at Gamification Of Work blog feed

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