Gamification has been around for a while (by tech standards anyway) and has experienced hits and misses. Less than four percent of the population has ever checked in and companies such as Foursquare, which were supposed to take over the world, are scrambling to find a new business model (perhaps one that’s sustainable?).
These systems were heralded as a new way to exist and as a bold step in data collection. However, the far more interesting aspect of gamification is the subtle ways it’s infiltrating our lives.
Take the (relatively) new Coke Freestyle machines that are popping up everywhere. These machines are marketing genius wrapped in logoed plastic. Coke is swimming in data that provide consumer insight down to the square foot and the average person is grateful for the chance to unknowingly participate in the most honest preference survey in existence. Though, perhaps grateful isn’t even the right word, wildly ecstatic might be more appropriate.
It’s a brilliant leap forward in data collection and survey taking. There is far less risk of bias and far more information about context. It will be fascinating to see how this type of technology develops. Will the average consumer become resentful after the novelty wears off? Will they tire of having to play a mini video game every time they want a product? Can’t wait to see.