5 Examples of Gamification
in the Wild

by on 27th May 2013

Gamification could be defined as the application of concepts and techniques from games to other areas of activity; those activities ranging from assigning badges and points to users on sites such as Foursquare and Lockerz, to real life, sales team management via tools such as Bunchball’s Nitro platform. Whenever I talk about gamification, I insist on encouraging my audience to find ways to reward users for performing the actions most important to the growth of their business.

A few new gamification examples

Since my presentation on Gamification at Search Love, London, I’ve done my best to keep an eye on new examples and emerging data on the topic. Here are 5 new examples of gamification in the wild that I think are worth a share:

Muse, Objective Logistics

Muse is a management platform for restaurant managers to optimise the management, scheduling and sales performance of their staff using clever point of sale integration and leaderboards. Higher performing restaurant staff “win” the opportunity to work more shifts.


According to Objective Logistics, their beta has resulted in a 1.8% increase in sales and an 11% increase in gratuities for their test candidates, Not Your Average Joe’s:

“In restaurants, the top 10% of employees add $8.54 to every check. The bottom 10% actually subtract $7.21. In many cases it’s even more extreme. MUSE creates a competitive environment, and in doing so shifts the bottom to the middle, the middle to the top and the top through the glass ceiling – we conservatively predict a 2-4% increase in sales at the outset.”

Chevrolet Volt

The “Chevy Volt” is a hybrid electric car due for launch in the UK in 2012.

Chevrolet Volt

In the interest of environmental economy, the Chevy Volt uses a simple green / amber indicator (pictured above, right) on the dashboard to give drivers visual feedback on their driving style. If you’re too heavy on the accelerator, the green ball moves up and turns amber. If you’re too heavy on the brakes (preventing the energy recovery system from recharging the batteries) the ball moves down and again, turns amber. The challenge is of course, to keep the ball green, and positioned centrally, via Ars Technica.

The use of this simple indicator compares in a sense to the happy face / sad face speed warning system that reduced the number of people exceeding the speed limit in Lanarckshire by 53% during a trial of 226 warning signs. Small tools, influenced by simple game mechanics can be used to modify people’s behavior. If, by the way, you’ve not seen Rory Sutherland’s “Life Lessons from an Ad-Man”, (the source of this snippet of information), then you really, really must!

Keas – “Corporate Wellness”

Keas is designed to help companies “save money” on health care by gamifying exercise and nutrition as coworkers compete for points.

Keas homepage

Keas appears to be a more complex system, demonstrating several features of a gamified system. Game mechanics in play include points, challenges, goals, leaderboards and community / social interaction features such as the ability to connect and form teams. If you’re an SEOmoz pro member, you can watch my presentation on game mechanics, covering many of the individual elements of game mechanics.

In another case of using game mechanics to incentivise employees to be more health conscious, Charlie Kim, CEO of Next Jump observed a large increase in gym membership participation when employees were encouraged to form teams and compete with other offices on the most time spent at the gym via a leaderboard – a 75% participation increase no less!

RNKD – Pronounced “Ranked”

Taking an oddly voyeuristic approach to clothing retail, users of RNKD can upload photos of their clothes and accessories, tagging each photo with the manufacturer’s brand. RNKD rewards you for creating content by assigning points and badges that can be exchanged for discounts.


Users can also earn points for liking otehr people’s photos and taking part in contests. There’s an interesting random reward called the “five hundo” – where a random RKND user wins a $500 gift card. The higher your point value, the better chance you have of winning weekly giveaways and contests. These actions include adding new clothing, liking other people’s photos or participating in contests.

Totalbeauty demonstrate how a publisher can curate a community of committed followers using points and status.

The site uses a points system to reward frequent visitors and reviewers. Additional benefits, such as early notification of free samples are given to higher points scorers. “Elite” status allows access to gifts from the editor.

I realise that, while writing this post, I never published my Search Love presentation – here’s the deck for info:

Gamification: Rewarding Users with Simple Game Mechanics

As always, I’m always really interested to hear your examples – feel welcome to share in the comments below.

Image credit: msaar

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