By wpx_gamifica / July 23, 2018

The Importance of Collaboration in Gamification

In this post we hope to build on the end of our blog post from last week and discuss the significant impacts of collaboration within communities and how the gamification community can use it to our advantage. To improve reach, accelerate growth and create overwhelming impact.

In this post we hope to explore several things:

  1. Why collaboration is important using theories from economics
  2. The difference between micro and macro collaboration with examples
  3. How the gamification community can use collaboration

Why Collaboration is Important

First it is important to establish the rational behind good collaboration in business. There are of course plenty of studies which show the positives of collaboration, but it might be useful to use theory from other subjects which can help to explain. One useful collection of theories can be found in the study of economics. These are the theories of International Trade. These theories explore Comparative Advantage and Absolute Advantage in international trade.  To simplify for the purposes of this blog, these theories cumulatively propose that the production of different countries, even if comparatively less in terms of volume, generates a net positive contribution to international trade. This therefore suggests that national and international collaboration can supersede 'playing-it-solo'.  (If you're interested in exploring these concepts deeper and to avoid replicating the web page here and being caught out for plagiarism check out this students review here.)

Another theory in economics that applies well in collaboration and accelerating rates of growth is the multiplier effect. Tutor2U has a good study notes page on it. Essentially, any positive interjection into the circular flow of income will generate a far greater effect on GDP.

How does this theory translate to gamification? Ideas ideate ideas. This can be illustrated using Twitter and comments on retweets. One Tweet can be tweeted and go unnoticed, or can be retweeted hundreds of times and have lots of comments with questions and new content on each retweet. The same initial bit of content is recycled hundreds of times but the benefit of putting new ideas into the system and getting  feedback is hundreds time more valuable as it all brings awareness. 

This could be a like or a retweet or everybody using the same hashtag. Toby Beresford talked about vanity and value metrics last year. These metrics do not especially have meaning. but what a 'like' can do is invaluable. This can also be gamified.

A Case Study
Engagement groups (typically on Instagram or LinkedIn) gamify the possibility of posts going viral. Group members are encouraged with game mechanics to 'boost' each others posts. Typically,  algorithms on social networks will detect posts it deems are popular and 'boost' them. If you can (albiet artificially) give a post a lot of attention in the first hour or so it can cause it to go viral. Can we make gamification go viral?

Macro-collaboration is the more direct cooperation on a project theory or idea. The international space station was an enormous undertaking by several countries. This scale is not a requirement though. Most famous YouTube personalities built their fame from collaborations.  Like brands collaborating with micro-influencers:

This is also a great example of gamified marketing. Hard fun for the runner, Damien Walters, easy fun for the viewer and a gamified marketing stunt that went viral. 

Is collaboration a gamification technique though? Sure! It's a masterful way to enhance ideas and visibility. Collaboration is not only a technique that can be used to gamify but can be a technique itself. 

How can the gamification community harness this technique?

Maybe the most exciting aspect of running a conference is the future macro-collaboration possibilities. Hundreds of partnerships are manifested every day with millions of micro collaborations occurring with every tweet share and like. A conference fosters a major boost in conversation and communication and by creating an environment for individuals to network and generate new macro-collaboration possibilities. 

In the blog post last weeks one factor that was neglected in the discussion was acknowledging how fast gamification is being adopted in other countries and cultures, which was brought up by Pusztai Ádám.  One of the immediate issues that gamification can rectify is to increase it's depth and reach. Hopefully this is where Gamification Europe can be a great guide, as the only travelling gamification conference we can highlight and recognise the areas in which gamification fails and flourishes.

We need your help, macro and micro to run this conference.  Send our team an email if you'd like to get involved in a macro-collaboration to help us with the conference.  Website algorithms value interaction, so give a like or a retweet or a comment on future posts. There is a useful Hootsuite article which explains some of this.  Use @Gamification_EU on Twitter to get in contact if you have any questions.

If you'd like to continue this conversation on gamification in collaboration over Twitter please use @Kira_Downer and @Gamification_EU and our hashtag #gamificationeurope.