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Gamification is an emerging business practice that refers to the use of digital game design techniques and video game elements to solve non-game problems, such as business and social impact challenges. It is applicable to a number of business areas including human resources, sustainability, innovation and marketing.
The primary goals of gamification are to tap into the psychology of motivation to both improve customer and employee engagement. Examples include: employee incentive systems, employee training programmes, customer loyalty and reward programmes and online engagement platforms.
Top business schools, including the Wharton school, have begun to introduce classes on the subject, while others are “gamifying” aspects of their courses.
Nike, the athletic wear company, has gamified many aspects of its business. It provides a service known as NikeiD that uses game mechanics to enable customers to design their own pair of shoes.
Shoppers customise the material, colour, size and stitching in a process that transforms the act of buying new tennis shoes from a transaction to a creative experience.
The company also recently introduced FuelBand, an accelerometer worn on the wrist that tracks an individual's stride, time, distance, pace and calorific activity and translates these into "Nike Fuel". The product turns the workout into a game that aims to motivate the user to run and exercise more.