Because I believe the principles of gamification can be used to motivate clients to complete tasks necessary to the effective and personalized handling of their legal matters or conflicts, I have been slowly researching the ways games are created and designed. Two recent events came together in such a way that I am now wholly reinspired to master gaming—soon.
First was reading the book The Game of Work by Charles Coonradt, one of the original gurus of taking what works in games and applying that to work. (He's been called the grandfather of gamification.) Coonradt believes there are five principles that are the basis of the transfer of success and motivation seen in the game arena to work:
- Clearly defined goals
- Scorekeeping and scorecards
- Frequent feedback (and he adds that the impact of the feedback is greater if illustrated on charts and graphs)
- Personal choice of methods
- Consistent coaching
Other gurus of gamification present lists of principles that are a bit different. After reading some of those gurus, I think the principles I find most compelling are: clearly defined goals, frequent feedback, and personal choice. More about those in a minute . . .
The second event that increased my commitment to learning gamification was coming upon Mediator in a Box, a tool created by a Colorado lawyer Clare Sprowell and her sister Marla Sloan, a conflict coach who lives in British Columbia. From what I can see at their Website and in this article, they have made conflict resolution into a box game. A creative idea! I don't know if they include the principles of gamification in the design but their concept sparked my imagination about applying gamification to transactional areas of the law.
In order to gamify a process, whether it be writing a will, estate planning, exercising, or drinking more water, one needs to have clear goals. The thinking required to clarify the intention or objective is a big advantage in achievement, and a necessary ingredient in a game. If I
A second ingredient of gamification is feedback. To me, this is related to the research and techniques described in The Progress Principle. If I can see what I have accomplished up to now on my way to the goal, I am motivated to keep going.
The third ingredient that attracts me to the process is personal choice. I can choose how and when I am going to get to the goal, and decide on the steps I am going to take. Because of the motivating force of the first two principles—clear goals and visible progress—the "when" tends to come faster. I thought of the role of choice when I read this press release today from Science Daily which ended:
"Customization should be incorporated into otherwise tedious activities whenever possible. Cookbooks, for example, should offer clear instructions, but they should also allow for choices when it comes to possible substitute ingredients, cooking techniques, and plating options. The end result may turn more novice chefs into aficionados," the authors [of the study being described] conclude.
Choice or customization can change a task from tedious to enjoyable. (Click to read the study's Abstract.)
An element of game serendipity has entered my life lately. In the last month or so, I have talked with several people who are interested in applying the principles of gamification with their students, family, or clients. It seems to be an idea that is gaining attention and enthusiasm. The more I learn, the more I realize that mastering the design process will be worth the effort. Good to find I am not alone in figuring it all out! Join us?
Click to go to a post with links to my past posts on gamification.