Contributing to find a vaccine for AIDS, raising funds for charity purposes, or fighting against anxiety… Gamification can handle everything.
Gamification to solve scientific problems
Fold.it is an on-line platform which allows participants to compete and collaborate in the protein structure prediction by taking advantage of humans’ puzzle-solving intuitions. This platform was created by the Center for Game Science of the University of Washington, and it allows scientists to challenge players and benefit from the collaborative work results. In 2011, the Fold.it community resolved the structure of an AIDS-like retrovirus in three weeks; researchers had been working on this problem for 15 years. This discovery was published in the scientific journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology (volume 18).
The discovery of Fold.it players may contribute to find a vaccine for the AIDS.
Besides, players’ mental strategies for puzzle-solving are studied and analysed by Fold.it in order to improve the software used to predict protein structures.
Gamification to raise funds for charity purposes
Movember campaign encourages men of 21 different countries to grow their moustaches during the month of November and ask their friends and family to sponsor their facial hair in order to raise awareness about prostate cancer and other health issues affecting men. This campaign is aimed to raise funds for prostate cancer research, and its platform is not only used to make visible the goals reached by each participant, but it is also a gamified space where competition between moustaches and funds collected becomes a funny and exciting game.
Movember and Crowdrise are two examples of gamification that pursue the same objective: turning fund-raising into a social, fun, and exciting game.
Crowdrise is an on-line platform to raise funds for social purposes in a funny, personalised, simple, and participative way. Participants share all sorts of goals on their profiles, for example climbing a mountain or giving up their birthday, and they ask their contacts to sponsor and motivate them with donations for a specific charity campaign. Their achievements and challenges are constantly updated in their webpages, and they can compete against other users in order to raise more money. Crowdrise was co-founded by the American actor Edward Norton and the Canadian producer Shauna Robertson in 2010, and the platform has raised over 5 billion US dollars which were divided among over one million of non-profit organisations.
Gamification to stay healthy (mentally and physically)
Jane McGonigal suffered a stroke when she was 32 years old and this caused her almost irreversible damages. After this devastating diagnosis, Jane decided to use her 10 years of experience in video game design to motivate herself with the difficult recovery process. Using the game theory, she transformed her treatment into a game with challenges, enemies to be defeated, and reliable allies. Once Jane was fully recovered, she decided to share this personal tool with other people in the same situation. This is how Superbetter was born, an app which increases players’ resilience and keeps them motivated and optimistic in situations of adversity through gamification.
Superbetter gamifies adverse situations and it allows players to manage their emotions much easier.
Different clinical studies performed by the University of Pennsylvania and the National Institute of Health of the USA support the use of this app because, according to the obtained results, depression and anxiety symptoms are reduced, optimism and self-confidence are increased, and family relationships are improved during a recovery process.
Gamification allows us to face reality in a creative and playful way, so no matter what situation can be transformed into a positive experience. It is a versatile tool that can help to increase productivity in a company or even contribute to improve our world. Games improve our life quality, personally and professionally. In Playmotiv, we bet heavily on gamification because we truly believe that it can make a difference.