South Africa is way behind in gamification

With the principles of gamification being incorporated into business models, business apps and services globally, South Africa is seen as lagging in this field said to be because the country’s Film and Publications Board (FPB) is also responsible for software ratings, according to a report by MIP Holdings.

The amount of people playing computer, tablet and mobile phone based games has increased and the very concepts used in these games are being transferred to the business world.

Richard Firth, CEO of MIP Holdings, said: “Today’s games drive technological and societal advancements that serve gamers and non-gamers alike. Teachers at all levels use games in the classroom to teach history and civics, build skills and teach foreign languages.

“Healthcare providers use video games in physical therapy and treatment programmes, and to educate patients about their conditions. Surgeons use video game simulations to help practice difficult procedures,”

Firth adds that an increase in gamification of business apps is notable.

“These are progressively being integrated with workflows, and many companies are even taking it to the extent of creating incentives driven by managing workflows and tasks,” he said.

According to Firth, this is not only as a result of the increasing numbers of Generation X and Y employees in the workforce, but because gamification can be used to motivate engagement and certain behaviours for both your customers and employees.

It is about creating identity and reputation and recognising a person’s attention and loyalty, he adds.

Gamification, Firth says, is the use of processes that have been understood since the start of the Web 2.0 era. Particularly crowdsourcing, which according to him, can be an important element of any successful gamification implementation.  

“Seen in this light, games will be the business interfaces of the future,” Firth added.

With this in mind, South Africa faces a conundrum as the country’s infrastructure built to support things like gamification is based on an outdated approach.

The FPB of South Africa is responsible for rating all software games. This has resulted in a limiting of available content as the body makes its way through the hundreds of thousands of apps and games available for download.

More importantly as far as business gamification is concerned, the FPB is also responsible for software ratings, meaning that companies looking to apply the benefits of gaming will be limited by the timing and decisions taken by the FPB.

This approach makes no sense according to Firth.

“While we all approve of the FPB’s mandate to media for parents to identify the content type to make informed decisions and to prevent kids from picking up adult-themed games or movies in stores, applying this method to all games and software is counter-productive.

“Not only is it limiting the way businesses could be operating, it is limiting South Africa’s ability to deliver technology resources in a new world.” Firth said.

Posted in: Gadgets

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