Public participation processes can often be boring, tedious things to participate in, and finding ways to make them more fun and engaging is a recurring issue. But that’s why a growing sector of our field and others have been turning to “gamification” as a model for making sure citizens get the most out of their participation and enjoy themselves, too.
Gamification in Community Engagement Part 1: Offline
One of the biggest franchises at the moment in both literature and film is the Hunger Games. The story of how a world, not to dissimilar to ours, pits its own young against each other as a way of sorting out an age old issue between communities.
OK, OK I’m adlibbing a bit and it has very tenuous ties to engaging the community… but I need an edge for the blog.
Many games use strategy (where to hide, what to take), team work (Katniss and Peeta) and problem management (How do we kill the others before they kill us?) to help the player achieve goals (survival in the Hunger Games), which, if used in Community Engagement opportunities, allows the right decision to be achieved through understanding barriers, working together, and setting joint achievable objects. We know gaming is not new, but Gamification in Community Engagement certainly seems to be on the rise and being used more and more in issue management and relationship building between communities and their councils.
From early use of established offline games to newly developed, all-whistles-blowing online options, games are now being used more and more in engaging the community or helping people understand and generally participate in having their say in the decision making process.
In true commsgodigital style, over 2 installments, we’re going list a number of on and offline Gamification offerings in the world of community engagement and communication in the hope you will like them and, in a spark of inspiration, look at them as options in the work you do during 2014.
(Warning: We are not advocating the use of the Hunger Games model as (more…)