Game Mechanics and Social Game Mechanics

Around two weeks ago in the bar my buddy was chatting to me, slightly inebriated I will concede about the possibility of using game mechanics on social media sites and platforms. I have to be honest at the time I was sort of paying him lip service as it had been a long day, he was 4 beers ahead and truth be told I just wasn’t ready to get locked into the conversation, as exciting as it sounded at the time. Well by some quirk or fate, or perhaps by his own hands, I came across a research paper which was zoning on in this exact topic, and this time it really did catch my eye. Needless to say I was more ready for the talk this time and my buddy and I have been combing over this ever since. 

Here is why I believe that they are all on to something and that game mechanics could most certainly be used in the social media landscape. 

Strive to Achieve 

If we look at the fundamentals of gaming mechanics, it generally runs along the line of perform action A in order to gain or potential gain outcome B. There is absolutely nothing from stopping social media sites taking this on and in doing so they can actually tap into the method by which they make being social way more accessible and ultimately far more fun. 

Marketing 

This is the ultimate form of marketing, inviting people to play, where play equals just being social. It could be simple at first of course, limit people’s posts per day, and then say that they comment on 10 posts and gain a badge which allows them to post 15 times the following day, businesses would jump on that and it would add a lot of wholesome value to their interaction with customers. Equally you could look at something like Twitter, imagine if they could extend their 140 character limit per Tweet to 200 characters after you have logged on every day for 30 days. This is where gaming mechanics can be really heavily utilized in the social media sphere and it could really help that that platform to gain a massive audience and be attractive to brands, perfect harmony. 

Co-Operation 

This is a really interesting aspect of gaming mechanics which, let’s be hones, falls perfectly into the social landscape. The idea of co-operatively doing something with another person online will not only help them to achieve something as a collective, it will also ensure that multiple people are coming together on social media platforms which is exactly what the goal of those social media platforms is. 

This is not just a notion but a clear path for the future of social media and how it can tap into people’s gaming mentality in order to create a more well rounded and exciting place to be, which in turn will drive people in their millions to these channels. 

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