Focus Outlook

Driving Social Change: Gamification Gains Momentum


The value-action gap is the space between learning about an important issue and taking action to address it. As a game designer with a focus on social impact, the primary goal is to bridge the value-action gap through the creation of games and apps that have the transformative power to change perspectives, enhance knowledge, and ignite action.

In the realm of gamification, several techniques prove to be effective in motivating and engaging users. Points, for instance, manifest in two distinct forms: experiential points that offer a sense of accomplishment and redeemable points that translate into tangible real-world rewards, thus encouraging users to deepen their engagement. Progress tracking and performance graphs serve as tools for self-competition, enabling users to monitor their progress and continually strive to outperform their personal best. Avatars, whether they take the form of endearing characters or personalized representations of users themselves, are crafted to amplify engagement and immerse individuals in the gamified experience. 

Additionally, team-oriented features play a dual role, fostering healthy competition while also promoting collaboration, as users vie against other teams and collaborate within their own team to achieve shared goals. These gamification techniques collectively serve to inspire and motivate users, making gamified applications a powerful force for change and engagement in various domains.

Let’s delve into four impactful gamified social apps that have harnessed gamification to create positive change. “In Their Shoes” by Takeda fosters empathy for IBD sufferers through real-world challenges. “Forest” by ShaoKan Pi promotes focus by allowing users to grow virtual trees, with team options for group focus challenges. “Charity Miles” by Charity Miles raises funds for charities based on exercise, with streaks and performance tracking to motivate daily fitness. “Elanation” by Elanation tracks kids’ sports performance, offering rewards to boost engagement. These apps demonstrate how gamification inspires positive action and engagement in social impact initiatives.

In a world hungry for change, gamification emerges as a valuable tool to drive social impact, bridge the value-action gap, and inspire action. With the power of technology and game mechanics, individuals can be motivated to join noble causes, making the world a better place one gamified step at a time.


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