Gamification gets citizens involved by making real life more fun


People like playing games. There’s something about the instant feedback and “reward” after completing a mission or attaining a goal that keeps people coming back for more. They will perform tasks within a game that might seem tedious or pointless in real life, and even generate ideas or feedback in a gaming environment which might never have surfaced otherwise. That’s why businesses, governments, and other organizations have turned to “gamification” as a valuable tool for getting people to engage and perform - offering incentives for desirable behavior.

Gamification can be as simple as adding cause-and-effect elements or rewards to an existing process. Even improving the user interface or adding social sharing can revamp dull systems and increase participation. GovTech recently covered this idea as applied to government employees and citizens, noting that the “shortened feedback loop” of game-like activities makes them more appealing than the same task would be in its original dry state.

Adding game-like elements to your public process can make participation more fun, more informative, and frankly, more likely to happen. Gamification of public outreach can:

  • Highlight cause-and-effect relationships between elements of your plan

  • Teach citizens about the process behind planning and how decisions are made

  • Give users a sense of ownership and investment in the project

  • Encourage feedback and idea sharing

We’ve always felt that by making things a little more fun, you can get a lot more done. That’s why we created FilpSides - an engaging online challenge that shows citizens the trade-offs inherent to your project. We even took scavenger hunts to the public engagement level with AnswerHunt - a fun mobile activity that gets people involved in their communities. With lots of creative gamification strategies available today, why not apply one to your public process and make real life a little more fun?