Gamification has swept through the meeting rooms of large businesses for the past decade, used as a modern marketing technique across all types of companies. It is the practice of turning real-world situations into games, usually to engage audiences or customers. Often with a reward system, it motivates people to reach their goals – or more often, goals that actually benefit the companies that are ‘rewarding’ them. Gamification is traditionally used in educational settings e.g. getting children to learn their times-tables by creating a game where they get badges or points when they prove that they have learned a new set.
Gamification and cryptocurrencies go hand in hand because, although gamification can be ‘analogue’ e.g. when you get a rewards/loyalty card from a supermarket, there is nothing digital about it. It normalizes the idea of being paid in a way that you might not be able to physically see in front of you, therefore normalizing cryptocurrency. It also means that we take it more seriously, and see it as a legitimate form of payment, rather than a fad currency that only boy gamers who live on the internet, and in their bedrooms, use. By introducing virtual payments into the public sphere, we increase its credibility and in turn, its popularity.
Gamification can also take partial credit for the popularity of cryptocurrencies amongst the millennial generation. Yes, there is the argument that millennials are more tech-literate and would logically be the ones to pioneer an online form of capital, but it is more probable that it is due to the barrage of gamification that surrounds the lives of modern people. We have gamification even within other games now, for example in online casino games, you are able to win free spins, and it has been easy for it to bounce to here after it being so neatly integrated into our everyday lives. It is now no longer a bonus, but more of an expectation that we will receive something in return for working or playing – a concept that is at the core of capitalism, but is being developed for the modern world.
Another example of this is crypto faucets – reward systems, usually in the form of an app or website, that dispense benefits or awards for completing tasks such as surveys. This is gamification at its core but is also a way of introducing people to cryptocurrency and increasing the coins’ values. Unsurprisingly, faucets are high-traffic websites (it isn’t hard to entice people towards free money), which means that if the site wants to promote anything else, they can get audiences familiar with their brand first using the rewards-based tasks. They are primarily used with bitcoin but are expanding, which also shows the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies in general.
Wherever we see it, gamification is undeniably having a positive effect on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology in general, as we live in an increasingly cyber world. One of the most recent developments is the use of augmented reality to provide gamification, which may seem like it belongs in a sci-fi movie but is closer to our present than our future. So, as gamification continues to grow, it’s likely we’ll see it cropping up more and more in traditional spheres.