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A game is a problem-solving activity,
approached with a playful attitude.
-Jesse Schell

Angry Birds was downloaded 1 Billion times and played 11 Billion hours – enough hours to build a Panama Canal – every day. Cityville from Zinga in 2011 had 100 million users in 41 days. Zinga Games has 250,000,000 players monthly. 44% of US/UK adults have played a mobile game in the last month.

Games can be powerfully addictive, even during working hours. Solitaire is played 9 Billion hours a year, and much of that is while at work. How can we use this time to benefit a company?

Games are powerful in addiction because they are “just for fun” but gamification goes further by engaging, motivating and inspiring people.

Gamification is more than just a game because it delivers a positive change experience, assists learning, improves business processes and reinforces specific messages. In business, Gamification has been proven to improve productivity by 18% on average, and this provides an average 12% improvement in profitability and higher employee engagement and decreased employee turnover.

Gamification can motivate using a broad range of game techniques. Gamification is the use of game elements and game design techniques in non-game context or for a purpose outside of the game. Making tedious or underutilized processes more game-like, appealing to millennial employees. Game elements include points, levels, resources, quests, avatars, social graph, progression, badges, and leaderboards.

Gamification and games have objectives or goals. Games use constitutive rules which are voluntarily followed to overcome obstacles. This structure gives us choices in freedom, and meaningful choices of play. Games all have a voluntary learning or problem-solving format that is a balance of structure and exploration. Players are the center of the game and enjoy the play because it gives them the sense of autonomy and control to master skills and find accomplishment. Self-discovery, real-time feedback, and progression coupled with social behaviour become habitual.

So, people play games because they are fun. But, what is fun? There are different types of fun 1) Easy Fun – hanging out at the beach. 2) Hard Fun- accomplishing a marathon. 3) People Fun – being social. 4) Serious Fun – achieving something meaningful.

We tap into our emotions with these types of fun by winning, problem-solving, challenges, exploring, collecting, surprise, using imagination, sharing, role playing customization or goofing off.

Not all rewards are fun. Not all fun is rewarding!

In some unsophisticated gamification Point, Badges and Leaderboards are added to a non-game activity to make it game-like, but these are not always capable of genuine engagement. They are easy to incorporate but often wear thin. Leaderboards are competition with the danger that only the leaders are motivated, leaving the vast majority demotivated.

Meaningful choices are the heart of real engagement. Intrinsic Rewards are much harder to achieve and not easily replaced with stuff/rewards. An elegant gamification system incorporates game elements, fun, and the elusive intrinsic rewards while allowing micro-learning to flourish.

So now that you know more about Games and Gamification, I would like to introduce you to Gauge Gamification. The Gauge “edutainment” format is serious fun and provides a deeper appreciation of the effort and increases the impact of learning. Gauge is unapologetic for being a game or for it’s fun and social self-improvement center. Gauge performance driven involvement makes serious fun worthwhile.

Gauges format is strategic like backgammon and chess and has been honed with thousands of plays in numerous business environments and iterations. Gauge uses game elements as gamification to engage our players to inspire learning.

Gauge appeals to achievers to expand their capabilities, explorers to find new areas for learning, socializers who want to exchange ideas or experiences and competitors to be inspired to improve.

Every Gauge position acquisition experience is predicated on knowing or learning something meaningful. Therefore, when a participant gets it right, they are rewarded first by improving their “Personal Performance Pad” and secondly for completing the challenge of the win.

Intrinsic rewards are enjoyable and just for the fun/love of doing it. Dopamine is released with pleasure and learning and is part of the reward system. It is addictive, surprising and habit-forming. Getting it right brings about an internal “fist pump” when a random reward comes into play it increases the intensity to get it right, and when right the dopamine boost is intensified.

We all can appreciate the random hope we place in a slot machine and the increased pleasure of the anticipation of a reward. Rewards can be continuous, fixed ratio or fixed ratio with Gauge we add variability, randomness, and surprise to the reward system making it much more valuable and dynamic.

Motivation Spectrum transitions from Competency (achieving & earning) to Autonomy (Control & choices) to Relatedness (meaningfulness, connecting with people). Motivation and fun come from a cycle of Feedback- Progression – Completion. The Gauge Gamification App supports these feedback loops reinforce the learning and problem solving and continued play.

Motivation to be effective has three attributes direction, intensity, and persistence. Gauge Q&A provides direction to specific objectives, the intensity is increased when questions are repeated using different voices and persistence is built on Gauge providing a rewarding experience bring participants back for more.

Gauges performance tracking mechanisms provide an added feature with a sense of accomplishment and stimulate a drive to accomplish more.

Gauge is an elegant gamification that allows people to learn and succeed while in the flow of play.


Micro-learning happens when someone gives you a tidbit of information, and you remember that factoid.

Gauge achieves micro-learning by asking questions. Using the Socratic Questioning Method of learning – asking questions to explore new ideas, gives the participant an opportunity to confirm their knowledge. Questions challenge old perspectives, and participants find out what they need to know to succeed. Curiosity can link access to the resources necessary to expand their knowledge.

Gauge users remember the knowledge they gain and will apply it to their business ventures and lifestyle.

The Gauge micro-learning process is fun and provides users with intrinsic (Wow I knew that!) and extrinsic (Look what I got as a bonus!) rewards. Rewards encourage play causing the facts or skills learned to become entrenched.

Socratic micro-learning is painless and has higher retention rates.


As a businessperson’s career evolves they need three kinds of support; first a “coach,” then a “mentor” and finally a “business muse.” Sometimes they will require some of each. Gauge can serve as all three

The Business Coach Role
While working in operational undertakings, people need a “coach” to teach them the skills required to accomplish specific tasks. Effective coaches develop a keen understanding of an individual’s strengths and how to elevate their differences in a workplace. A coach is most effective when they can adapt their coaching style or tactics to optimize strengths by using specific skill-based tools.

The Business Mentor
As your career grows, you will be charged with accountabilities to deliver specific outcomes over well-specified timeframes that are driven by application of well planned and executed tactics. Now you require a mentor someone who will help, think through the ramifications of a situation, and then provide the support to develop the actions/tactics that will accomplish the outcomes expected of you and your team. Mentoring is a personal development and empowerment that becomes an effective way of helping people to progress in their careers. A mentor should help you to believe in yourself and boost your confidence. She should ask questions and challenge your assumptions while providing guidance and encouragement to explore new ideas in confidence.

The Executive Muse
Once your career is well established, and you have the proven experience to inspire and lead and grow your organization you will need to find business muses who work with you to contemplate the future. A business muse’s role is to assist with reflecting on the impact of strategies and speculates about reactions to your leadership initiatives. A business muse exercises one’s power of reason to make inferences, decisions, or arrive at a solution and judgments.