Yesterday a client asked me about using game mechanic "mission" as a way to implement project management for his innovation portal.
"I dont understand, could you elaborate more?" I said.
The client then explained his idea as follows:
1. "I am creating an innovation portal, on which users can create projects, and recruit developers."
2. "Every project is also a mission in game, when you completed the project/mission, you get rewards."
3. "Your game mission center is also your project center."
The idea looks great in the beginning, however, we later spotted an issue: portal users have different projects/missions, and there is no way to compare them in a leader-board!
So how and why this went wrong while it looked great in the beginning? Because of the lack of game design thinking!
In short, the client is not putting a game into his portal to motivate people, he is just using game mechanic "missions" as a way of presenting his "projects". It's just like using a hammer as paperweight. It may work but it's by no means a game! A game is a place where people meet and compete, and therefore everyone has a same set of missions that they can complete earlier or better than the others to win the game.
Gamification is not about using "gamification APIs" or "game widgets" just to store and present data! It's about introducing "games" into your software, so people will get motivated.
So what is the best "game" you can put into an innovation portal? Wanna propose an idea and see if you got "Game Design Thinking"?