Gamification – An Update

Blink:                                                                                                                                              I will be presenting a program at the National Restaurant Show Sunday with my friend Lisa Eberhart, world class dietician from NCSU – Well Played: Gamifying Health & Wellness.  Consequently, I had to conduct some research, thus learned some new things about gamification, a topic I am passionate about.

Read On:                                                                                                                                        I first posted about gamification five years ago, Gamification USA.  The term gamification was first coined by Gabe Zichermann, the world’s foremost expert, speaker and author of several books dating back to 2010.  Abe’s simple definition: “Gamification is the process of using game thinking and game dynamics to engage audiences and solve problems.” 

 Over the years, I have witnessed gamification utilized in foodservice in the form of loyalty programs (Starbucks), pizza dough scavenger hunts (CPK), a sandwich game (Schlotzky’s Deli – Stackin’ the Original), etc.  Lisa Eberhart, my co-presenter at the National Restaurant Show, will share with the audience how she is utilizing several games with her student guests at North Carolina State University to educate and hopefully change their behavior.  Specifically, NCSU’s games are designed to encourage students to follow a daily health and wellness regime.

Gamification is definitely a clever/fun way to encourage behavioral change.  One great example I read while preparing for my speech was a news release about former Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Sandra Day O’Connor.  After retiring, she started iCivics, a non-profit civics education group that designs free online games (e.g., animated) enabling middle school students to better understand how different branches of government and the Constitution work.  Her latest digital game which has been played by more than 250,000 students is called Win the White House.  Given the current political climate of our country, I think I will get online tonight and play Justice O’Connor’s new game.


Shameless Self Promotion: Please feel free to join Lisa and me Sunday 5/22: 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Room: S402a at the National Restaurant Show to learn more about gamification.

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