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GAMIFICATION Incentivisation


Your move G


endorsement feature in LinkedIn, the acquisition of badges in apps like Foursquare, achievement markers in websites attached to consumer pedometers or virtual green leaves rewarded for economy in home energy systems and electric cars. Gamification is clumsy because it combines two


concepts into a catch-all buzzword. Firstly games, the act of structuring activities of play around rules, something that increasingly is used in our lives to divert and entertain as well as educate and inform. Secondly – incentivisation, a process by which desired behaviours are rewarded with small gifts. Dog treats for humans. Many of you may remember redeeming points, collected


by buying fuel, on tumblers or knife blocks. I certainly remember my dad filling our kitchen cupboards with glass- ware sponsored by Shell, Esso and other petrol stations. The seemingly small reward of a lowly domestic consumable product can incentivise loyalty and continued purchases.


INCENTIVES AND FUN ARE REQUIRED FOR TRANSPORT BEHAVIOUR CHANGE This behaviour is also observed in certain games – collection and gambling games. But the two can be seen as exclusive to one another. Most people will still play a game without hav- ing to be incentivised to do so. Gamification is the attempt to leverage these two activities into a shiny online meme. The reason I break down the term, is to demonstrate how


important these dual functions are in redefining future of travel for the user. In 2010 we created a game called Chromaroma that utilised


the London Transport System by gaming the journey history of consenting users of the Oyster card (London’s NFC smart card). We took their data and awarded users with points and rewards for their daily commutes. Attaching missions and collections for players to undertake turning the map of the London’s transport system into a huge game board. Whether the journey is being undertaken on the under-


ground, train, tram, bus or Barclays bike, players can take part in new adventures around the capital. Compete to com- plete missions across the city and steal stations from opposing teams in a digital/realworld game of flag raiding. Many people


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Transportation, gamification and incentivisation: Matt Watkins is dreaming of an ITS future


amification is a clumsy term. It describes the intro- duction of game attributes or strategies to other areas of life. It is used to describe the


ask us what our motivations for building Chromaroma were, we say to bridge the gap between games and incentivisation.


INSPIRED BY MATT DAMON The principle concept emerged from the world of the Bourne films. The films’ Jason Bourne character spends a consider- able amount of time in the movies rushing around the trans- port systems of major European and American cities. In contrast to the glamourous methods of travel associated with James Bond he seems to spend his time trying to navigate the familiar seething mass of peak time metropolitan transit systems. We wanted to awaken something of the Bourne in all of


us. We saw how commuting was mostly a repetitive, frustrat- ing activity and often a downtime from work or leisure. We thought that we could build an imaginative layer on top of the everyday commute. That allowed the traveller to access some of the sense of playfulness associated with having to escape encroaching enemies or plan your next move. Even when the same journeys are made every day.


ARE WE THERE YET? We wanted to promote the daydream of being a spy, agency and substance through a framework that mapped onto their everyday experience. We wanted to make the games we play in our head while travelling become a reality that was shar- eable and part of a bigger world of play. Travel has a long history of people creating games to pass the time in long journeys. We all have played games as children in the car, scoring points for spotting cars of a certain colour. If you are a parent


thinkinghighways.com Vol 8 No 3 Europe/Rest of the World


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