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GAMIFICATION Incentivisation


you certainly use games to avoid hearing “are we there yet?” a thousand times. This kind of activity is beautifully illustrated by Man Eater, a very simple example of gamifying bus travel in the Netherlands. Simply adding a hungry open-mouthed fish sticker to a bus window, the passenger can imagine the fish eating all the pedestrians while the bus speeds past. A perfect example of utilising the daydream as a jumping off point for a game.


RECOGNISING EVERYDAY TRAVEL In Chromaroma we focused on finding value for the user in an established activity. We reward players for the journeys they take and the connection they make with a larger group of players who they are in competition with. We make it pos- sible for them to visualise the process of travel, providing utility, helping them understand their own travel patterns. Maps are generated showing the repeated process of com- muting and highlighting where they achieved specific ele- ments of a mission or a collection along a route. Missions are the most gamelike aspect of the Chromaroma


experience offering users the opportunity to visit particular stations within a time frame. In certain instances we also add virtual “pickups” at key locations. These can come in the form of a boost to points left at a station or bus-stop or on the flip-side they can be planted as traps by other players to block progress and strip the other player of their hard-earned points.


STIMULATING ACTIVE TRAVEL We also looked at incentivising activity. By attaching the reward of completing or beating another player we saw new behaviours. Our most popular mission “Get Off A Stop Early” has seen thousands of players actively choose to get off one stop earlier than their home or work station. This was our nod to incentivising more healthy activity and reducing usage of the network and by simply attaching the reward of completing the mission we managed to convince people to try this activity at least once.


TRAVEL GAMES ARE GROWING Since developing Chromaroma we have seen a sharp increase in the number of digital applications that have exploited data around transportation and travel like the beautiful naviga- tion utility City Mapper or the car parking app Parkopedia. There has been an ever-increasing demand to create tools to service the immediate needs of a traveller, specifically: How do I get to where I want to go cheaply and quickly?


ITS DATA COULD ADD A NEW DIMENSION Exploiting the new availability of databases on routes and places through open data initiatives, we now understand journeys and times. However, this wave of innovation in computer guided commuters is only the tip of the iceberg


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Transport-based apps like Chromaroma (screenshot above) could help bridge the gap between games and incentivisation


in terms of how the future of ITS will be measured. The key learning we got from developing Chromaroma was that travel was both personal and communal. Not only do we need tools that point is in the right direction (literally) but we also need tools to understand why we travel the way we do and to help us to do it better.


TRACKING OURSELVES IS BECOMING NORMAL A new app called Moves uses the accelerometer and GPS in the Apple iPhone to track users’ journeys, using clever algo- rithms to report back whether the user of the phone has been travelling on transport, walking, cycling or running. As these improvements in tracking increase all the time we will be able to report back our own experiences as the soft machines of the transport system. We are then the key to improving its efficiency. Some may feel that this is an invasion of privacy, but as recent discoveries show companies are already collect- ing data on the users of their phones anyway, so it seems that any method that helps us use it for our own ends is to be commended. After all we can always turn these apps off.


BEHAVIOUR CHANGE CAN BE A PROFITABLE BUSINESS MODEL We now see businesses that want their employees to be greener in their approach to travelling to and from work. But they also want to measure efficiency and boost morale and the general health of the workforce. Please Cycle, a new ini- tiative, uses gamification to incentivise cycling for employees and employers, it ties achievements and leaderboards with real world rewards from partners.


GAMING TRANSPORT CAN PROVIDE VALUABLE DATA INSIGHTS What we discovered in Chromaroma was that there was a value in giving a player better access to the history of their travel. They could see the accumulation of travel over time.


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


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