I really liked an example shared by Gamification [gamificacion.com] about the enhancement of positive experiences like waiting for traffic green light (Some traffic lights seem eternal, don’t you think?). Lets analyze the video and we talk about it after that:
I don’t know if this "ping pong street" made by HAWK design school in Hildesheim is a reality or just an experimental design, but it seems especially noteworthy to me as a gamification example. Lets see some reasons for this statement:
1. It’s great to differentiate two concepts: "gamification" (where the elements of play are accessory to the core activity, in this case waiting to cross the street) and "game based learning" (where the main objective is the creation of a game in itself) even if in both cases gameplay is used to persuade that a particular behavior or way of thinking is better than another.
2. It transforms a negative or neutral experience (such as inactivity in front of the zebra crossing) in something perceived as more productive… or at least more pleasurable
3. It gives the player a more desirable alternative instead of crossing the street with red traffic light turned on... Without explicitly tell him not to cross! (Someone said “Show but don’t tell”?)
4. It can generate unexpected benefits: The first effect (the surprise at this nice "gamification spot") may be depleted on the tenth time you cross the street. However, the experience of that brief but intense playful, virtual encounter has some kind of "blind date" atmosphere, especially when you have the other person in sight across the street, and you are going to walk close to him/her in the next minutes. The social component becomes as important as the strategy in the game (Hmmm ... I'm playing against that SO pretty woman... Do I want to let her win and exchange some word while crossing the street? I’m forecasting here some new blockbuster Hollywood film starred by… Ehm… I’m losing trail here).
In short, an idea with relative simple implementation, inspiring and capable of showing us that there is gamification beyond points, badges and scorecards.