I am very interested in the concept of Gamification, the idea (used here on Stack Exchange) that by making mundane tasks into a game, you can elicit desired behavior from users of software. (For example, by giving people arbitrary reputation points, you encourage them to help the best answers rise to the top...)
Wikipedia says that some of the techniques used for gamification include:
- achievement "badges"
- achievement levels
- "leader boards"
- a progress bar or other visual meter to indicate how close people are to completing a task a company is trying to encourage, such as completing a social networking profile or earning a frequent shopper loyalty award.
- virtual currency
- systems for awarding, redeeming, trading, gifting, and otherwise exchanging points
- challenges between users embedding small casual games within other activities.
I'd like to see what studies actually say about gamification. If I wanted to start a new website which used gamificiation to entice users to participate, which techniques are the most efficient? Do some techniques work better than others? Do you need multiple rewards (E.G. reputation and badges)?
What do studies show are the minimum requirements for successful gamification?