Christoph Deeg: First and foremost, I consult and look after companies, organisations and institutions undergoing digital or other transformation processes. I make use of so-called game mechanics for these transformation processes. In the end it always comes down to change: we change the world, the world changes itself, and we are changed by it. To be able to work in these processes of change, I use game mechanics.
What does gamification mean to you?
C. D.: The main idea of gamification is relatively easy. Playing is the oldest cultural technique in the world. At young ages, people play to explore the world which surrounds them. It is an innnate behaviour that has much to do with neurology and neuropsychology. People learn best when they are playing, when they feel comfortable doing so and when the playing is separate from their educational background, culture, age and gender. These game mechanics can be applied to non-game processes as well.
Could you illustrate the Target-Feedback-Model with help of the classic game Ludo?
C. D.: You have a board, playing pieces and dice. The objective is simple: get your playing pieces from the starting square to the row of four called home. I can clearly see which way I must go. A temporary objective can come up when another player is much further than I and I want to “kick him out”. The dice do not change the objective, but the temporary objectives that result from the numbers we get from throwing the dice. I receive immediate feedback on my playing behaviour as well. I know exactly where I am in the game and experience the emotional reaction when I kick another player out. The Target-Feedback-Model is everywhere.
Does your approach help owner-operated toy retailers in the fight against online giants?
C. D.: In this game, retailers – and I do not say this to be unkind – have no chance against Amazon. As long as retailers try to be a copy of them, it will not work. The opposite position does not work either, trying to convince oneself that most people do not want to use the digital offering. I can find hundreds of thousands of toy variations on Amazon, retailers on the other hand have a limited product range. However, retailers can learn from game mechanics.
What exactly does that mean?