This idea may surprise you, or not even a little bit. But sometimes people get into games – in this case multiplayer games – just to interact with others. These people seek the social aspect of the game, or just want to see other people playing.
For now we will call this individual the spectator.
Ok, but what’s the purpose of the spectator in the process? How will this person improve our approach on gamification? Well, bridging this process with video games, we can easily understand how these people can help out.
A game follows a set of rules. These rules control the environment with which you interact, validating your actions and therefore evaluating your results and evolution, and granting you a new level if it’s the case. In real life we don’t have yet a way to control the environment with which you interact or even a way to track your evolution in the gamification process. You have to, in some way, get all the data and evaluate it by yourself.
We need a way to get some metrics on your performance so the gamified environment can assess and measure your evolution and check if you are ready for the next level.
Ok, but what about the spectator? Well, let’s take a look at the following example:
Learning how to bake a chocolate cake. You go through all the levels, from preparing the dough, to heating up the oven and finally accomplishing the final product: an awesome, mouth-watering, chocolate cake!
From my own experience of many years eating chocolate cake, there are two essential factors to evaluate the success of your quest, the look and the flavor of the cake.
The spectators can be the evaluators of your final work.
It’s not that you are not trustworthy in evaluating your own creation, but an external opinion is always the way to go.
After completing this particular quest of baking a chocolate cake, your spectators will probably be your friends, family, and/or neighbors, but with other type of quests you have the possibility of having someone from any point of the world providing their feedback.
This way not only your work gets evaluated, but if you did a good job you will also probably get some fans to follow you and your progress. Next, you will probably try a more challenging quest. As you progress, you try your luck with increasingly demanding recipes, and you start noticing your following grow significantly. In that moment you understand that you are no longer a newcomer in the game of baking cakes. You have reached a level where your skill is respected and admired.
You are now a seasoned warrior of the order of cake baking!