When Pokémon Go exploded onto the gaming scene, it was a massive hit, and not just among children. Fully grown office workers wandered the streets, phones outstretched. They were using device GPS to hunt down virtual monsters.
The Nintendo game is based on augmented reality (AR). It lets you view the world through your camera phone, superimposed with Pokémon to catch, and virtual prizes to win.
But Nintendo’s AR Was Addictive.
Employees took longer lunch breaks, and even kept playing when they got back to the office. Workers chased Pokémon into restricted areas. Six employers ended up firing their game-addled staff!
This is the dark side of gamification. Players can get so hooked they lose sight of real-world goals.
But what if we flipped this script?
What If Gamification Helped Us Realise Our Dreams?
Full disclosure: Here at PracticeNow! we’re obsessed with this idea. Building game dynamics around real-world goals students actually want to achieve: What’s not to love? 😊
Leaderboards. Rewards for consistent practice. Connecting with peers to stay accountable. Building these into a product for yoga teachers is our mission. Because we know it’ll help students practice and deepen their skills.
But the cool thing is…
You Don’t Need Fancy Tech For This!
Like... at all.
You can get started using game dynamics at your studio right now. With nothing more than your web presence plus enthusiasm.
Hope you have fun with these!
1. Inspirational Quote-of-the-Day
Here's one from our Instagram account (where we love a good Maya Angelou quote! 🔥)
Just as sound effects and music build excitement in Pokémon Go, inspirational quotes set the emotional tone for your class.
Research shows positive habits form when web users know the emotional reward will vary, each time they log-in. Simple as it sounds, having a new, rousing quote on your schedule page, that changes every day, is a powerful way to achieve this.
So, if you want students to feel stoked for practice, start gathering quotes.
You might accidentally boost your own mood in the process (I speak from experience!)
2. Celebrate Success
Who were your 3 most consistent students this month? Showcase their profile pictures on your website and celebrate their success.
Even the most humble student can’t help but feel a glow of pride to see their name in lights for something they care about. It fuels their enthusiasm and has a contagious effect, inspiring other students to achieve the same.
Bonus result: In some cases, happy students may screenshot your message, and share it on social, inadvertently spreading the word about your wonderful studio.
3. Reward Progress
Pokémon Go’s success comes from getting users hooked to a virtual system of points and digital achievements. This can be a powerful tool for students too. But if you don’t have the software for this, why not offer a real-life reward?
Example: For the student who shows most improvement next month, offer an exclusive, one-on-one training for 30 minutes after class. It’s a prize that acknowledges their effort and rewards them with something real that’s aligned with their values.
Real World Growth
As a small company in beta, it’ll be months before we at PracticeNow! can realise our most audacious goals to work gamification into our product. But we’re not letting that stop us from using game dynamics right now. And neither should you.
Our plan for the moment is: Offer real-life rewards to the 1000 students currently using our beta software. For those who practice most, we’ll plant a tree in their name. And they get to choose where we plant it. 😊
Our goal is to plant a million trees by 2030, fuelled by the power of practice. We love this notion of creating a game-like addiction to something wholesome and worthwhile. And we love the idea of practicing students greening the globe.
So, What's Your Take?
What will you do to help students get practicing? What do you already do? 💚 We’d love to hear your insights and stories in the comments below.