Games twice as much as the global box office,

Games are changing the world.This year the Global Games Market was worth over $108.9 billion.According to NewZoo, a massive 42% of the Global Games Market was generated single-handedly by mobile games, which stands high above all the other game platforms that are currently considered.Not only are we seeing the games market skyrocket. It is also clearly overtaking the previously much-loved movie industry. Back in September 2013, the video games industry made more than twice as much as the global box office, generating an enormous $70.4 billion in sales compared to the lower $35.9 billion by the cinema industry. We saw Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto reaping a whopping $800+ million worldwide. Not only was this huge, it was made within as little as – 24 hours of its release. During this time the sales from this single game completely obliterated The Hunger Games: Catching Fire ($424.67M),  Iron Man 3 ($409.01M) and Frozen ($400.74M).2013 was a tough time for all Tributes, men in suits of iron and ice queens out there. Games aren’t just stopping there – they are going further. The mechanics that are used within games are now being seen within our day to day apps, from social to health and fitness. To as far as environmental sustainability.This technique has already caught its own buzz word. Gamification. Gaming has become so popular that brands can no longer ignore it. You can’t blame them, they have seized an opportunity. The most successful brands are experts at adapting to the times. A prime example of gamification being used is by the massive “Just Do It”™ label, Nike. The motivational ‘Nike+’ app, which uses gamification extremely effectively, enables the user to earn points while going out for a run. Add a bit of human competitiveness to the mix and users can create a pretty hefty digital trophy collection and also get a good bit fitter while doing so. Ever since gamification was added, Nike’s users have rapidly increased from 500,000 members in 2007 to 11,000,000 members in 2013, as stated by Ivan Kuo in a gamification.co article. This reveals that gamification has not only created a larger customer base and changed people’s lives for the better – it has actually went as far as creating a community.Since the release of this app and the use of gamification, Nike has gathered a considerable amount of data from their users. From accumulating this valuable information, Nike has been able to focus in on this data to create a more personal service and increased productivity in digital marketing. On top of this growth, they have also boosted the loyalty of their customers and increased their brand presence through users sharing their training results on social media. “Awesome app… I love competing with friends and going further and faster than the last run. The Nike+ awards are icing on the running cake.” – Nike + Member, Google play reviewsHowever, in contrast to this one positive use of gamification – there are many negative uses that shadow it. There are many unspoken negatives that lie within gamification. Some companies may use gamification as a hidden way to coerce their users, because gamification is mostly seen as a voluntary action. So, this will hide the true incentive of the company/app and users will not know that they are being manipulated, due to being set within a game-like environment. The outcome of this will benefit the company as they can use this manipulation to generate large revenues and encourage addictive user patterns. There are also some less serious negative uses of gamification, such as masking bad design, or simply the unnecessary slap-on addition of gamification without fully understanding how it is implemented and just trying to fit in with the “Trend” – gamification is not a plaster that will cover-up your poor design fundamentals. Instead of turning straight to the commonly used mechanics, such as trophies and badges, points or leaderboards. Put your efforts into the more subtle and essential game design elements, like finding the fine balance between user competition and collaboration, providing real-time feedback, achievable goals or defining a true meaningful application economy. No app should be ever the same. A one-size-fits-all-approach should be avoided as demographics and reason of use changes with each application.An example of unnecessary gamification is Lyft’s badge system, as many consider this an unnecessary addition, majority of people are not going to change their schedules over a digital reward.