Playing hard with their audiences

It is known as gamification. This business strategy is, nowadays, a common trend at some of the most important companies all over the world. It consists on trying to attract and persuade people through the promotion on participation in many games, competitions, proofs and funny interactive activities.


According to a M2 Research’s USA survey, the size of the gamification market, “which was at around $100 million in 2011, will grow to more than $2.8 billion by 2016″. Furthermore, vendors sure that this action can lead to a 100% to 150% pickup in engagement metrics. By the way, the international research company Gartner also states that, currently, “more than 70 percent of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application”.

Inside this marketing tactic, there are many effective samples like the 2011 Magnum platform game, which encouraged people to show their score results, or the recent Samsung add for S4 model.

Related to Journalism

Gamification efficacy can be used by journalists to tell stories in where users can feel themselves as important roles.  Al Jazeera last work, ‘Pirate Fishing’ enables users to feel like an investigation journalist, trying to find information about the illegal fishing trade in Sierra Leone, which it is based on a documentary produced by the channel.

This way of story-telling reminds those interactive books for young people: “If you want to follow the car, you should go to the page 45”. Everybody has read one of them sometime. You are cooking your own story, but you are being informed about something at the same time, in the same way that many current video games based on WWII, biographies and other historical issues. 

Lori Prinsloo, a journalist at the South African Sunday Times who won the Global Editors Network hackathon with an app called ‘Party match’ in 2013, said about gamification:

“We’re in a place where that medium needs to be taken seriously because these days more people are gamers than aren’t when you get below a certain age“/”People understand games now, they understand how to play them, they fit them into their lives in the same way we used to fit in a daily breakfast newspaper. I think once news organizations start to come to understand that there’s going to be a rush of people towards this as a potential storytelling tool(Journalism.co.uk).