I’ve been really interested lately in something that people call game dynamics. Basically, it’s features on a website or in an application that uses a game or competition to encourage the desired result.
At its most basic level, you can see this type of thing in apps like Foursquare where you can receive badges as you do certain actions. Basically, they give you an award for doing the things that they want you to do. It’s been used incredibly effectively in many online applications. In fact, the whole dynamic of game mechanics improving engagement of a website is a field that I think is just beginning to flourish.
With this short background, you can imagine why I was so intrigued by a websites called Health Gamers. I love the name and the play on words. Here’s a short description of what they are about:
Helth ‘ Gā-mər, n. One who is interested in developing, researching or playing game technology as a way of improving the well being of others. At healthGAMERS, we want to start a dialog about Health Games, an emerging field that uses game-based technology to improve the health of the public. Many players are needed to make a successful Health Game, and we hope people from a variety of fields will weigh in on this innovative subject.
They have highlighted some interesting health care apps that use gaming to promote healthy behavior and actions. I’m sure I’ll do many future posts talking about applications and “games” that I find on their website.
I’d also love to hear what other health related applications people use that effectively use game mechanics to promote healthy behavior. Let me know in the comments.