Piano Stairs | Gamification Examples

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Sure, gamification is used in games and online. But what if gamification could be used to help make ordinary tasks not only doable, but exciting? What if you could ‘gamify’ life? Well, Volkswagen has a brilliant organization dedicated to doing just that. It’s called The Fun Factory. Over the next few weeks we’ll be looking at several of The Fun Factory’s gamification examples. Today, we’re examining Piano Stairs.

The goal is simple: increase the amount of people who choose stairs over the escalators. In order to accomplish this, a behavioral change is required. (For more information on changing behavior with gamification, click here)

What would motivate a massive crowd to take the stairs instead of the ‘effort free’ escalator alternative? Adding game mechanics to the stairs. By turning the stairs into piano keys, TFF utilized three key game mechanics:

1.)  Social- With multiple people taking the stairs at one, it’s a shared experience. Each individual is participating in a group activity. Every trip up the stairs will sound different depending on who is stepping on what key… I mean step.

2.) Curiosity- Although we’re creatures of habit, curiosity is a powerful driver. It’s why we touch the stove top and landed on the moon. It’s human nature.

3.) Feedback Loop- Every single step results in audio feedback from the stairs. This keeps the participants actively engaged.

The results: 66% increase in stair traffic vs escalator traffic

This execution is a great gamification example of turing an ordinary task into a viral, engaging experience. What everyday task can you gamify? Please submit your ideas and comments below.

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