I recently attended open houses for my kids’ schools and was intrigued by the use of gaming concepts to increase the appeal of certain ho-hum tasks. For example: rewards for good attendance or behavior, points for books read and math challenges to receive extra credit.


This concept of making an activity more fun and engaging than it would normally be has been in the news lately, and it’s called “gamification.”


Real-world examples

Though gamification is a relatively new concept, the principles are currently being applied in many aspects of your life; you just might not know it:

  • Loyalty programs/frequent flyer miles. The more you fly, the more points you gain, as well as higher levels of status, access to better service and special deals as perks.
  • Wii Fit®. By incorporating games and challenges as part of the workout, the system helps make exercise fun.
  • foursquare®. The social community-driven concept provides badges and deals for checking into locations and enables frequent visitors to become the “mayor.”


Gamification at the building/enterprise level

Energy efficiency competitions could be developed for building occupants or tenants to track who saves the most electricity or water. Customer loyalty programs could offer points for products and services purchased. Points would then be redeemed for consulting time from building efficiency experts, additional reports or discounts on new application purchases.


How can building management systems be gamified?

As a user, you could improve your status within a building management community, based on completing in-application training or self-help.

You can be rewarded for reaching certain milestones, providing input on new features and functions. It also can allow you to be invited to beta test new applications.


By joining community forums, you can share your tips and tricks to earn more points.


Keep it beneficial, not cheesy

The key is to distinguish between trivial gamification and a deeper program that respects its users and plays to their needs. The exclusivity in options, services and applications available to the users will be the better motivator over the long term.

Furthermore, clearly defined goals and fair, incremental rewards are two gamification techniques that could motivate and satisfy “Generation Y” in the workforce.


How would you add gamification to building systems management?


®foursquare is a registered trademark of Foursquare Labs, Inc.

®Wii Fit is a registered trademark of Nintendo of America Inc.