In-Depth Explanation of Gamification

GambleScope Research Team

Gamification Casinos: An In-Depth Explanation of this

New Gambling Concept

Online casinos are in existence for over two decades already and, despite what many call a dying gaming format, it has managed to thrive in cyberspace. This is not only because people love to gamble, but it is also based on the online casino brands that have traditionally driven the virtual casino industry and are always able to adapt to new trends. Gamification is the latest trend sweeping through the internet and is a case in point of how dynamic online gambling is. In this article, we investigate the idea of gamification and how it is being implemented, with mostly positive results, across the online gambling industry.

What is Gamification?

Gamification is a relatively new term and, if you have never heard of it before, don’t feel bad, a lot of people haven’t as yet. By definition, gamification is the adding of design elements usually associated with the video game industry, to the online casino industry. More specifically, it is the application of these elements to non-game contexts, in other words, features that are not related to the actual games being played (such as slots for example).

The idea behind gamification within the online casino gaming context is to add to or improve the overall user engagement as well as appeal to new potential users who may be looking for a new way to experience online casino gaming. Aside from the fact that the online casino platform is the ideal recipient for gamification, we can see the use of gamification in a wide array of industries where more in-depth user participation is required. Let’s face it, we all love to feel more involved in a given platform or website or industry, as well as getting the best experience possible.

Gamification elements are ideal for creating this feeling of enhanced value and immersion because, by definition, video games require players to become completely immersed in the gaming environment from the word go. In fact, if players were not fully engaged in the gaming environment, they would not be able to succeed at the game at all.

Why Gamification is the Perfect Fit for Online Casinos

While the gamification concept may be a bit unfamiliar to most online casino gamblers in its current form, you may be surprised to learn that you have been part of online gamification for some time and probably didn’t even know it. Think about it for a minute. Do you remember ever playing games on Facebook back when the world’s biggest social media platform was still entirely new?

From various free to play poker and bingo games to themed simulation games like Farmville, Cityville, Empires and Allies, and a myriad of other social media games (usually released by Zynga), most of us have already experienced gamification. How are these games examples of gamification? Simple, because these games were made available through the Facebook platform, which meant that you needed to create a Facebook account to get access to these ‘free to play’ games. To keep players interested, they would need to collect certain components such as gems or coins to progress in the games. Gamers would also be able to collect extra bonuses for recruiting their friends to sign up. That’s gamification in its essence, and was the testing bed for the sort of gamification platforms we encounter today.

The online casino industry is relatively old, at least by online standards, and has been successfully operating on the web for over two decades. The fact of the matter is how many more online casinos can the industry still sustain without total redundancy setting in? As with any thriving enterprise, new ideas and new methods are required to keep the industry alive and healthy. Gamification has the unique ability to accomplish exactly that by adding new behaviours, new ways of engaging with casinos, and new innovative ways of rewarding loyal players. Gamification also has the added benefit of enhancing player retention, since any online casino that uses gamification elements is already a more unique and exciting prospect than an online casino that only offers standard versions of slots, roulette or other casino games.

Enhanced Player Experience – Gamification Elements in Practice

One could almost think of gamification casinos as a new style of online casino experience for a new generation. As the internet grows, and more users find ways to combine various interests and features, it really does start making sense that gamification in online casinos would begin to take place. After all, more online gamers are starting to experiment with playing online casino games and, in turn, more online casino gamblers are beginning to unwind with online video games. The two seem as though they would be a perfect match made in heaven.

Gamification then becomes the perfect tool, allowing newer online casinos to stand out from the oversaturated online casino market by presenting a more unique, bespoke online gambling experience. Gamification pioneering online casinos such as Casino Heroes, for instance, uses elements of gamification to produce a unique story that, in turn, uses casino games as stepping stones in telling that story to its audience, aka their players. This creates a unique and enhanced player experience which ultimately results in a growing fan base of players eager for something new and rewarding. Instead of playing slots until your bankroll inevitably runs out, you can now be part of an adventure or a quest. You can even earn additional rewards, which, even if you do lose all your money on the slots, still makes you feel better about how you choose to spend your time and your money.

We used Casino Heroes as an example a little earlier for a good reason. Casino Heroes was one of the first online casinos to successfully merge gamification and virtual casino gaming in a way that made everyone in the industry sit up and take notice. There are many different ways in which online casinos choose to add gamification elements to their casino platforms, and Casino Heroes decided to weave a story and adventure into theirs.

Folks signing up to Casino Heroes still get to play games, but instead of just signing up, taking a bonus and then spending all of their bankroll, they get to be part of the adventures, the ups and downs of a hero sworn to destroy an evil dragon and save a kingdom. Now that beats just playing online casino games in most people’s books! The way that the gamification elements translate back to the player experience is through task completion. Each player needs to help the hero along and get more into the adventure by completing a variety of tasks, which of course also include playing various slots and other casino games. Tasks can typically include things like completing specific slots bonus rounds to trigger the defeat of the dragon, who happens to be guarding a treasure chest that is filled with free spins.

Are Gamification Casinos Just a Passing Trend?

Perhaps it is still a bit early to call this one since gamification in online casinos is still entirely new when compared to how long online casinos have been around. However, the online casino industry happens to be one of the most innovative and dynamic web-based sectors in the world, as the live dealer element and the mobile casino element has already proven. So why shouldn’t the gamification of online casinos be the next significant evolution in the journey of the online casino?

The great thing about gamification is that the scope is just so enormous and there are a lot of directions online casinos, that wish to add gamification elements to their platforms, can go in. The mission-based aspect that we see at Casino Heroes is also present in other new generation online casinos like Kaboo Casino, where Kaboo members can choose from four different missions to complete, all containing great slots games, bonuses and mission points.

Other online casinos that have chosen to go the gamification route often combine elements of mission-based gaming platforms with enhanced player rewards systems. Take an online casino like Ikibu for example. This cute and trendy online casino features cool backgrounds that look as if they’ve been water painted. The entire gaming platform takes place on an imaginary island where new players have to use a map to get around, befriend various local villagers and earn points known in Ikibu language as seeds. Earned seeds can then be used at the in-house Ikibu store to purchase anything from enhanced bonuses to free spins and more.

Other gamification casinos tend to focus more on players interacting with each other, earning enhanced bonuses and points along the way. Rizk Casino, for example, offers all players a shot at climbing the casino leaderboard. Once signed up with the casino, anyone can put their name on the leaderboard and play various prescribed games to earn points, which in turn allow them to climb up the leaderboard. The higher players can get, the more loyalty points and other rewards they will be able to earn.

Both of these approaches work well in attracting new players to these online casinos and also do a great job of keeping existing players happy. It seems that gamification is the natural next step for the online casino industry, judging by the way they have grown over the past few years. For all intents and purposes, it seems that gamification is not only here to stay, but as more and more gamers cross over from pure video gaming platforms to online casinos, so more gamification platforms will become available to them. In other words, gamification in online casinos is indeed not a passing trend so it may be a good idea to get yourself over to one of the brands mentioned here and try it for yourself. After all, not only do you not have anything to lose, with enhanced player rewards, you have everything to gain!

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