Let the games begin: how government is using ‘gamification’ to change public behaviour

Joshua Chambers at FutureGov: “Governments across the region are turning to “gamification” – otherwise known as “game science” – to help create new ways to persuade their populations.
FutureGov recently attended a session at GovCamp Australia where officials discussed the potential of this new approach. It has pulled together the best examples of successful government games, and sought advice from the private sector on building something that will achieve results.
How it works
How does gamification work? It creates an environment where people play games to win prizes or compete against one another, all while learning about about a new message or behaving in a certain, desirable manner. The approach can be used by every type of agency, and has been trialled on public sector campaigns including military recruitment, physical fitness, speeding prevention, consumer rights awareness and even making citizens engage with census data.
For example, it was used by the Department of Justice of Victoria, Australia when they wanted to make young people aware of consumer protection laws. Discussion of legal concepts did not seem particularly appealing, so they took a different tack by launching a game called Party for Your Rights. “It’s targeted at young people, teaching them their rights through the activity of going to a party. It’s very appealing, with retro 1980s graphics and music,” explained Paul Chandley, general manager of digital strategy and engagement in the Victorian Department of Justice.
Since its launch in June 2014, it has been played 23,000 times. A survey found that 96% of players surveyed said they felt either more informed of their rights or more confident about using their rights after interacting with the game.
The game proved popular in Australia and there are plenty of other examples of successful games built by government agencies – FutureGov has profiled the six best examples of gamification in government.…”
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