Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Would Your Survey Responses Change if They Were a Game Instead of a Check Box?

I've already written about Jane McGonical in a previous article.  She's the author of "Reality is Broken" a new book about how to use our love of gaming to save the world.  On her new web site, she says that her mission in life is to see a game designer nominated for a Nobel Prize.  Let's wait and see -- it just might be her.

The really wonderful thing about this book is that it keeps you thinking long after you've closed the last page.  McGonigal has done such a great job of steadily spreading her message and rounding up grass roots support that more and more people are at least considering the possibility that playing games is NOT necessarily a waste of time.  Instead, it's an opportunity to create something.

I ran into this Gaming Infographic this morning and thought I'd share it with you:

At each step of this graphic you can ask yourself in what ways can we leverage gaming for good?

I was most impressed by the idea that nearly 50% of the parents surveyed played video games with their kids at least weekly.  This made me wonder about the interesting conversations that have the possibility of taking place depending on the game being played.  Granted playing Mario Galaxy may not engender as deep a conversation as Zelda or even SimCity, but think of the possibilities?

What are the possibilities for surveys or feedback conversations?

It's amazing what opens up as a possibility when you re-frame games from a waste of time to something productive. For example answering a question about what decision we MIGHT make is a completely different experience than actually making that decision within the context of a gaming challenge.  I'm already imagining survey games that take people through a grocery store with limits on money and time and having play the game.

Or what about purchasing a vehicle and taking it for a test drive?

Think about any purchasing and decision making opportunity see the ways in which creating a game out of it could potentially alter your decisions.

Watch this trend and see how surveys will change in the process.  If you're in the survey business, start thinking about ways to more closely mimic the decision experience for your respondents.

For the time being, we'll be seeing surveys in much the same way as we always have.  But keep a look out for sliding scales and smiley faces.  These will morph into more fun interactive question experiences and don't be surprised if you find yourself being part of a panel community of shoppers in a virtual world, spending, choosing and experiencing the product you use virtually.

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