Gamification example: Squats for tickets

by Chris F

Here’s something that I’ve read: in Russia, in order to celebrate the approaching winter Olympics (I’m not going into the controversies of that), they have placed some interactive machines (I’m assuming with a Kinect inside) that will issue you a free subway ticket if you do 30 squats. Here’s my thoughts on this.

Squat 30 times and get a free subway ticket

Squat 30 times and get a free subway ticket

Let’s analyze this: is this gamification? I believe so. It takes something that people usually do as a chore, squats, and adds an incentive to it: you get a free subway (tube) ticket. It works off extrinsic motivation, giving out a real-life reward for something you might not be otherwise motivated to do. It is a single-player gamification example, and one that takes maybe less than it would take to wait in the queue for a subway ticket. Would I do it? Yes, I would. I believe that it would motivate me to do 30 squats if I were to get a free ticket.

How could they have done it better? Multi-player? What if you had to compete with a friend or a random stranger to see who would get the biggest score? Maybe it would be unfair if they were to give only the winner a ticket, but would be nice to have a timer or something similar, to allow you to measure your performance.

Have I learned something from this? Yet again, gamification is shown to be successful in marketing schemes.

Chris F.